Middletown, Connecticut | Film Short

Drama, Family

Anik Bernstein

1 Campaigns | Connecticut, United States

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This campaign raised $2,800 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

28 supporters | followers

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A dark coming of age short film, MICHELLE tells the story of a teenage girl trying to find her way. She rejects her mother's childlike image of her, only to be thrust into an adult world she is not prepared for.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Anik Bernstein is a female director who prioritizes making her set accessible to people of all genders, sexualities, and ethnicities. The crew includes several students of color, and many important crew positions are filled by women, such as her producers, assistant director, and art director.

The Story


Michelle is a sixteen year old girl who likes pushing limits. She wants to be treated like an adult but feels trapped and insecure in her home life. 


Mary, her mother sees the world in bright colors. She is caring and energetic, but her fascination with the child Michelle once was makes her unaware of her current pain. 


When Michelle is pushed to the breaking point by her mother, she runs away from home, only to be thrust into an adult world she realizes she is not quite ready for.



                            Skam, Julie Andem                                     Fat Girl, Catherine Breillat 



This film revolves around observation. Michelle acts out against her mom because she does not feel seen for the person she is. The cinematography will try to emulate this feeling of watching and being watched through wide landscapes and character point of views. Mirrors serve as a strong visual motif to access Michelle's subjectivity, self-reflection, and judgement. 



                   Suzanne, Katell Quillévéré                                Tomboy, Celine Sciamma


Production design will also play a large role in the visuals of the film. Color will help to contrast Mary and Michelle, in both locationst and costumes. By playing with primary colors- Blue, Red, and Yellow- we hope to bring to light the child-like nature of Mary and the vision she projects of her daughter. 



                         Skam, Julie Andem                                      The Souvenir, Joanna Hogg



Shooting a film in 16mm can be quite expensive. Although we are lucky enough to have secured funding for the the film stock, and post-production processing, we still need a lot of support. In order to realize MICHELLE, we need to: 


Create Michelle and Mary's world inside their house! Production design will involve props, furniture, and other material to dress the set. 


Dress Michelle and Mary. The characters have extremely different tastes, and fight over what is appropriate or not to wear. Costumes are very important to creating the world of the film! 


Find a colorful house to bring to life the world of the movie. Locations will play huge part of the visuals. 


Secure funds for sound mixing in post production. We want to make this movie sound as good as possible! 


Feed and transport our dedicated cast and crew who are working unpaid. 



                   Anik Bernstein- Director                                     Ari Adler- Producer

               [email protected]                                 [email protected]


                  Gabe Brosius- Producer                                       Sarah Lucente- Producer

                 [email protected]                                      [email protected] 


Join our team and help us tell this story! Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts or questions! 


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


Costs $400

Please help us feed our crew! We want to keep everyone well-fed and well-energized.


Costs $500

To get an authentic feel for the film, we need to rent a house to shoot in!

Production Design

Costs $800

To make our set feel like the setting, we need props and set dressings!


Costs $200

Help us transform our actors into our characters!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $300

We need to get our crew and our talent to and from set!

Sound Mix

Costs $600

We are shooting on 16 mm film, so sound mixing is crucial!

About This Team

Anik Bernstein


My name is Anik Bernstein and I am a senior film and chemistry double major at Wesleyan University. I grew up in Paris, where I learnd to love movies. I have worked on ten theses in my time at wes, and I am overjoyed to finally be making my own short film!! 


Ariel Adler


My name is Ariel Adler. I’m a senior film studies major and economics minor. I am overjoyed to be co-producing Anik’s short film alongside Sarah Lucente and Gabe Brosius! I love producing and aspire to do so professionally. I can’t wait to see Anik’s story come to life, and I am so grateful and excited to be part of the team working to do just that!


Sarah Lucente


My name is Sarah Lucente. I'm a junior double majoring in Film Studies and English, and I'm so excited to be working on this project! I've developed a passion for producing, and I've been lucky enough to work with predominantly female filmmakers on campus.


Gabriel Brosius


My name is Gabe Brosius. I am a senior double majoring in Theater and Neuroscience & Behavior, and I am thrilled to make my producing debut on Anik's brilliant thesis! I have been involved with this project from the beginning and I am so excited to help bring it to fruition. As shown, I will carry an umbrella at all times and be prepared for any situation that may arise. 


Sherwin Yu

Production Designer

My name is Sherwin Yu and I am a junior Film Studies/Economics double major. I have worked on some theses before, but this is my first time doing production design which I am really looking forward to. I'm really excited to work on this project and to help Anik execute her vision!


Anna Yeo

Production Designer

My name is Anna Yeo, and I'm a junior double majoring in Economics and Film Studies. My favorite economist is Janet Yellen and my favorite movie is Eloise at Christmastime. I'm super excited to be doing production design for MICHELLE and grateful to be working with so many talented people on Anik's thesis!


Daniel Osofsky

Director of Photography

Daniel Osofsky is a senior at Wesleyan pursuing a Film Studies major and Creative Writing certificate. Daniel has worked as a producer, director, director of photography, editor, set designer, gaffer, and production designer on student films and theater works. Daniel has also worked professionally, creating animations for NYC theater galas and as an Art Production Assistant on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.


Gabriel Ballard


Gabriel Ballard is so excited to work as a gaffer on Anik's thesis! He is a Film Major with a Minor in Religious Studies, and has had the privilege of working on many film sets at Wes and back home in Los Angeles as a PA, Gaffer, Sound Recordist, and Assistant Director! While he's not helping out fellow filmmakers, Gabriel enjoys writing and performing music for his two mediocre on-campus bands (g.flores and CameraShy), designing light plots for Second Stage theater shows, and performing surrealist comedy.


Angelica Cucueco

Assistant Director

Angelica is a junior at Wesleyan University. She met Anik last school year on another film set where they hit it off immediately so when Anik asked her to be her assistant director she knew what she had to do. She looked at her calendar and deleted every event on the given shoot days and screamed, “heck ya!!!” Angelica thought about her prior film experiences and believed she was ready to take on this task. She had held lenses, made shoot schedules, drove cars, made silly social media posts, was nice to PAs and functioned on 2 hours of sleep. All for the love of film! The fall semester felt, smelled, tasted and sounded like thesis season and she was ready.


Lucie Plasse

Assistant Camera

Lucie is a French-American senior Film major at Wesleyan. An aspiring cinematographer, she started doing photography at the age of 13 at which point her main source of inspiration were high-end Vogue-like fashion shoots which she tried to imitate using her 10 year old brother Noah as her model. In her spare time, Lucie loves to travel, watch French stand-up comedy, obsess over Film Noir and German Expressionist aesthetics, staying up all night for existential conversations with her housemates, doing super fun photoshoots with her friends, as well as encouraging other women to consider doing work behind the camera!



Quinn Tucker


Quinn is a senior film major at Wesleyan University. 

He is interested in creative production design and experimental narratives. Quinn loves color design, camp, and having fun on set. He couldn’t be more excited about gaffing and stylizing the film to create Anik's vision!

Current Team