From a child's perspective, the vicious cycle of domestic abuse seems easy to escape from.

Cycle

A Short Film by Laura D'Antoni

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Synopsis

Cycle is a short dramatic film that follows 10-year-old Elina as she observes her mother, Irene, in the aftermath of a violent fight with her husband Marcel. Told backwards, we enter the story with a happy family reading stories before bedtime one evening, and end in the same living room, on the same couch, with the same family. But everything has changed. The story unfolds, giving us clues as to what happened until we end at the beginning, when Elina wakes up to loud arguing, and watches her mother in a panic as she locks herself into Elina's room.

Artistic Statement

Cycle is a very personal project for me, as its roots stem from memories I have as a child. Though not easy to write about, I wanted to explore a particular time in my early childhood and remember what my thoughts and feelings were back then. What I ended up with is a script that follows a little girl over a day and two evenings as she observes her mother. No judgement is verbally made, but it is clear that she is confused about her mother's decisions. Now, as an adult, I understand, but as a child, the world around us is much more black and white, good or bad, happy or sad, and this story brings us back to that time.

Project Plan

Partnership

We are proud to be partnering with Shepherd's Door, a domestic violence and resource center located in Pasadena, CA. For the past 18 years they have assisted and supported victims of domestic violence through youth education, public awareness and collaboration with community partners. Together, we will use the short film Cycle to spread awareness about domestic abuse through screenings at public events, workshops and classes. Visit http://www.shepherddoor.org to learn more about this crucial organization.

Financing Plan

Currently the budget needed to complete this ultra-low budget short film is $15,000. This includes everything from paying the cast and crew, renting equipment, paying for locations, buying props to post-production and entering into film festivals.
We hope to find investors and contributors who are interested in supporting a film about domestic abuse so we in turn can shine a light on what children experience in these scary situations.

Distribution Outlets

We plan on submitting the film to many film festivals, especially those focused on women. After the festival run, the film will be submitted to Amazon Studios and distributors to get the widest spread audience. And most importantly, we would like to partner up with women's centers to screen the film for educational purposes as well as use it as a PSA in whatever outlet possible.

Timeline

Pre-Production: Now - June 2018

Filming Dates: July 2018

Post Production: July - October 2018

Characters

ELINA

PLAYED BY ELLA KENDALL

ELINA

Elina is a sweet, 10-year-old little girl who is very close with her mother. She has very few true friends at school but has one best friend who lives far away. Her relationship with her father is not very strong since he is at work most of the time. She speaks a little bit of French, loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian one day.

ABOUT ELLA KENDALL

Ella Kendall, 9 years old, started acting on stage. Favorite roles in recent years were "Ariel" in The Little Mermaid and Nala in The Lion King. She has studied technique privately with Devon Odessa, and at the Culver City playhouse "dee-Lightful Productions". Her first job was when the director of Modern Family chose to feature her in the The Storm episode, which aired Feb. 24, 2016. Since then, she jumped to independent film and has played lead roles in "The Cow Goes Moo" (as "Lily"), "Young Vanessa" in "Vivir Y Amar" and, most recently, she just finished filming her supporting role as "Candy" in the feature based on the stage play by Emmett Loverde: "Beauty, Brains and Personality". She's acted in two internet pilot series and a number of small commercials and industrials, before just signing with BBA Commercial/Voiceover. Ella is honored to be a part of Laura's beautiful film that she hopes will help moms and children in similar situations.

IRENE

PLAYED BY RACHAEL JANE

IRENE

Irene is an independent woman, a nice, nurturing mother to Elina and a supportive wife to Marcel. She works as an English teacher at a high school where her best friend also teaches. She loves pottery, drawing and horseback-riding. Irene has an older daughter from another marriage that attends college in a different state. She has a codependent relationship with Marcel, they met shortly after her terrible divorce.

ABOUT RACHAEL JANE

Rachael Jane was born in Zambia, Africa. Her Welsh mother and English father then immigrated to Alberta, Canada after living in Zambia for 3 years. Rachael received her Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Psychology from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to study acting, music and dance at various schools such as UCB, Ivana Chubbuck Studios, Musicians Institute and The Edge Performing Arts Center. In the last 10 years, she has acted in a number of Independent films, web series, music videos and pilots. She is also a singer-songwriter with an album on Itunes and Spotify. Rachael has recently co-written a web series which is in pre-production.

