Writer and Director Maud Lazzerini Won the Best Period Piece Feature Award at Action On Film for her Screenplay about New Orleans Crime Legend: Delphine Lalaurie

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Short films writer and director Maud Lazzerini won the best period piece feature screenplay award at the last Action On Film Festival. Ms. Lazzerini’s first screenplay is based on the story of Delphine Lalaurie, the character Kathy Bates played during the last season of the TV Show American Horror Story, a performance that was awarded at the Emmys last August.

The award winning short films director Maud Lazzerini won the best period piece feature screenplay award for her first feature film script at the last Action On Film Festival last month in Monrovia, CA. Underneath Her Skin is based on the true story of Delphine Lalaurie, a New Orleans respected socialite who was accused to brutalize her slaves.

Click on the link below to see the result of last Action On Film festival:

In April 1834, a fire broke out at the house of the Lalauries, one of New Orleans most respected family. It did not take long for the firemen to discover the atrocities that had been perpetuated in the mansion. Behind the attic door they found seven starving mutilated and tortured slaves. Mrs. Lalaurie was accused of those crimes, but managed to escape from justice and found refuge in France where she presumably died a few years after the event.

Today the Lalaurie Mansion, which was owned by Nicolas Cage from 2007 to 2009, is the high point of every New Orleans ghost tour. Delphine Lalaurie’s story turned into a local legend that got famous worldwide with the last season of the TV show American Horror Story, American Horror Story: Coven. Kathy Bates plays the part of the mad woman, and her outstanding performance was recently awarded at the Emmys last August.

The horror of Delphine Lalaurie’s crimes has been told many times, but no feature film has ever been made about it. That is why Ms. Lazzerini who directed two award winning short films about burlesque decided to write a screenplay about it: “When I went to New Orleans for the first time, I was directly intrigued by that story. As a French woman, I did not understand how her story was different from any slave owner story during slavery time. I wanted to know more about it. But mostly I wanted to find the truth.” Few actual facts were written about Madame Lalaurie and even her guilt is uncertain today. “Really soon, it came to me that this story was a great material for a film about slavery. Writing a film about that time is obviously very different from what I did before but I wanted to portray a strong and complex woman who turns out to be a reflection of that era. That is to say someone who appears in public as progressive and intelligent, someone who was loved by everyone but who was capable of the worst crimes in private. She was to me the prefect representation of what was slavery.”

Underneath Her Skin raises the question of Mrs. Lalaurie’s guilt and questions American history.

Maud Lazzerini is a French writer and director. She recently directed two awards winning short films, Juliette and Betty, starring New York top burlesque performers including Miss Exotic World, Dirty Martini.

Both short films are now available on Indieflix.

To learn more about Delphine Lalaurie:
Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans's Most Famous Murderess Revealed written by Victoria Cosner Lover and Lorelei Shannon

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