Lab 99: The Sci-Fi Fantasy Feature Film

Chicago, Illinois | Film Feature


Nebula Creatives L3C

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $12,186 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

76 supporters | followers

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LAB 99 is a story of letting go and starting over by the process of death and dreams, largely inspired by the works of Carl Sagan and David Bowie. What would you choose: surviving another day on earth for the life you already have, or sacrificing it for the life that you’ve always dreamt of?

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Lab 99 has a unique story set in Chicago, Thailand & an outer space w/ widely diverse characters. In addition to the film being written & will be directed by an Asian-American female filmmaker, we are committed to inclusion and increasing equal representation across the board.

The Story

**This is the campaign to kick off the PRE-PRODUCTION. For more information about the entire project, feel free to email us directly at [email protected] - we like making new friends!**



Stuck in a failed marriage and an unfulfilling career, SIRI, a woman in her 30's, is struggling with her particularly human life problems. RALPH, an extraterrestrial visitor from an undiscovered location in space, known as Lab 99, enters her world. They instantly develop an infatuation with each other for their connection to the stars. Their relationship is quickly challenged as they come face to face with PROFESSOR CAMPBELL, a mysterious scientist who is jeopardizing the human race with his secret experiment - one that could also be a way for Siri to transcend the limitations of her human life.  


The unknown isn’t all bad.

A dream isn’t always just a dream.

Death doesn’t always mean the end.



“As a young fan of Japanese animated series and movies in the ‘80s and ’90s, I have always been fascinated by existentialism communicated through artful science-fiction stories and metaphors. To me, it’s a form of enlightenment and a door to endless possibilities. Coming from a culture where survival is often considered more important than passion, material things rather than meanings and morality, corporeality rather than feelings and emotions, I see Lab 99 as a symbolic expression rather than a literal interpretation of life, or even death, itself.” -Rujanee Mahakanjana




Credit: Artwork by Oscar Joyo


Although Rujanee began working on the Lab 99 screenplay in December of 2010, the comic book version was produced  in 2015-2017 to expand the backstory and the character studies. We are able to produce 2 issues so far and we hope to produce more in the future. As of now, only the IndieGoGo backers of the comic book series campaign in 2016 have an access to the digital copy so both first and second issue are not yet officially released to public. However, they are included as an incentive during this campaign, grab them while you can and follow how the past and the present merge into the future. 



Rujanee sketched the preliminary design of Lab 99, that was inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence, the Magritte’s painting “the Castle of Pyrenees,” Le Corbusier‘s Notre Dame du Haut Chapel, and Tadao Ando’s museums on Naoshima, the “art island” in Japan. There are more drawings and sketches to share so make sure to follow us here and on social media.  







In this production, music isn't just something that we add during post-production. In fact, music was written into the story as one of experimental elements. There are scenes where music has a significant part that drives the physical (movements) and the psychological (emotions). The music we use in our pitch video is just the beginning of it all, for more unique and experimental ear drum experience, the downloadables are available in the incentive section. To learn more about the composer, Tatsu Aoki, check out his website here


In the Lab 99 story, there are scenes that take place in an art gallery. We're excited to collaborate with a talented mixed media photographer Satoki Nagata, and to showcase his relevant concept to the project. Check out some of his work here. Want a print or digital copy? We offer both in the incentive section. 




1) When you support Lab 99, you support an equal representation of women, minorities and diversity in film.


2) although Lab 99 addresses real issues in our society, there is also plenty of exciting adventures, dreamlike cinematic visual storytelling, witty and quirky comedy, as well as compelling sound and music. This is just the beginning. 


3) When you support Lab 99, you also support an independent artist community by becoming an important part in the job creation. No matter how much you contribute, we are taking you on this ride with us all the way. You will be informed of what’s going on with the project as we move forward towards project completion. 


4) Lab 99 has potential to be developed into a sequel. When you support this project, you also give birth to the other stories that follow. This is a one-time support that will affect the life of the entire project. 


5) Lab 99 presents human conditions in a relatable way to the audience. We all have life circumstances to deal with but the choice we make leads us to walk down different paths. That’s what makes life special. 


6) There's so much more to look forward to. You will be the first we reach out to about all the exciting news and updates including behind the scenes photos and videos, cast and crew video updates and interviews. 


7) If you live in Chicago, you are invited to a party. More details to be announced but there will be a party at the end of this campaign. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 15!


I8) Last but not least, when you support this project, you also support other charities. When we meet our fundraising goal, a portion of the proceed will go to support non-profit organizations. Giving back is part of the fun!


