Park City, Utah | Film Feature


Jill Orschel

1 Campaigns |

Green Light

This campaign raised $27,003 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

213 supporters | followers

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The documentary film, SNOWLAND, explores the fantasy world created by Cora Lee Witt as she looks back at her arranged, plural marriage at the age of 14 in the Short Creek polygamous group. Her journey to find the courage to speak out and believe in herself is a vital story of women's empowerment.

In Partnership With

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

I develop strong kinships with the participants in my films. A woman’s search for independence and self-expression in a man’s world is at the heart of this documentary. Brave, visionary individuals, normally underrepresented, need support to be heard. I aim to amplify those voices.

The Story


We reached and surpassed our first two stretch goals! Wow!

Now we're asking our community to get us to a new milestone by the end of our campaign this Sunday, January 3rd, 2021! 

In the final days of our campaign, if we reach:

-- $28,000, we will hire a sound designer and composer for Snowland

This is our chance to create jobs in 2021 for artists who struggled so much during 2020!

-- With $20,000 (an additional $2,000), we're hiring a collage artist consultant
-- With $22,000 (an additional $4,000), we're hiring a digital effects animator

We're so thankful we met our goal to create the rough cut of Snowland and our first two stretch goals to hire a collage artist consultant and digital effects animator. 

Check out our "Media" tab to see some samples from Utah-based filmmaker Angela Rosales Challis to help you imagine what these animations will look like:

Meet our animation team: Angela Rosales Challis (left), a Salt Lake City-based filmmaker who creates beautiful digital animation, immigrated twenty years ago from Cochabamba, Bolivia to get an education in the arts, and Stacy Phillips (right), an established painter and mixed media artist works from her studio in Salt Lake City and is represented nationwide. We are so excited to work on the animation sequences with these two brilliant creatives to bring C.Raven’s drawings and photos from her past to life in Snowland!



Snowland is a feature-length documentary by director/producer Jill Orschel about Cora Lee Witt, a woman who created a fantasy realm to escape her dark past as a child bride in a secretive, polygamous sect.

Cora Lee looks back to when she was arranged into a plural marriage at 14-years-old in the Short Creek polygamous group, now known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). Cora ended up being a mother of 12 children and was often responsible for the care of her sister-wife's nine children.

Cora's courageous decision to speak out about abuse in the household by her husband, and subsequent journey to start believing in herself, is examined within the context of her creative project, Snowland.

Cora’s Snowland, developed over the thirty-year period after leaving her church, is made up of drawings, stories, characters, and costume designs that allowed her to reframe her past, process her trauma, and reclaim her identity as a woman, mother, and creative individual. 


Producer/director Jill Orschel has followed Cora Lee Witt for over seven years, building trust with Cora, her family, and her community. She has filmed 180 hours of footage over 98 shooting days, capturing Cora’s experiences and journey. 

The feature length documentary showcases Cora’s creative process, discovers intimate revelations about her earlier life, and examines her relationships with family and friends.

Cora's one-of-a-kind drawings and personal photos will come to life through unique digital animation effects that integrate with the film’s goal of celebrating how art and creative expression can free the human spirit.


Join the Snowland team as they embark on this fundraising campaign to hire post-production professionals that will steer the project through the final rough cut phase, shaping the material into a feature-length film. 

Your contributions will go toward building an editing team to move the documentary forward, and closer to being in front of audiences who will benefit from this story of courage and hope.

COVID-19 has provided an unexpected opportunity of pause and reflection within the independent filmmaking industry and Jill Orschel and her team of collaborators are confident about getting the job done even with social distancing.


Be a part of the effort to get to the finish line! Your commitment to stories like this matters now more than ever. Here are three things you can do:

1- Contribute to the SNOWLAND campaign and get some wonderful incentives. Any amount, big or small, is greatly appreciated. Take a look at the side bar.

2- Follow the progress on social media and share the campaign with your friends and family! Find out more at @SnowlandDoc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or on the website You can also reach out to Jill directly by email at [email protected] 

3- Support specific aspects of the production by heading to our Wishlist.

Thank you for supporting the documentary film SNOWLAND. Expect a magical experience!


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

Technical Support

Costs $1,600

Technical Support handles all computer hardware and software issues related to the project.


Costs $1,000

Transcription software, and a transcriber, ensures more efficiency and accuracy during the edit.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Editing Assistance

Costs $5,000

An editor keeps track of footage, organizes digital files & cuts specific scenes for the rough cut.

Story Consultant

Costs $4,000

Story Consultant provides professional guidance on the narrative structure of the film.

Hard Drives

Costs $1,000

Hard drives store all of the footage and film assets including backups.

Project Manager

Costs $5,040

Project Manager coordinates all of the business and scheduling details.

About This Team

Jill Orschel, Producer/Director

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Jill Orschel was brought up in Aspen, Colorado, and has called Park City, Utah, home for 30 years. An avid, self-taught photographer since middle school, Jill developed her love for filmmaking while capturing still images for Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute starting in 1994. What began as a passion for independent film expanded into a calling for non-fiction storytelling. Jill’s undergraduate degree in journalism, and MFA in film studies, grounds her award-winning work in a genuine search for truth while her approach with color, composition, pace, and tone reveals a more subjective attention to detail. Jill is also the founder and director of the annual Filmmakers Showcase in Park City. Now in its 15th year, Jill collaborates with established filmmakers and mentors and highlights the work of emerging new talent.

Claire Wiley, Pitch Video DP/Editor

Armed with a wild imagination and an arsenal of Canon cameras, Claire loves to meld the aesthetic of photography and videography with her passion for crafting a good story. Candid moments are priceless and capturing them is so fulfilling. She tries to develop a comfort level that allows people to almost forget there is a camera around. Having spent the first half of her career as an on-air personality, Claire also understands the importance of relating to an audience via the camera, and how intimidating it can be. Respecting those she films and photographs and developing a good rapport with them is very important to her. In her colorful past, Wiley accumulated an Associated Press award for broadcast journalism as a television news reporter and a few broadcasting awards as a morning show radio personality. Her photographs of Southeast Asia – where she lived for three years beginning in 2007 – have appeared alongside stories in Golfweek magazine and Reuters news agency.

J.R. Hardman, Marketing Manager

J.R. Hardman is a filmmaker, documentarian, educator, and Civil War "reenactress." She is currently in production on her first feature-length documentary, Reenactress, about women in American Civil War reenactment who cross-dress to portray soldiers commemorating the real women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men. She previously served as Operations Manager for Sundance Institute Artist Programs in Park City, Utah, where she managed event logistics and on-site execution for public sessions, community screenings, and intensives for artists and audiences throughout the United States and abroad. She also served as Senior Tour Manager for Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world's largest student film festival, as Director of the CMF Cannes Program and Technical Director for Camp Flix, a filmmaking summer camp for students ages 11-17. Hardman has produced several short documentaries and fiction films including "Muslims in Love," which premiered at the 2009 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, "The Coach," which screened as part of the 2011 Arnold Sports Film Festival, and “Touching,” which was featured in several festivals including the 25th Anniversary Outfest: Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival. She graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with a B.A. in Cinema/Television Production and Spanish.

Current Team