Hoping to reconnect, newlyweds Louise and John invite Isabella, Louise’s estranged sister, on an adventurous trek through Iceland’s wilderness. The journey takes a perilous turn and the ensuing fight for survival in the desolate Icelandic moraines leads to heartrending choices that unmask true emotions and expose who they really are.
A Note From Director Jaclyn Bethany:
Four years ago as a seemingly healthy twenty-four-year old, I suffered bilateral pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in my lungs.
At the time, I found myself asking: what if I had been in an isolated place, with no help when it happened? When I visited Iceland last year as a guest of the Reykjavik Film Festival, and upon seeing the fascinating, desolate and breathtakingly beautiful terrain, I knew this was the location to tell my story.
I started thinking about the illness I experienced, mixed with the confusing, yet exciting time of being a young artist in our politically changing world. With these ideas in place, I began to develop Indigo Valley and it's three characters: recently married couple Louise and John, and Louise's estranged sister, Isabella.
Through the character of Louise I hope to bring awareness to this rare, life-threatening and sudden illness, whilst combining the elements of a psychological and entertaining relationship drama into my debut feature film. Through the story, I intend to focus on the dark desires and isolation of the millennial generation, culminating in the universal struggles we as human beings face. It is their journey through Iceland, that drives the characters to realize who they really are, through this destructive and life changing journey. It is a unique, character driven piece.
Many texts inspired me as I wrote this project, specifically the great works of Chekhov, Strindberg's Miss Julie, and Tennessee Williams. This piece could perhaps be described as A Streetcar Named Desire for the millennial generation in Iceland.
In summer 2016, this project was one of twenty semi-fnalists selected for The Pitch, sponsored by Shorts TV at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, it was also one of six projects selected for the Pitch First Features at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it was presented to and supported by BFI Network and Creative England. It was also chosen as a finalist for the BFI/Screen Arts Institute Bursary for Feature Film Development. We have also just been selected for as one of fifteen features for further development and pitching at Fest: New Directors/New Films in Porto, Portugal.
According to research in 2016, females comprised 29% of protagonists. In addition, in 2016 women comprised 17 % of all directors, producers, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. These numbers may be progress, but it is still staggeringly low. I am proud to say that are principal production team is entirely female, as is our protagonist. It is thrilling that Indigo Valley puts women at it's center. Even in a small way, this film will contribute to the changing film industry.
Indigo Valley will shoot a short promo in July 2017, followed by the production of the micro-budget feature in summer/early fall of 2018. It would subsequently premiere on the festival circuit/seek distribution in 2019.
I deeply thank you for your support and interest in this project.
- Jaclyn Bethany, May 2017
Young couple Louise and John elope and set out on a honeymoon: a hiking trip through the Icelandic wilderness. The couple is unexpectedly joined by Louise’s estranged sister, Isabella, a washed-up child actress recently released from rehab.
As the three make their way through the Icelandic wilderness, tensions arise as Isabella’s behavior spirals out of control and subsequently the couple’s marriage is tested. On the most remote section of the journey, Louise is suddenly overcome with a mysterious, life-threatening illness. As she becomes more and more helpless, Louise and John are left with a difficult decision that will not only determine her fate but also their own.
Meet the Team:
Our Above the Line Crew:
Writer/Director/Producer/Isabella: Jaclyn Bethany
Jaclyn Bethany is a Mississippi born actor and filmmaker who works between London and Los Angeles. She has nineteen film credits to her name and with her company BKE has produced nine short films, including Olivia Martha Ilse starring James Frain and Emmy Award winner Tammy Blanchard, the Award winning Between Departures and it's follow up In : Transit, Sunday Tide, and Schoolgirls, to name a few. Her work has screened at festivals and venues worldwide. As an actor she has appeared in the films Trumbo, I Saw The Light, Miles and several festival favorite short films. She holds an M.A. in Screenwriting from The London Film School and is currently a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute, where her thesis film The Delta Girl (co-written with Natalie Zimmerman) is slated for production in the coming year. Her AFI Cycle Three film You Are One of Them featured Golden Globe nominee Sarah Hay. Her upcoming theatre credits including a U.K. production of A Bright Room Called Day directed by C.C. Kellogg, a developmental workshop production of My Name is Rachel Corrie, directed by Yvonne McDevitt and a workshop production of Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp as part of a gallery installation in Los Angeles. As a narrative and experimental filmmaker, her work often explores the beautiful and strange aspects of the female journey. Through her work she seeks to portray complex and strong women. She is also the co-editor of online female arts driven publication Constellation, where she curates an ongoing female filmmaker portfolio. Indigo Valley is her first feature film.
