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A man haunted by the death of his 4-yr-old sister brings her back to life 30 years later as an adult woman.  The consequences are dire.
A man haunted by the death of his 4-year-old sister brings her back to life 30 years later as an adult woman.  The consequences are dire.
A man haunted by the death of his 4-year-old sister brings her back to life 30 years later as an adult woman. The consequences are dire.
375 backers pledged $39,002 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Ayla - a feature film about life from death reborn

$39,002

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Haunted by the mysterious death of his 4-year-old sister, Elton brings her back to life 30 years later as an adult woman, with dire consequences.

"Ayla" is a film inspired by the loss of my sister when she was two, and the life as siblings we were never able to share. It's about what happens when you can't let go, how far into the dark you might reach to bring back someone you lost, and the ramifications that follow.

For years Elton has been haunted by the unexplained death of his sister. Her name was Ayla, but they used to call her A.

Taking inspiration from the Tibetan myth of Tulpa creation, the story of "Ayla" brings Elton to a place where what lived on only in the mind can once again become flesh and blood.

Born out of Elton’s obsession and desire for the life that should have been, his sister Ayla returns, still a child, but now with the body of a woman, a thought-form manifested in flesh.

As their bond strengthens, Ayla thrives even as Elton grows weaker, but now that he's found her, he's not letting go... even if it kills him.

Leading our cast are Nicholas Wilder ("Gut") as Elton and Tristan Risk ("American Mary", "The Editor") as Ayla, his sister returned. We couldn't think of two actors more better suited for this twisted matchup!

Nicholas Wilder and Tristan Risk
Nicholas Wilder and Tristan Risk

Also joining are cast are Miles Joris-Peyrafitte ("Valley of the Sasquatch") as Elton's estranged younger brother, and playing another key supporting role is the very talented Jennifer Lynn Warren ("American Horror Story").

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and Jennifer Lynn Warren
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and Jennifer Lynn Warren

Additionally, on board for two very special appearances in the film will be Andrew Sensenig ("Upstream Color", "Powers") and Bill Oberst Jr. ("Resolution", "Take this Lollipop"). The characters they'll be playing were written with them in mind and we're incredibly honored to have them joining the team!

Andrew Sensenig and Bill Oberst Jr.
Andrew Sensenig and Bill Oberst Jr.

Principal photography for "Ayla" is planned for this fall in the Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas, on a low budget utilizing funds we raise here on Kickstarter and from private investors as well.

Why Kickstarter? Independent film is alive and well today because of platforms like Kickstarter. Because of crowdfunding, more and more truly independent movies are finding audiences all over the world and getting made every day. It's not just another way to fund your project anymore, it's a bridge between audiences and creators everywhere. The more funding we can raise here the more truly independent our production will be. Made by the crowd and for the crowd.

Where does the money go? With the exception of your reward costs and the fee charged by Kickstarter for making this possible (5%), and credit card processing fees (about 3-5%), EVERY dime raised here goes up on screen. Your contributions will be used to hire our cast and crew at an honest wage, secure locations, dress sets, rent production gear, cover FX costs (which will be mostly practical), and enable many, many other necessities from the start of production all the way through post-production and distribution.

What happens if we reach our $30,000 goal? We smile and keep on going to our first stretch goal of $40,000, which will enable us to expand our FX budget and increase our options for casting the remaining roles in the film. Every stretch goal we reach will unlock a new, complimentary reward for all backers $25 and up! 

Elias (Writer/Director)

Born in Boston, Elias moved to New York to study film at the School of Visual Arts. His award-winning feature thriller "Gut" screened in 30 international film festivals and has been released on home video and VOD in 8 countries.  Other produced  projects include the feature thrillers "Dark" and "Phobia".

Top to bottom: On the set of "Gut" Elias was in bed with the cast from day one | "Gut" Q&A at the Transilvania International Film Festival | Elias and The Kid
Top to bottom: On the set of "Gut" Elias was in bed with the cast from day one | "Gut" Q&A at the Transilvania International Film Festival | Elias and The Kid

The October People (Production Company)

Founded by Matt Medisch, Jeremy Berg and John Portanova, their first feature "The Invoking" gained notice on the festival circuit, then made an even bigger splash on home video. As a result, Image Entertainment contracted them to produce the alien abduction thriller "The Device", and alongside distributor XLRator Media, they recently released the coming-of-age slasher "Found." Their latest film, the creature-feature "Valley of the Sasquatch", is currently screening in festivals worldwide.

Shooting "The Device" (pictured left to right) Matt, Jeremy and John worked rain or shine... but mostly rain.
Shooting "The Device" (pictured left to right) Matt, Jeremy and John worked rain or shine... but mostly rain.

