Under the Lantern Lit Sky

Los Angeles, California | Film Feature

LGBTQ, Transmedia

Jaclyn Bethany

4 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $9,231 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

165 supporters | followers

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A poetic theatre-film hybrid exploring female trauma, sisterhood & ultimately, the sacrifices we make for those we love. Under the Lantern Lit Sky explores the new marriage of a young couple, who are in different ways, coming to terms with their sexuality.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

This project features an all female production team. Taking inspiration from classic female characters, it puts women at the center of the story by exploring our protagonist's complex past. The story also explores a young man grappling with his sexuality in a society and time that forbids it.

The Story




For my American Film Institute Thesis Project I made a film The Delta Girl  which focused on a girl in 1964 Mississippi who witnesses her brother commit a racist hate crime. The rest of the film, she grapples with coming to terms with what she witnessed and who she really is. After a very fulfilling and challenging year having made a feature film and a pilot, I knew I wanted to return to the theatre and the South for my next project. This project explores being an outcast in the Deep South from a different perspective. 


In our imagined story, Blanche marries Alan, a young man whom she is infatuated with, but over the course of the story - we learn he hides a secret of his own. When this secret is revealed, it has devestating consequences for the couple. Blanche takes solace in her sister, Stella, who has been at her side her entire life. By surrounding our leads with rich supporting characters, Under the Lantern-Lit Sky is a devestating, but universal love story of a woman who is in love with the idea of a man, who can never truly physcially love her. This project combines everything I love - theatre, film, strong, complex women, the South - and an important message. Please join us on this powerful and important storytelling journey. 


The team is made up of an amazing group of diverse artists, who I am elated to work with. 


- Writer/Actress, Jaclyn Bethany


As a long time theater and film director, Under the Lantern Lit Sky will merge both of my directing sensibilities.  The feature will be rehearsed like a play and will capture the intimate lives of these characters fighting for the universal desire to be seen and heard.  


- Director Michelle Bossy


What is "Under the Lantern Lit Sky?" 


This project is unique because it combines both theatre and film -  Under the Lantern Lit Sky is a filmed version of a play. It is a new media, anthology film. 



Above is a still from I Am A Seagull, a narrative film hybrid that combines a rehearsed/performed production of Chekhov's The Seagull.


How will the funds be used?


We are making this project out of our passion for telling this story. The budget will go to the bare minimum it will make to make the shoot great and run as smooth as possible - food, transportation, sound, art department rentals and location. 


Once finished, what do we plan to do with it? 


A few things! We plan for festivals and online distribution, but because this time period and play is studied in schools, we hope to also take an educational approach sharing the project with schools nationwide. And also, build our audience & share it with you!




We have scouted a perfect location in the Los Angeles area, to stand in for 1920s Mississippi. To give the film a theatrical feel, it will be filmed almost entirely in one space.







Jaclyn's Work 


This project in particular is inspired by the Southern gothic feel of The Delta Girl, the theatricality of The Last Birthday (a film made in one day, in four shots) and the naturalism of The Rehearsal, set during a rehearsal period of a fictional Off-Broadway production of Miss Julie. The Rehearsal is in final stages of post production. Watch the trailer here: Rehearsal Trailer  


To read more about The Rehearsal please read a recent review here: Arteviste Rehearsal Review `



Jaclyn and her work have been featured in Variety, No Budge, Women and Film, Just Jared, Semaine, i-D, Film Anarchy, Voyage d'Etudes, The Violet Book, and many others. 


Indigo Valley, her first feature is in the final stages of post production. Please check out the trailer here



A still of actors Greta Bellamacina & Harry Lister-Smith from short film The Last Birthday, inspired the last days of the Romanovs. The film is available to view on Semaine by clicking here: The Last Birthday


Photo by Katy Lawrence


Caitlin Carver as Delilah in The Delta Girl , Bethany's Mississippi set AFI Thesis Film which has played 10+ festivals. To read more about The Delta Girl, click here



Stills from Michelle's Work including short films and plays Lady Macbeth & Lover (featuring Christy) The Sex of the Baby (featuring Devin) & film work






& below a still of Christy as Julie in Queen of Basel by Hillary Bettis



What a dream team!

