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Based upon a true story, "Eliza" is the story of Eliza Rone, an enslaved woman who, in 1856, worked for the richest family in St. Louis - the Campbell family.

  • Delisa Richardson
    (directorial debut)
  • Dan Steadman
    The Unattainably Perfect Gay Christmas, The Older Woman and the Younger Man, Smile
  • Delisa Richardson
  • Dan Steadman
    Jesus People, The Hallmark of a Real American Family Christmas
  • Lawrence Scott
    Million Dollar Razzle Dazzle
  • Kelly M. Cato
    Million Dollar Razzle Dazzle
  • Kazia Steele
    Key Cast
    Unconditional, The Racket
  • Meg Davis
    Key Cast
    "Virginia Campbell"
    Smile, The Racket
  • Tammy Duensing
    Key Cast
    "Lucy Kyle"
    The Galoshes, Smile
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Delisa Richardson, Dan Steadman

Delisa Richardson was born and raised in Webster Groves, Missouri. Delisa grew up in a household surrounded by music and the arts, she began developing her acting skills as a child and became a professional performer in her 20s.

Richardson has performed professionally on stage with St. Louis Shakespeare and has had roles in numerous print and broadcast commercials to her credit. She has been seen locally, regionally, and nationally representing various brands including, Edward Jones, Schnucks Markets, Mercy Hospital, Build A Bear, Union Pacific Railroad, Ameren Missouri, BJC Hospital, and Metro Imaging.

She met Dan Steadman while attending the Circa 87 Acting Workshop where she honed her acting on camera skills which led to many film credits; most notedly the lead role of Carol in the Amazon Prime movie, “The Shoe.”

Then Richardson took an interest in working behind the camera. She took the Circa 87 screenwriting workshop, which led to co-writing and co-directing “Eliza” with Steadman.

Dan Steadman moved from the world of network TV ("That 70s Show," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!") to shooting TV pilots with his writing partner Rajeev Sigamoney and actors Tony Hale, Melissa McCarthy, and Octavia Spencer. After a decade in L.A., Steadman began writing and directing films across the country, including "Belleville" which played in 13 theaters in 4 states through Wehrenberg Theatres. He continued to make 9 more narrative feature films in St. Louis (“Belleville”, “Smile,” “Proximity”) plus 2 sitcoms, and 2 documentary shorts, including the award-winning “Taboo Teaching."

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Director Statement

From Delisa Richardson:

As a person born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I have always been fascinated by the complicated history of this city. I grew up learning about the Dred Scott Case and other aspects of the history of slavery in Missouri, however, I didn't learn of Eliza Rone's story until I was well into adulthood. When I learned of the history of the Campbell House and Eliza's role as an enslaved woman in the household, I felt her story needed to be told. At a time when aspects of history are aggressively trying to be erased in the education space, I feel that telling these stories on film is more important than ever.

I want the audience to see the fascinating dynamics between Virginia Campbell and her mother Lucy Kyle, as well as Eliza Rone’s life as an enslaved woman, a caretaker, a wife to a free man – her husband John – and her place in this world as a mother to her own children.

We were fortunate to have well-kept archives and letters from The Campbell House Museum to guide us in the telling of this story.

From Dan Steadman:

During my time in St. Louis, we’ve told so many stories about women, from the Amazon Prime films “The Shoe” and “The Older Woman and the Younger Man” to our big screen comedy about four senior women starting a cult in “The Racket.” But it’s always most meaningful when we can dig into the past and tell a story like “Eliza.” Nothing beats shining a light on real-life people who have been pushed to the margins of history. It was such an honor to write and direct this story with Delisa Richardson.