Clayface Pictures (Production Company)

Formed by Elias ("Gut"), Clayface Pictures was behind the successfully crowd-funded feature thriller, "Dark", executive produced by Joe Dante ("Gremlins", "The Howling"). "Ayla" marks Clayface's second feature film production and the 4th feature film produced by Elias.

Chvad SB (Composer)

For over 20 years Chvad SB (Silber Records) has been performing and recording music, playing with a wide range of innovative and envelope-pushing bands like Things Outside The Skin, Tongue Muzzle, The Qualia, and recently, experimental music pioneers Controlled Bleeding. In addition he’s been doing film soundtracks that the folks at Fangoria find “discordant and discomforting.” Chvad recently scored the feature film "Gut" and contributed original music for the soundtrack of the horror feature "The Demolisher". He has already begun preliminary work on the score for "Ayla".

Additional Team Members:

Sean Burke (Co-producer)

Sean Evans (Marketing)

Brian Bernhard (BTS Videographer and Editor)

Rory Abel, Kalin Ivanov, Stuart MacKay-Smith (BTS Videographers)

Stephen Carroll, Brian Colby, Will Serber (Photographers)

Mike Pappa (Poster and Concept Designer)

Leisa Haddad (Model)

Risks and challenges

Producing a feature film is always a challenge whatever the budget, and "Ayla" will be no exception, which is why most of the work you'll see on the screen would not be possible without months of planning, development and pre-production.

We've worked this way before on previous feature films and we'll do it again this time. Every production for us is an opportunity to set the stakes higher and take it to the next level as we build on past experiences and open the door to new ones.

Over 9 months have been spent so far in the planning and development of this project, building collaborations, revising the script, and refining our battle plan for not just production and post-production, but for successful marketing and distribution of this project.

We will not stop until this film is completed and brought to life, and you can rest assured that when it's finished you won't soon forget it, because this isn't just about making a film, it's about making something that's a sum of all its parts, the whole team and all of you behind the project, something that will exceed the breadth and grasp of all of us individually and will live on as a unique and purposeful film that all of us can be proud of.

If you have questions, please drop us a line.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU for helping us make this film a reality!

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    THANK YOU for helping us make this film a reality! As a token of our esteem you'll receive a Digital Download of the theatrical version of the feature film GUT.

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    THANK YOU for helping us make this film a reality! Also, as a token of our esteem you'll receive a Digital Download of a special extended cut of the feature film GUT.

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    DIGITAL LOVE! You'll receive a private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, and of course the Digital Download of the special extended cut of GUT as well.

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    DIGITAL TRIFECTA! You'll receive the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the Digital Download of the special extended cut of GUT.

    PLUS a secret Digital Download of a "MYSTERY" horror feature.

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    LOVECRAFT and the COYOTE -- You'll receive the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the Digital Download of the special extended cut of GUT.

    PLUS your choice of 1 out of the following 2 signed DVDs: THE HORROR OF H.P. LOVECRAFT or the critically acclaimed COYOTE, starring Bill Oberst Jr.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    POSTER PACK -- You'll receive the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the Digital Download of the special extended cut of GUT and the secret Digital Download of a "MYSTERY" horror feature.

    PLUS three 11x17 posters to adorn your man or woman cave with, including a limited issue AYLA poster, and a never before released Mondo-style GUT poster, and the poster for The October People's new creature feature VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH!

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    DISC NEVER DIES -- A special, filmmaker-signed Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA (your choice), the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, PLUS an advance Digital Download of the film's original soundtrack and all of the Digital Rewards listed above.

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

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    TWO DISC -- The signed Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA, the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the advance Digital Download of the film's original soundtrack PLUS a limited edition CD of the soundtrack with bonus tracks.

    PLUS your choice of 1 out of the following 4 filmmaker-signed DVDs: GUT, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE or PHOBIA, and of course all of the Digital Rewards listed above.

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

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    THREE DISK -- The signed Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA, the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the advance Digital Download of the film's original soundtrack PLUS a limited edition CD of the soundtrack with bonus tracks.

    AND your choice of 1 out of the following 4 filmmaker-signed DVDs: GUT, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE or PHOBIA.

    PLUS The October People's US DVD release of FOUND., signed by director Scott Schirmer, and all of the Digital Rewards listed above.

    AND a limited issue 11 x 17 AYLA poster signed by artist Mike Pappa.

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

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    ON SCREEN CREDIT -- Your name will also appear in the SPECIAL THANKS section in AYLA's end credits and will be listed on the film's IMDb page.

    ALSO you'll receive the Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA, the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, the advance Digital Download of the film's original soundtrack PLUS a limited edition CD of the soundtrack with bonus tracks...

    CHOICE of 1 out of the following 4 filmmaker-signed DVDs: GUT, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE or PHOBIA.

