George Ellzey Jr. – 2022 Short Film Script Finalist

Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove follows a young man who struggles to communicate with his stroke-afflicted father in a grocery store parking lot while at the same time staying true to himself.

I am a Chicago writer and director driven to explore the oft-ignored narratives of minorities. My narrative and experimental films unpack black masculinity, intercommunity prejudice, and unspoken mental and emotional anguishes and joys of my community framed in classic visuals. Pursuing my MFA in Directing for Film & Television at DePaul University, I received my BA from Bowdoin College and majored in English & Theater with a Dance minor. My passion for the arts led me to perform in the Chicago theater scene. Combined with all these experiences, I craft simple stories with complex layers.

My current work-in-progress, Cottage Grove, is an extension of those efforts. Inspired by an event with my father last summer, it is a story based on fatherlessness in the black community, which influences the emotional make-up of black men and the current conditions for black families. Cottage Grove is rooted in Chicago, in Bronzeville, which is a character in itself in the film but in stark contrast to this place and its complexities, is the simple beauty of a father-son reconciliation, found unintentionally, through halting words, meaningful looks, flights of fantasy, and, ultimately, love.


My desire for Cottage Grove is to facilitate healthy conversations between parents and their children at any stage of life. The core of the story is healing starts with parents’ compassion, understanding, and acknowledgment of their child’s hurt.


Contact George: ellzey.george@gmail.com