MARCEL

PLAYED BY JEFF HATCH

MARCEL

Marcel had a very poor childhood growing up in France and built up his business in the US from nothing. He never finished school because he had to support his family after his father died. Marcel's goal in life has always been to be successful, and he does regret that this means not spending time with his family. He is used to being the patriarch, and having an independent wife like Irene has caused some friction in the past. However, he could never live without her. She is his rock and he loves her and his daughter very much.

ABOUT JEFF HATCH

Jeff trained as a theatre actor in college and conservatory programs and appeared in regional and local theatre in Southern California, Utah and Arizona before pursuing Film and Television in L.A. He has worked in several TV, Film and Commercial projects over the past 10 years. He has booked roles on 4 feature films, several shorts, a prime-time network comedy, a daytime soap, plus several commercials and documentary reenactment shows.

Born and raised in San Diego, Jeff has lived all over the Southwestern U.S. and is now a resident of Los Angeles. Married for over 15 years, he and his wife are avid supporters and advocates of pet rescue and adoption charities and are parents to three of the of the snuggliest cats you ever heard of. He's the second of three brothers and the son of a long-haul trucker and a high school teacher.

Storyboards

Coming Soon

Key Crew

Laura D'Antoni - Director

Leprika's Website

Laura D'Antoni was born and raised in Germany to an American mother and Sicilian father. At the age of 17 she moves to the U.S, and received her B.F.A. in Film and Television at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. There she made a 1950s period piece thesis film that screened at five film festivals. After working in New York as an assistant director on a popular web series and as an associate producer on a feature documentary, she started her own production company, Leprika Productions, in South Florida. There she directed her first feature documentary, Not Safe To Be Me, a film about the struggles of LGBT youth that premiered at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. D'Antoni also directed over 30 local TV commercials for Walmart. Currently she lives in Los Angeles and works as a freelance director, shooter and editor and recently completed her web series pilot Dead-ish, a comedy about a female ghost host dealing with her not-so-dead roommates. Laura is now in pre-production for her short film, Cycle, a story told in reverse about domestic abuse from a little girl's perspective.

Chris Low - Director of Photography

Chris Low's Website

A Brooklyn born filmmaker, Chris is a director and cinematographer that focuses on presenting stories with emotional resonance, favoring naturalism and images that reveal essentiality in a subject. His work for clients such as National Geographic, American Express, Columbia Sportswear, the NY Times and Tastemade have lead him into conflict zones, rugged mountainscapes, and jungles both natural and urban across every continent. He is also rather opinionated in matters of art and food.

He graduated with a BFA in Film and Television from the Kanbaar institute of film and television at New York University. In 2015 he received an Emmy award for his cinematography in the documentary Visioneer.

Jamie Mehess - Producer

Jamie has been an avid film lover from an early age. Her first job was working in a local movie theatre where she pushed to become a projectionist. After 20+ years working on the exhibition management side of the film industry, Jamie decided to shift gears and move to a career in film and video production. She moved to California in 2011, where she now works as an independent film producer, director and freelance script supervisor. In her free time she indulges her other great passion, animal welfare, by volunteering with a local non-profit cat/kitten rescue group. Later this year, she plans to merge her two passions to produce and direct a documentary short.

Hahnah Jackson - Assistant Director

Hahnah works as costumer and tape librarian at Entertainment Studios, and freelances as an assistant director. Recent projects include the web series Duck World, comedian Eric Lampaert's short film The Morning After Thrill, and the 2017 168 Film Festival Best Picture, Brother. She also served as AD and story consultant on Laura D'Antoni's web pilot Dead-ish. Hahnah is an active member of the IAWTV and manages the meetup group "I Heart Korean Movies and Dramas" for CJ&M America and Dramafever. She hails from southwest Wisconsin and studied film, theatre, and music at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois.

Contributing

Please consider contributing to the film. Without your help we can't make this story come alive on screen. Your donation will help pay for the cast & crew, locations, props, feeding the team as well as post-production and film festival submissions.

Thank you so much!

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