Elissa’s assured debut feature, The Black Balloon, starring Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson and Toni Collette, won the Crystal Bear for ‘Generation 14plus’ Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The film received over thirty awards including six AACTA awards including Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay, as well as accolades from the Australia Directors’ and Writers’ Guilds, Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Rotten Tomatoes.
The Honor List, Elissa’s second feature film starring Meghan Rienks, Sasha Pieterse, Karrueche Tran and Arden Cho, had its premiere as the opening night film at the Bentonville Film Festival in 2018. The crew on this Lionsgate film was 60% female. In 2020, Elissa completed her third film Feel the Beat, starring Sofia Carson and produced by Susan Cartsonis. This family dance film was an international hit being the third most streamed movie on Netflix for the month of June, as well as being the 18th most watched movie of the year on the platform.
Elissa teamed with Netflix once again by directing the Ivy + Bean movie series (Ivy + Bean, Ivy + Bean – The Ghost Who Had To Go and Ivy + Bean – Doomed to Dance) based on the New York times best selling books by Annie Barrows. Introducing Keslee Blalock as Ivy and Madison Skye Validum as Bean, this film series stars Emmy and Tony award winning and Academy Award nominated talents such as Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nia Vardalos.
Currently, Elissa is in post-production for While The Men Are Away for SBS which she is also an executive producer. This eight part series follows Italian immigrant Frankie Whitmore who is left in charge of suffering farm after her husband leaves for war. She enlists fresh Women Land Army recruits Gwen and Esther to join herself, local indigenous farmhand Kathleen and certified coward Robert for the upcoming harvest. The series is set for release later this year.
Other work from Elissa includes writing and directing the 7-part drama, Confess, for Awestruck and go90 based on the New York Times best selling by Colleen Hoover and directing a Season Three block on one of Australia’s most successful dramas, Offspring.