Producer: Courtney HarmstoneAn American-British hybrid, Courtney Harmstone has been working professionally in film since she graduated with a BFA in Film Production (cum laude) from The Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts. Following this, Courtney has worked in a variety of positions in the film industry, from social media marketing and distribution to editing award winning documentaries and commercials. She has even assisted in the building of a Rube Goldberg machine ‘live’ in Las Vegas with one of the creators of the OK GO video – This Too Shall Pass!
Director of Photography: Irene Gomez-Emilsson
Irene Gomez-Emilsson is a London based filmmaker, born and raised in Mexico with an Icelandic background. After a BA in film studies in Paris, she enrolled in the filmmaking MA at the London Film School specializing in cinematography and directing. Irene has directed several short films and worked in a diverse range of productions both in the camera and lighting departments. She sees cinematography as a way of constructing meaning and reflection through technique, a way of portraying thoughts and making stories tangible.
C.C. Kellogg (LOUISE) is a theatre maker from San Antonio, Texas. Recent performance credits include Edgar in King Lear (RMTG tour); Joan in What Every Girl Should Know (FringeNYC; Paradise Factory); performing with the cast of Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (The McKittrick Hotel); and Claire Clairmont in Howard Brenton’s Bloody Poetry (ongoing 2017, The Sekrit Theatre, Austin and Festival Off D’Avignon.). Recent film credits include Ilse in Olivia Martha Ilse (dir. Sophia Kiapos), Caroline in In: Transit (dir. Jaclyn Bethany), Julie in Relationality (dir. Michael Milizzo), and Creedmoria (dir. Alicia Slimmer) C.C. is a cofounder of Invulnerable Nothings, a performance collective comprised of both UK and US-based emerging theatre artists. BA, Princeton University; MA candidate, Bath Spa University.
"The triangular relational structure between John, Isabella, and Louise is explored with agonizing precision, and I can't wait to see how the isolated landscape informs that dynamic. But my focus always comes back to these two women-- locked in lifelong struggle and commitment with one another which neither of them can break. It's such a joy as an actor to focus on building that out." - C.C.
Barney White (JOHN)- Barney's credits include Musketeers for the BBC (Dir. Marc Jobst), Una with Ben Mendelsohn and Rooney Mara (Dir. Benedict Andrews), the independent feature Social Suicide (Dir. Bruce Webb), Taboo with Tom Hardy (Dir. Anders Engström) and the Working Title short Firecracker (Dir Jonathan Harris). He recently wrapped on a ninety minute drama for the BBC with Danny Mays entitled Against The Law and a short film for Origin Pictures with Henry Lloyd Hughes. He recently shot a television film True Mettle, on location in Lithuania. He is a graduate of Oxford University.
"Indigo Valley represents a unique opportunity for an actor: a searing psychological portrait of three people, played out against a geography so unlike anything I know. We have a very talented team assembled, with an extraordinary vision, and i'm absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to help them realize it. John will be a fascinating character to get to grips with: the huge amounts of expression concealed within him, visited by music and unearthed by Isabella's directness." - Barney
with Jaclyn Bethany as Isabella and Katla Njalsdottir as Young Isabella
Katla Njalsdottir is fourteen years old and lives in Iceland. She has been acting since she was eleven years old. Recent projects include Heartstone (Hjarsteinn- 2017), which played competition at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals and won thirty International film awards and Prisoners (Fanger-2017) an Icelandic television drama. Katla says "I love acting and it is my dream for the future."