9) Well, if you’ve read this far, why the hell not? 


There are other ways you can show your support: 

Follow us here on Seed&Spark (hit that “follow” button!)

  • Follow and Like us on Facebook and Twitter 
  • Like and Share this campaign, our posts and tweets 
  • Tell your friends and family about Lab 99 


Again, we like hearing from you and making new friends, please feel free to talk to us! Thank you for giving Lab 99 a chance!  


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

Visual Effect, Test Shots

Costs $3,000

Our VFX director will create test shots as a reference for critical VFX scenes.

Legal & PR

Costs $1,000

Retainers for legal and PR professionals to help us work out details with other people involved.

Storyboard Artist

Costs $2,000

Preliminary Storyboards help us communicate the camera work shot by shot.

Development Costs

Costs $1,000

This covers printing, office supplies, research, translation, rewrites, registrations, etc.

Casting Director

Costs $1,000

Casting Director helps us search for the lead cast for the film.

Concept Art

Costs $1,000

This pays to an artist to create original concept artwork for print & presentation.


Costs $3,000

Producers help getting everything ready for the production.

Music Composer

Costs $1,000

This goes to the sound and music department during the pre-production phase.

Set & Production Design (Pre-Production)

Costs $2,000

This covers all the pre-production costs related to art department like set design & construction.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

We are a team of fun and talented people who would love to get this project off the ground. 


NEBULA CREATIVE, L3C is a film and video production company, based in Chicago, that believes in creativity through collaboration. Lab 99 is one of our babies.


RUJANEE MAHAKANJANA - writer/director/producer

Rujanee was academically trained as an artist, a designer, and a teacher who later discovered her passion in film shortly after she received her MFA from Northern Illinois University in 2005. When combining her multidisciplinary professional experience with her "outside-the-box" personal views of the world, her work tends to communicate thought-provoking existentialism through symbolism with a healthy amount of quirky humor, mostly a combined influence of the work by David Lynch, Denis Villeneuve, and Guillermo del Toro. Her directorial debut was a long-form architecture documentary, Man and His Erections, which was premiered at the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2009. Since then, she has written, directed, and produced a number of short and feature films, many of which were screened at festivals like Festival de Cannes and American Documentary Film Competition. She is currently a producer and editor for Chicago Film News and a handful of shorts and documentaries. She has been working on Lab 99 since 2010. Her weaknesses are cat videos, seafood, and nerds with huge biceps. 

See her filmography on IMDb


MARK VADIK  - producer

Mark Vadik was first recognized as one of the “America’s aspiring under-ground writers” in the early 90s when his poetry was featured on “60 Minutes”. Having directed and produced numerous theatrical productions for over 15 years, he has worked with such Broadway stars as Mickey Rooney, Jackie Mason and Jerry Stiller; and, facilitated the production of the Broadway musicals “Rent” and “Victor-Victoria”.

Vadik’s last stage play (“R3 – A Gothic Tale” – an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III) was performed at The Bailiwick Arts Center in Chicago, and was named as “One of the top 10 Must Sees” for the 2004 Theater season in Chicago by Windy City Times. The Chicago Tribune has favorably compared his work and style with Sir Peter Brooks of the Royal Shakespeare Company of London and Robert Falls, Artistic Director of Chicago’s Goodman Theater.

See his filmography on IMDb


WALT SLOAN - actor/producer

Walt Sloan started acting in theatre in 1993 and began on-camera work in 2004.  Since then, he has appeared in over 100 films, television productions, commercials, web series, and industrial and educational videos.  He has appeared in supporting roles in several award-winning features and shorts, and in a lead role in “Fate Accompli,” winner of Best Thriller Short in the Illinois International Film Festival.  In addition to his acting, Walt is an award-winning screenwriter and has been singing with the mixed a cappella group, The Buckthorns, since 2001.  Walt is represented for acting, voice, and print by Shirley Hamilton, Inc.

