Institute History


DELIA is a razor sharp dissection of one woman's gradual disassociation from a world that seems to hold no place for her.

The story is about Delia, an optimistic young dreamer. Through a series of episodes, the screenplay illustrates her progressive psychological decline. It is her transformation from victim to oppressor that is the heart of the film; where contact and isolation, care and neglect, growth and decay somehow become one in the same.

Delia has spent much of her adult life working as a seamstress in a theatrical costume shop in Manhattan. Her days are spent cheerfully catering to a clientele of actors and actresses who have no idea she exists. She both envies and disdains the assorted drag queens and hipsters who are her co-workers. Her contact with these colorful characters only serves to illustrate the desolation of her own life.

After work, she sits packed in a crowded subway repeating a silent mantra, "Calm. . . . Beautiful. . . . Happy. . . . Powerful." And so begins her nightly ritual, filled with routine chores, few pleasures and the icy cold indifference of her father, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

Despite everything, Delia is unflinching in her conviction that she will attain happiness, beauty, and acceptance. Unequipped to deal effectively however, repression, claustrophobia, and abrupt violence emerge as the only honest attempts at independence she is capable of.

All Delia's dreams are finally realized in the harrowing climax of the film.

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]