Additional Crew = the dream team!
Co-Producer: BKE Productions
"BKE Productions, LLC is excited to once again collaborate with writer-director Jaclyn Bethany to produce a short film project based on her new story - Indigo Valley. Our Producer, Courtney Harmstone is a graduate of London Film School and has quickly become a well-respected and accomplished film maker. We look forward to completing this short project with on-location filming in Iceland, and the possibility of expanding it into a feature length film in the near future." -BKE Productions
Advisor (Feature Film): Lisa G. Black/Garnet Girl
"I am thrilled to be a part of this team, having served as a producer and consultant for Jaclyn since the beginning of her career. This next phase of her journey as a filmmaker, tackling a feature film both as a writer/director is the right timing as we strive to support more diversity behind the camera. Shooting in Iceland will serve as the perfect backdrop both aesthetically and financially, to this narrative." - Lisa
Casting Director: Matthew Morgan, Morgan Casting, C.S.A./C.D.C.
“I am thrilled to collaborate and work with Jaclyn Bethany again. She creatively thinks outside the box and writes characters and storylines in such a vivid and oftentimes hauntingly beautiful way. It’s always such a treat to cast for characters in her films; for I find them rich and complex in so many ways.” - Matthew Morgan
Camera Assistant: Andrea Grettve
Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager: Frederico Nobre de Carvalho
"Luckily, I'll be working with Jaclyn Bethany and Courtney Harmstone on this project, which means learning from their vast experience. I couldn't be more thrilled to work with such talented women. Not only the Director and the Producer, but other Heads of Department are also female which I believe to be an important asset of this film. It stands out due to the amazing script, the of course beautiful location, but most important because of its female core crew. I couldn't be more proud to work on a project that is working towards shaping the position of women in Filmmaking." - Frederico
Production Designer: Amara Modu
"My interest in Indigo Valley began through my friendship with Jaclyn and our shared interests of exploring women's desires, bonds, and the evolution of self through artistry." - Amara
Costume Design + Makeup (Iceland): Steinunn Erla Thoroddsen
"I am so excited to be a part of bringing Jaclyn’s vision to life. I instantly fell in love with the script of Indigo Valley, it is fascinating for me to see how my country is inspiration in such a unique story. And the fact that I get to work with a badass female director is just amazing." - Steinunn
Costume Design Constultant (L.A.): Yvonne Reddy
"I am very excited about this project. I feel that there should be a bit of magic in entertainment. I believe that films influence life and life should be fantasy. I love creating a strong aesthetic for each character through my costumes." - Yvonne
Production Design Consultant (L.A.): Mollie Wartelle
"As a filmmaker, I value projects by female and minority voices, especially those with a focus on childhood, memory, and mental health. This is my third collaboration with Jaclyn." - Mollie
Makeup (London): Ellen D'Andrade Brown
"I am incredibly excited to work on Indigo Valley with Jaclyn. After having the pleasure to work with her on Sunday Tide, I realized the importance of her work, and how inspiring her characters are, particularly for the female audience. With a story such as this and a director such a Jaclyn I hope to see that small percentage of women, who direct some of the top films, progresses and thrives." - Ellen
Editor: Pedro Mouaro-Ferreira
"What I find really intriguing is the characters’ motivations and how it’s revealed throughout the story. It raises questions that makes us think about them, about Louise, John and Isabella, the unexpected third element to this story. I also find really interesting how the atmosphere of the locations resonates with the characters’ moods, the wide open spaces and huge scenery ends up making each character feel tiny and lonely. As if each of them were searching for something, a deeper understanding of who they are and what they truly want. And through this, we get to know more and more who they are in their nature." - Pedro
Colorist: Alex Grigoras
Sound Design: Odessey Audio Post, London
"I've really enjoyed working with Director Jaclyn Bethany on our previous collaborations, and has always given me the direction and creative freedom along with an open mindedness that allows me to push my creative limits that I need to produce a great piece of work as a Mixer. Indigo Valley is important to me because it deals with issues we currently face as a culture contexualised in a cinematic setting that I know will birth a powerful and overwhelming feeling piece of art. I'm looking forward to delving into the sonic theme of isolation, and creating a piece with true gravitas deserving of the silver screen." -Ben Sims, Odyssey Audio Post
"Indigo Valley is such a compelling story with a fresh and original concept. I can't wait to bring this to life with such a talented team of people." - John Green, Odyssey Audio Post
Score: Markus Ffitch, Odyssey Audio Post
"We’ve worked with Jaclyn on quite a few projects over the last two years and each one has been a pleasure to work on - Her stories are compelling and she has a flair for the abstract in a way that allows us to be very explorative in our sound design and music - frequently blurring the lines between the two. It’s a sound designers playground! Within this new project I can see themes emerging that will evoke an amazing open palette of sound - We’ve already begun gathering sounds though it’s a ways off being complete I’m excited about where this story is taking us already in the dark corners of the human psyche and how to represent that through sound. I foresee a lot of nights swimming in an ocean of strange noises and I can’t wait!"