    CHOICE of either the US Blu-ray (or DVD) of Tristan Risk's debut feature AMERICAN MARY, signed by Tristan, OR the US DVD release of FOUND., signed by director Scott Schirmer.

    AND in addition to the limited issue 11x17 AYLA poster, you'll also receive the 11x17 Mondo-style GUT poster, both signed by artist Mike Pappa, and of course all of the Digital Rewards from above!

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

    **Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    ON SCREEN CREDIT PLUS -- Your name will also appear in the SPECIAL THANKS section in AYLA's end credits and will be listed on the film's IMDb page.

    You'll receive the Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA, the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else, and the advance Digital Download of the film's original soundtrack PLUS a limited edition CD of the soundtrack with bonus tracks.

    Plus BOTH the director-signed DVD of FOUND., and the US Blu-ray (or DVD) of AMERICAN MARY signed by Tristan Risk.

    CHOICE of 1 out of the following 4 filmmaker-signed DVDs: GUT, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE or PHOBIA.

    ALSO you'll receive the limited issue 11x17 AYLA poster, the 11x17 Mondo-style GUT poster, both signed by artist Mike Pappa, and an 11x17 VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH poster signed by writer/director John Portanova, and of course all of the Digital Rewards from above!

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

    **Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    THE COLLECTOR -- The Blu-ray or DVD of AYLA, the private Digital Download of AYLA before anyone else.

    Both the director-signed DVD of FOUND., and the US Blu-ray (or DVD) of AMERICAN MARY signed by Tristan Risk.

    CHOICE of 2 out of the following 4 filmmaker-signed DVDs: GUT, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE or PHOBIA.

    PLUS an autographed 8x10 still of Jennifer Lynn Warren as Borquita Lalaurie from AMERICAN HORROR STORY, an autographed 8x10 of Tristan Risk, and an autographed 8x10 of Bill Oberst Jr.

    ALSO you'll receive the artist-signed 11x17 AYLA and Mondo-style GUT posters and the 11x17 director-signed VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH poster.

    AND your name will appear in the SPECIAL THANKS section in AYLA's end credits and be listed on the film's IMDb page, and of course all of the Digital Rewards from above!

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

    **Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    THE FILM FANATIC -- All 7 signed DVDs (or Blu-rays when avail): AYLA, FOUND., AMERICAN MARY, GUT, PHOBIA, THE INVOKING, THE DEVICE, and the limited edition CD of the AYLA soundtrack with bonus tracks.

    ALSO you'll receive the artist-signed 11x17 AYLA and Mondo-style GUT posters and the 11x17 director-signed VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH poster.

    PLUS your name will appear in the SPECIAL THANKS section in AYLA's end credits and be listed on the film's IMDb page, and of course all of the Digital Rewards from above!

    *To order the custom-printed AYLA T-Shirt pictured under our Exclusive Backer Rewards just add $25 for each shirt.

    **Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ON CAMERA -- Appear in a scene of the film PLUS an invitation for you and a guest to the private cast & crew screening and wrap party (TBA, travel & lodging not included).

    Your name will also appear in the SPECIAL THANKS section in AYLA's end credits and on the film's IMDb page, PLUS all the rewards from THE FILM FANATIC package!

    *Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    PRODUCER'S PACKAGE -- You'll receive an Associate Producer title in AYLA's credits and on IMDb and an invitation for you and a guest to the private cast & crew screening and wrap party.

    You'll also have the option to appear in a scene of the film PLUS all the rewards from THE FILM FANATIC package! (TBA, travel & lodging not included).

    *Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    PRODUCER'S PACKAGE PLUS -- You'll receive a Co-Producer title in AYLA's credits and on IMDb as well as on posters, DVDs, and other marketing materials, PLUS an invitation to visit the set on a key day of filming.

    You and a guest will also receive an invitation to the private cast & crew screening and wrap party PLUS two tickets to the film's US premiere.

    You'll also have the option to appear in a scene of the film PLUS all the rewards from THE FILM FANATIC package! (TBA, travel & lodging not included).

    *Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER'S PACKAGE -- You'll receive an Executive Producer title in AYLA's credits and on IMDb as well as on posters, DVDs, and other marketing materials, PLUS access to the set for the duration of filming.

    You and a guest will also receive an invitation to the private cast & crew screening and wrap party PLUS two tickets to the film's US premiere and dinner with the core creative team members.

    You'll also have the option to appear in a scene of the film PLUS all the rewards from THE FILM FANATIC package! (TBA, travel & lodging not included).

    *Please list your name as you’d like to be credited.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    BEYOND THE VEIL OF FLESH -- You are the force that animates all around you. A Large Hadron Collider with the power to fuel dreams and turn what once lived only in the mind to flesh and blood once more. Suggest your own reward or take whatever we have to offer...

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Funding period

- (36 days)