See his filmography on IMDb


JOHN KLEIN - cinematographer

John is a happily married father of two, cinematographer, director, producer, camera operator, lover of dogs, Instagram addict, and all-around joyful dude. He has shot projects of all shapes, sizes, and budgets, ranging from short films like the neo-noir Fate Accompli and the zeitgeist-grabbing drama Civil to socially conscious feature films such as the LifeTime autism-centric movie NightLights and the David Dastmalchian/Kevin Pollak bullying drama Teacher.  Whether it’s traveling around the globe for such projects as the USA wrestling doc Return to Glory or the Bangladesh documentary Strong Bodies Fight, producing promotional spots for Research Down Syndrome, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or the Back2School program, or lensing the HBO GO web series "Single Long" in his hometown of Chicago, he's always eager to collaborate and tell unique stories in a visually dynamic style. John is also the executive producer of Glass City Films, a Midwest-based production company through which he has produced and lensed several short films including Rendezvous, Hangers, and Under The Table. He has also produced a trio of award-winning feature films in Glass City, Happily After (his directorial debut) and Separation Anxiety, in addition to several music videos, not-for-profit work, and side projects. Glass City Films successfully raised over $35k in funds through Kickstarter twice: once in 2014 for his second feature film as director, the acclaimed post-apocalyptic horror film Chrysalis, and again in 2016 for the ambitious short film Limerence. Currently, John teaches cinematography and film production at both Depaul University and Tribeca Flashpoint College in the heart of downtown Chicago.  He received his MFA in digital cinema from Depaul University in 2016.

See his filmography on IMDb


EMILY R. BENNETT  - actress/producer

Emily received her acting training from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, a 3 year program that accepts one American per year. She is known for her work on NBC's The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Justice as well as independent feature films such as King of Knives, The Groundskeeper and Resurrecting McGinns. She associate produced the feature film Happy Yummy Chicken with OITNB stars Taryn Manning, Diane Guerrero and Emma Myles as well as short films LVRS, Heath Takes a Trip, Chat Room, Nyctophobia and Sending. She is represented by Naomi Kolstein of Bohemia Management (LA) and Marilynn Scott Murphy of Professional Artists (NY). 

See her filmography on IMDb 


JULIO A. NOBOA - co-producer

Julio is a producer and an immigration attorney who has deep appreciation for telling meaningful stories that are outside the mainstream. He completed his film studies at the University of Texas in Austin then later moved to Chicago to study law and graduated in 2010 from the University of Chicago. Despite his busy life, Julio continues to work on screenplays and productions to stay connected to his true passion. He is currently juggling several projects, produced by his production company, Verde Luz Productions. After thoroughly reviewing the script of Lab 99, Julio acknowledges the story's great potential and he's 100% on board to help getting this project off the ground.  


JENAETH MARKAJ - co-producer

In addition to an extensive background in non-profits, campaign management, and fundraising, Jenaeth also currently serves as artist representative for fine art photographer, Satoki Nagata. Following her particular interest in creative writing and storytelling, Jenaeth has presented original work at interdisciplinary academic conferences on various topics in language, literature and intercultural communication at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Mansfield College, Oxford in England, and Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy.  She is also the editor of fiction novel, “The Long Way Home,” by Peyton Rose, published by 220 Communications in 2015. 


TATSU AOKI - music composer 

Aoki was named one of 2001’s "Chicagoans of the year" by Chicago Tribune for his music for his cross- cultural music and has performed with masters such as Roscoe Mitchell, Don Moye, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, and the late Chicago legend Fred Anderson. Aoki's suite ROOTED: Origins of Now, a four- movement suite for big band, premiered in 2001 at Ping Tom Memorial Park, and was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival and at MCA Stage as part of Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival. Additional notable releases include Basser Live (1999) and Basser Live II (2005), recorded live at MCA Stage; The MIYUMI Project (2000), Symphony of Two Cities (2002), and Posture of Reality with Wu Man (2003). The Asian American Institute awarded Aoki the Milestone Award in 2007 for his contribution to Chicago-area arts. In 2010, he received the Japan America Society of Chicago’s Cultural Achievement Award as well as a 3Arts Artist Award. He received the “Living in our Culture” award by the Japanese American Service Committee in 2014 and Jazz Heroes’ Award by National Jazz Journalist Association in 2015. In 2016, his Miyumi Project ensemble was the official musical presenter for the groundbreaking, and unveiling of Yoko Ono's "SKYLANDING" installation in Chicago's own Jackson Park; this resulted in the group recording the "SKYLANDING" album produced by Yoko Ono. Last year (2017), the group contributed their unique vibe to the soundtrack of the film documentary addressing the Japanese American Incarceration, "And Then They Came for Us", and released the corresponding album: "And then They Came for Us - Un-American"; the film has since then received the 2018 Silver Gavel Award for Documentaries by the American Bar Association. Additional accolades include Aoki's own film "LIGHT", which he directed and received the award for Best Experimental Film in the 2017 Canada International Film Festival.

Current Team