Chicago, Illinois | Film Feature


Emily Lape

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,600 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

28 supporters | followers

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A rural desert trailer park in New Mexico has a new visitor, a mysterious young boy. Seemingly without a home or a family, the community welcomes him in. As strange occurrences and new relationships develop, the urgency to uncover who the boy blurs the line between morality and law.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Abiquiú is another step in our effort to normalize queer characters in film, give voice to the "others" in society, and share stories of underrepresented communities.

The Story

Hi, welcome! We are so excited you are here. We've raised more than half of our budget for Production but we need to raise at least 10k to make this film happen. As soon as we get that green light, we'll be able to start booking locations, confirm travel, finalize casting and really get to work! Learn more about us and the project below!


Abiquiú weaves together a narrative drama with thrilling moments of adventure and chilling scenes of suspense. A unique tale that explores the innate desire for community, home and a sense of belonging. 

What happens when a group of people with conflicting agendas, backgrounds, and intentions intersect? Can a group of kids work together to help conceal a traveler hunted by federal agents? 

Why this film?

Note from Writer/Director Emily Lape: This film and my previous film (Mercy's Girl) draw from deeply personal experiences. In Mercy's Girl I explored identity, addiction, and religion. I used my own familiarity in grappling with conflicting identities and coming to terms with all of them in the writing of that film. 

With Abiquiú I wanted to pull from my experience growing up as a child in which "home" was in a constant flux of change. I moved over 15 different times all across the United States and went to over 11 different schools from Pre-k to graduation. That experience of continually being the new kid in town, adapting to different cultures, adjusting to completely new locales and the cycle of loving / letting go over and over again really shaped me as a person.

When I was writing Abiquiú I kept thinking about what it's like to be that person, the "other" in the group and drew from the one dreamy experience I had as a child when the "others" grouped together and created their own sense of belonging. 

Being a femme queer filmmaker, I know that this genre isn't often written or directed by people like me. I am really looking forward to stepping into this new foray and helping to pave the way for other female directors wanting to push into other genres. 

Visual Approach

Making use of natural light, emphasizing the contrast of shadows. Camera work will be natural documentary type aesthetic with lots of shoulder rig set ups, allowing for natural movement and follow of actors, similar in style to Mercy's Girl, Nomadland, Sweet Sixteen and Broker.

We are thrilled to be working with Justin Howe once again as our DP for Abiquiú. Not only is he incredibly talented, versatile and knowledgable - his skills and background as a professional editor will help enormously when planning shots. 

Thematic & Tonal Comparisons

Narrative fiction that follows chance encounters and disrupted lives. Realism that is hued with an underlying hum of suspense that builds into a final eventful conclusion. 

Abiquiú was inspired by works from UK filmmaker Ken Loach (Sweet Sixteen; I, Daniel Blake), italian neo-realist films, childhood adventure films like The Goonies and ET, as well as some fantastic Korean science fiction like the series Sisphyus. 

Main Characters


Still reeling from the loss of her wife, Rosa is barely living. Once a vibrant member of her community, she now lives on auto pilot, avoiding contact with the outside world.

Rosa is the first to meet the Boy as he wanders into her yard. And as their relationship develops she begins to come alive again. But the constant threat of losing him pushes Rosa to confront her deepest fear and ultimately face letting go.

References: Fern (Nomadland), Peg Boggs (Edward Scissorhands)



An injured lost traveler in a new terrain. Completely vulnerable and unaware of local customs or culture. And having lost the ability to communicate with his kind, the Boy must learn to adapt to his new world and home.

References: Edward Scissorhands, ET, Eleven (Stranger Things)

Supporting Characters


A resident of the trailer community, she is the perfect student with a seemingly bright future. This young girl lives within two identities, trying to hide a truth with a weight only she carries. Her mother has disappeared and stuck with an abusive father, Cosmo struggles to maintain a grasp on reality.

References: Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Jenny (Forrest Gump), Gertie (ET), Hermoine (Harry Potter)

Sam & Noah

Noah the oddball 14 year old who just wants to fit in. Noah struggles with trying to be cool and still be true to himself. Seeing an opportunity for friendship, Noah nominates himself as the guide to all things, exposing the Boy to the world around him. 

References: Chunk and Data (The Goonies), Ron (Harry Potter)

Sam is an androgynous 17 year old sneaker head with a smart ass attitude. She doesn’t have time for her younger brother but somehow gets wrapped up in this strange adventure.

References: Brand Walsh and Mouth (The Goonies), Mac (Paper Girls)

Why us?

Highly motivated, scrappy, dedicated to their craft - that’s us. A Chicago based production team that is excited by the adventure of making an ultra low budget film out west. Bringing our midwestern ‘can do’ attitude to the desert terrain. 

Making a sci-fi feature film at this tiny budget means we really do have to get creative and continually pivot. We have to ask for favors, knock on doors for locations and use what we have. 

Saying that, we believe in paying all of our cast and crew. We are completely commited to paying everyone on set and giving them the respect they deserve. That's part of the motivation behind this crowdfunding campaign.

And this isn’t our first rodeo! Combined this team has spent more than 30 years in the film industry. We’ve each made and told stories that matter most to us. We’ve also helped produce and make larger productions happen - from a Warner Brother’s studio film to local Chicago commercials. 

But what stays true to our heart is the passion for independent cinema - where we get to find creative passionate people who love telling impactful stories through their lens.

Thank you

We appreciate you checking out our Seed&Spark! If you connect with our story and want to see this film made, we ask that you not only contribute, but also share our page with friends and family. 

Stay updated with us and the film by following us along on our social media page. We will be updating frequently and you will not want to miss it!

Instagram: @abiquiu_movie

Website: www.abiquiumovie.com

Youtube: youtube.com/emilylape





Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Lens package

Costs $2,500

A lens package will helps us capture the beautiful landscape of the desert in New Mexico.

Props and set design

Costs $2,000

We need to create authentic set design unique to each character. This will help us get there.


Costs $2,000

We are shooting in some remote locations of the desert and need to transport cast, crew and camera.


Costs $3,500

We have some night shoots, stunts, and practical effects. Wages will helps us hire professionals.

About This Team

The Team

Midwest meets Southwest. With a team that sprouted in Chicago and grew with additions from Los Angeles and locals in New Mexico, we are a team connected by passion and a love for independent cinema.

Emily Lape - Writer & Director

Emily has worked in the film industry for close to 20 years. She has won awards for her acting in various independent feature films and she is an award winning Director, for Mercy's Girl. She started her career in Los Angeles in her twenties mostly concentrating on acting and moved to Chicago IL to start telling her own stories when she turned 30. Abiquiú will be Emily's 2nd feature film.

Aaron Wertheimer - Producer

Aaron Wertheimer is a Chicago-based filmmaker. He has written and directed two features: the offbeat comedies Wedgerino and Skippers. He produced Michael Glover Smith's Relative, and looks forward to producing Emily Lape's upcoming film Abiquiú.

Alison Hixon - Associate Producer / Cast Member

Alison is an award winning actress and artist. After receiving her BFA in performing arts at Stephens College in Columbia, MO she lived and worked in Chicago as an actor in theatre and film while pursuing painting and illustration. Alison acted in Mercy's Girl and will be helping to produce Abiquiú. Alison currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Justin Howe - Director of Photography

As a cinematographer, editor, colorist and composer, Justin has worked on a number of award winning projects in many different fields. His work as a filmmaker has earned him many awards and accolades in the US and abroad, with screenings at festivals in Cannes and New York. He is currently an editor for an animated Netflix series at Powerhouse Animation Studios located in Austin, TX.





Current Team