Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley biopic Priscilla is the centerpiece premiere at the New York Film Festival this evening, but the filmmaker had to miss the movie’s presser today at short notice, sending a note that she is “with her mother.”

“I’m so proud to have our film at the NYFF in my hometown,” the note read. “There’s nothing more inspiring to me than seeing a film on the screen at Alice Tully Hall”.

“When I saw The Power of the Dog here, as the first film on a screen since the pandemic, it reminded me of the power of cinema and what we love about the communal experience. I’m so sorry to not be there with you, but I am with my mother, to whom this film is dedicated.”

The statement, read inside the conference room by her producer, Youree Henley, concluded: “Thank you to my great team who helped me make this film. Thank you to the New York Film Festival, Dennis Lim, and A24.”

Filmmaker Eleanor Coppola (Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse) is wife of Francis Ford Coppola and mother to filmmakers Sofia and Roman, and actor-producer Gian-Carlo, who died in 1986.

Priscilla screens at the NYFF as part of the Centerpiece sidebar following its debut at Venice in August. Starring Cailee Spaeny, who won best actress in Venice, and Jacob Elordi, the feature comes from a screenplay also written by Coppola based on Priscilla Presley’s memoir Elvis and Me.

The official synopsis reads: When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley at a party, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a gentle best friend. Through Priscilla’s eyes, Sofia Coppola tells the unseen side of a great American myth in Elvis and Priscilla’s long courtship and turbulent marriage, from a German army base to his dream-world estate at Graceland, in this deeply felt and ravishingly detailed portrait of love, fantasy, and fame.

Coppola, Youree Henley, and Lorenzo Mieli of The Apartment/Fremantle and American Zoetrope produce. The pic features original music by Phoenix. Coppola’s On the Rocks (2020) and Marie Antoinette (2006) were also NYFF selections.

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