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Our mission is to create new avenues for better cultural understanding between the people of Europe and the USA by celebrating alternative cinema.

Geert & Pascal

Pascal Ladreyt, Founder


ELMA was founded in 2007 as a small, home-based foundation. Today, we have a Santa Monica office, the ability to support a wide variety of events, years of experience, and numerous contacts. 

In spite of changes in the movie industry, we continue to see film as a universal language that gives us a way to discover new ideas, people, cultures, and places. With our goal to reach larger, younger, and more "mainstream" American audiences, we take a pragmatic and businesslike approach when working with our partners. 

These partners include festivals, foreign consulates, local authorities, as well as other individuals who share our vision.


Geert Criel, Director 

Geert joined the ELMA team as a Director in October 2022. He has a passion for film, both past and present. 

During his long diplomatic career with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he served at the Embassy in Washington, and as

Consul General in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2012. Most recently,

Geert held an ambassadorial posting in Santiago de Chile.


As Consul General, Geert worked with the American Cinematheque

and ELMA to launch the monthly Belgian movie series, “Grit and

Whimsy.” Once again in Los Angeles, he now works with Pascal to celebrate independent European cinema.

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