At the beginning of the summer of 2018, filmmaker Eli Hayes, who has been struggling with depression for his entire life, fell deep into the inky chasms of the disease. Days later, Hayes was called down to Tallahassee, Florida for a job opportunity. While in Florida, the despondency grew more severe and eventually took complete control of his psychological well-being. Over the course of the summer, good days would occur sparsely and sporadically; on these days, Hayes would bring his camera outside to film the beauty of his environment, despite knowing full well that the dejection would soon return. “A Florida Melancholy” is a landscape film of emotional survival, comprised of the footage that Hayes shot while in Florida throughout the darkest season of his life, during which all that he could rely on for hope & direction were his camera, and his surroundings
Eli Grier Hayes was born on November 5th, 1993 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He fell in love with cinema at an early age upon viewing the works of directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky and Chantal Akerman. Eli began screenwriting as he entered high school, and directed his first short films, DANCING WITH SHADOWS (2012) and NOBODY (2012), during his senior year. While enrolled at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, he founded Hazel Eye Productions; Eli has since directed, produced & edited over twenty feature films, and approximately forty short films. His work has been screened at over sixty festivals across six continents, including The Beijing International Short Film Festival, Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival, The Pune Short Film Festival, The Cannes International Film Festival's Court Métrage, The Princeton Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival Melbourne, and The Milwaukee Short Film Festival, as well as venues such as Anthology Film Archives and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He recently graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee with a master's degree in film & creative media, and is currently the Project Manager at The Nashville Film Institute.