Executive Producer, Screenwriter and Artist Jessica Elizabeth Davenport and Director Ciro Ayla along with Provoke Films have teamed up to create the animated short film What Happened to Stephanie? This short is a triptych of songs by written by Jessica Elizabeth Davenport and performed by her band Strictly Elizabeth. The songs “Oscillation Friday”, “Baby C’mon” and “Seduction Trash” provide the soundtrack for the stories of Liz and Stephanie, told in comic book style inspired by the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein.
Strictly Elizabeth comes to you from the heart, mind and soul of Jessica Elizabeth Davenport, a multi-disciplined artist in the fields of music, film, design and architecture. For the last few years she has focused on music and film, using these mediums to tell her own story, use her own voice, and sing her own songs. In 2019, Jessica formed her band, Strictly Elizabeth, and began releasing music and short films through her production label, Data Water Records. She is the writer of an award winning animated short film What Happened to Stephanie? which features the music of Strictly Elizabeth and has co-directed music videos for the band’s most recent release, the self-penned “Coretta”. The video features artwork created and commissioned by Jessica, a protest sign series as well as a Robot Mural of the song’s namesake Coretta Scott King.
Jessica was born in Indianapolis, completed college in Cincinnati and upon graduation headed for New York City where she carved out a successful career as an architect. That career eventually got her to San Francisco. After some personal tragedies in her life Jessica decided to dedicate herself to her aspirations to make music and films. This eventually led to joining the group Sunset Republic and meeting recording engineer Chris Hughes who she began to work with, resulting in an EP of demos called Route in Blue.
With the encouragement of the music community she had found in San Francisco, Jessica and Chris set out to make a full-length album. Shelter in Place was released to great acclaim in 2020 and built a solid following at college radio. On that album are the songs “Oscillation Friday”, “Baby, C’Mon” and “Seduction Trash”.
Enter What Happened To Stephanie?, the short animation film. Using these three aforementioned songs she turned to her design talents and storyboarded a script for the 7-minute film. As the Executive Producer, Screenwriter and Artist Jessica teamed up with Director Ciro Ayla and his Provoke Films to create the animated short film. The triptych of songs provided the soundtrack for the stories of Liz and Stephanie, told in comic book style inspired by the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein.
Praise for the film has been staggering. As of July, 2021 it has garnered its ninth festival selection/win. The festivals include the Los Angeles Film Awards (Best Music Video), Los Angeles Film & Script Festival (Best Animation), Los Angeles Rocks Film Festival (Best Animation & Best Editing), the San Francisco Indie Short Festival (Semi-finalist), Onyko Film Awards (Best Animation Finalist), Venice Shorts Film Awards (selection), Hollywood New Directors (Honorable Mention). The latest honor is from L.A.’s prestigious Dances With Films. Celebrating it’s 24th year, Dances With Films has named What Happened to Stephanie? a Downbeat selection and will screen at the Festival on August 27 at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
In May of 2021 Strictly Elizabeth released Contemporary Construction, a collaboration with producer/musician Shane Soloski (Brian Wilson, Five For Fighting). It’s almost all original tunes including an ode to Coretta Scott King entitled “Coretta”. In reference to two of the songs on the album Jessica said, “‘Coretta‘ and ‘You and Free‘ have their origins in New York City “, she explained. ” When I picked them back up in California, I began to feel them as premonitions. I realized that my searching for meaning and purpose in life was already here in these songs and the experiences of my grief shed light on their completion.”
Awash with complexity and contradiction, Strictly Elizabeth is a hymn to her and a psalm to silence; dreamy, heavy, light and dark with sweetly vicious confessions that cut and soothe and post punk grooves you won’t soon forget.
Ciro Ayala, Director, was born in Resistencia (Chaco) Argentina, the son of Maria Ines and Miguel Angel Ayala. A child prodigy, Ciro’s relationship with the Arts started at age 4, when creating 3d perspective drawings on paper. Inspired by the films of Steven Spielberg, Ciro began making movies at age ten with a Panasonic video camera.
At age 15, Ciro edited videos for Interpol, Sport Championships and Identity Films, with his own Video Editing platform, installed in his bedroom. In 2000, at age 19, with producer Facundo Marcías, Ciro wrote and directed his first independent movie, a 30 minutes suspense short called “Disfraz”. The movie was later shown in the Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre International Film Festival for 3 consecutive years, as well as in Madrid and Paris.
In 2002, Ciro left his University studies and moved to Taiwan. He went to work for several companies as 3D Architecture Designer, Art Director and Filmmaker, but discovered that he was more creative and efficient working on his own than under other people. In 2008, he went on to found PROVOKE FILMS® focused on directing and producing music videos and commercials.His first clients included Armin van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold, Armada Music, Spinnin’ Records, and Kontor TV.
He has produced more than 700 works in Europe, Asia and America since the past 12 years, Ciro has been credited as filmmaker, writer and producer on projects for Studio1Zero, Dope D.O.D., Krewella, Rockstar Energy Drink, Fashion One TV Network, Coolermaster LTD, etc.
Director: Ciro Ayala
Writer: Jessica Elizabeth Davenport
Executive Producer: Jessica Elizabeth Davenport
Production Consultant: Delia Lee
Animation & Post-Production: Provoke Films
Music performed by: Strictly Elizabeth
Mixing Engineer: Paul Kolderie
Mastering Engineer: Ira Ingber
Producers: Chris Hughes and Jessica Elizabeth Davenport
Recording Engineer: Chris Hughes