Press Graphic Design: Suze Myers
"I'm so excited to be a part of Indigo Valley, working alongside a cast and crew made up of so many incredible women. Female-fronted narratives are so, so important—especially in this day and age—and I can't wait to see this film come into existence." - Suze
Original Music: Maesa Pullman
"I can't wait to dig into working on some music for this project. Jaclyn has been lovely to work with in the past and I can't wait to continue the creative exchange. I deeply appreciate the freedom to be inspired by the story and world of the script and not be afraid to go with my first instincts musically. Having that trust, open communication, and mutual respect for each others aesthetic means everything. I am honored to be a part of something that is bound to be beautiful." - Maesa
Storyboard Illustrations: Anna Bak-Kvapil
Original Artwork: Jorunn Mulen
SPECIAL THANKS : Heui Song Son, Natalie Zimmerman, Allegra Marland, Sofia Drummond-Moore, Minji Kang, Sara Gunnarsdottir, Baldvin Albertsson, Creative Artists Iceland, Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen, The Icelandic Film School, Gisli Snear, The London Film School, Selinda Zhou, William Jones, Clyde Harris, Benjamin Dujardin, Zach Smith, 42 Management, Reykjavik Film Festival Talent Lab, Jack Bethany, James Barnes, Peta Cornish
1. When donating to our film you are not only donating to a short film, but a project with the sole intent to be a feature. We are using this short promo as a proof of concept to fundraise for the feature, and show that we (the filmmakers) can tell this compelling story and bring a crew to Iceland successfully. You will be the first financial backers of a much larger project, with eventual financial gain.
2. The story and the team. This is a female driven, visually inspiring and psychological piece. A.unique story, Indigo Valley is derived from a very raw emotional place and is a female driven drama, something we still do not see very often.
3. You are also help raising awareness for two illnesses:
- Pulmonary Embolisms: a sudden illness that is what our character Louise in the film experiences. This is a rare, life threatening condition in one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a clot. Research suggests that 60,000-100,000 Americans die of pulmonary embolisms each year. Director Jaclyn Bethany pulled from her personal experience as a PE survivor while crafting the story. For more on how to draw awareness to this cause, visit www.stoptheclot.org
- Mental Illness: Isabella, the protagonist of the story suffers from a mental disorder in which she withdraws from reality, causing her personal relationships often delve into illusion. She frequently exhibits outlandish, outrageous behavior that tends to shock those around her. She experiences confused emotions that are ultimately destructive to the important relationships in her life. Isabella could be diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and with meticulous research and development this will be portrayed and carefully explored in each version of the film. Schizophrenia effects only 1 percent of the worldwide population. This project does not claim to be an expert on this disease, and portraying mental health in film is a sensitive topic. Our goal is to bring awareness and discussion around this complex issue.
4. You are supporting the career(s) of up and coming filmmakers with a proven track record. The principal members of the team are all graduates of one of Europe's top film schools, the London Film School, representing each discipline (filmmaking, screenwriting and producing.) These ladies have all had previous success with projects in various areas upon their completion, which includes and (is not limited to) distribution, awards, and/or financial support. Ms. Bethany is also a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute, which is frequently ranked as the top film school in the world.
5. This is a female driven project. It has already been stated that there are not enough women working behind and in front of the camera.
Just in a recent issue of Variety discussing the Cannes Film Festival, Ramin Setoodeh writes:
In 2017, women film directors are still an endangered species. In spite of a new wave of feminism in the Trump era, the statistics aren’t improving. "Men are the bankers, and they have the money to invest,” says Sofia (Coppola's) mother, filmmaker Eleanor Coppola, 81, who spent six years trying to get financing for her first feature, “Paris Can Wait,” starring Diane Lane. “I don’t have any violence in my film. Nobody dies. There are no guns, car crashes, train wrecks, aliens, robots, special effects. A lot of women’s stories are different than men’s stories, and they are not being told.
According to The New Yorker, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum's rankings for gender equality for the past six years. On top of that, Iceland has become know as one as the most feminist nation in the world. What better place to set our film?
For more on this check out the links below:
By supporting our film, you are helping bridge the gender gap in the industry, by supporting a female director (and principal team) on the road to make their first feature.
5. This project has already had interest and development with major film festivals, agents, and executives worldwide. Indigo Valley received development at both the Edinburgh and Cannes Film Festivals last year, where the project was pitched and supported by highly regarded film professionals and companies including the BFI, Creative England and Shorts TV. It continues to gain interest with development labs and was chosen for the pitching lab at Fest: New Directors/New Films in Portugal this June.
6. The last reason, and the most important, is we cannot make this film without you. We are asking for the minimum amount needed to make this film. It is the opportunity to be a part of a very exciting creative project.
Illustrations by Anna Bak-Kvapil: http://www.annakatrinabak.com
"I've worked in various aspects of independent film for years, and have often noted first hand how few chances women are given to make their voices heard. So I've loved this chance to do even a very small part to help a young female director achieve her vision, and am looking forward to following the journey this project will take." - Anna
Grindavik, Reykjavik and surrounding areas
"The challenge I have and what makes me exicted about this project is to use the landscape as a fourth character. The desolate and melancholic aspect of the Icelandic nature should enhance the characters feelings of despair and isolation." - Irene Gomez-Emilsson, Cinematographer
Art work inspired by the sisters by Jorunn Mulen:
"I really love Jaclyn´s intriguing but visually poetic script for Indigo Valley, a beauty in the making and a pleasure to work on." - Jorunn
"You used to draw me. When we were kids. Do you remember? I used to love that." - Isabella (to Louise), Indigo Valley
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! HELP US MAKE THIS FILM!
- Indigo Valley Team
Please follow us on Instagram @indigovalleyfilm and on Tumblr: www.indigovalleyfilm.tumblr.com for cast/crew interviews, inspiration images and much more!
Indigo Valley (c) Jaclyn Bethany on behalf of BKE Productions. Indigo Valley does not claim ownership of artists images used herein. These works are merely used for inspiration and have been included with permission of the credited artist. The film clips used in the video are (c) of BKE Productions. Demographic research is accredited to the respected authors and publications - The New Yorker, The Nation and Variety. Their text is merely used for research purposes focusing on women in film.
Risks and challenges
The project requires the team to take a cast and crew to Iceland, and this, along with the cost of production, is why we need your help. We are asking for the bare minimum to make this film happen. We are hoping that from this short, we can gain an Icelandic co-producer, production company and funding, to move the project forward to feature. This cannot happen without this short being made. This is a very special story we are all committed to without pay, and our sole commitment is to the art of making this film and bringing this unique story to life. We are all working on it because we believe in it, and hope you will to. Making a first feature is a dream for any filmmaker, and we are confident that with your help, we can make it happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)