And a last bit of Southern doc photography inspiration...



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


Costs $1,000

To feed our cast + crew!


Costs $450

To transport our equipment and art department rentals.

Art Department Rentals

Costs $1,400

Rentals to make our location evoke 1920s Mississippi.

Camera Gear + Crew

Costs $1,400

To supplement our camera equipment and give the film a beautiful vintage look.


Costs $1,000

Sound is one of the most important parts of a film. Help us get good production sound!


Costs $2,500

This amount is to pay for our location for our four day shoot and rehearsal/ prep days.

Transport + Fees

Costs $600

To help cover costs of our cast and crew's gas, transportation and kit fees.


Costs $1,500

Help us finish the film by contributing to our editing budget!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Michelle Bossy - Director



Michelle Bossy is a Mexican-American theater and film director.  Films Michelle has directed include 18 (premiere, Austin Film Festival), She Grinds Her Own Coffee (St. Louis International Film Festival), and The New 35 (St. Louis International Film Festival, LA Comedy Festival, Atlanta Shorts Fest, Burbank International Festival, among others).  She directed music videos for the band Yassou and singer/songwriter Brooke Josephson.  Michelle directed the web series There’s a Special Place in Hell for Fashion Bloggers, and the pilot of TeleMamas. Recent films include Friendly Neighborhood Coven, Stag Party, The Crossing, Ladies Lounge, and Miracle Baby.  Theater Michelle has directed in New York and internationally includes Lady MacBeth and Her Lover, There and Back, Sex with Strangers, Every Good Girl Deserves Fun, Sex of the Baby, Cloven Tongues, Un Plugged In, South Beach Rapture, and Sarajevo’s Child.  She directed the world premiere of Little Monsters and co-created the musical High School Confidential for Primary Stages. Michelle was the Associate Artistic Director of Primary Stages, where she worked for thirteen years.  She holds the first undergraduate directing degree from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Michelle teaches for the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), NYU, and Syracuse University's Tepper Semester. Member: Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and SDC. www.MichelleBossy.com


Jaclyn Bethany - Writer/Actress 



Jaclyn Bethany is an actress and award winning filmmaker, a recent graduate of the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory with an M.F.A. in Directing. She is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. With her company BKE Productions she has produced numerous short films including Olivia Martha Ilse starring James Frain and Emmy Award winner Tammy Blanchard, Between Departures, Sunday Tide starring Sorcha Groundsell, The Last Birthday featuring Anna Popplewell, among others. As an actor she has appeared in the feature films Miles, I Saw The Light, Worry Dolls and several festival favorite short films. Her first feature film Indigo Valley and her pilot The Rehearsal in which she directs and stars are both in the final stages of post-production to premiere in 2019/2020. Her work has screened at festivals and venues worldwide.

In addition to AFI, Ms. Bethany holds a B.A. in Acting from Fordham University, an M.A. in Screenwriting from The London Film School. Her AFI thesis film, The Delta Girl set in 1964 Mississippi stars Isabelle Fuhrman, Caitlin Carver and Ashley Bell premiered at Holly Shorts and is currently on the festival circuit.

Her theatre credits include directing several of The Pussy Grabber Plays (London premiere, Playground Theatre) A Bright Room Called Day (Zillah, UK Tour), an L.A. workshop of Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter (Christina), A Map of Virtue directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Clubbed Thumb) and a staged reading of Anna Karenina at The Arcola Theatre in London in which she played the title role. She is also the co-editor of online female arts driven publication Constellation, where she curates an ongoing female filmmaker portfolio. She is currently working on various projects for theatre, television and film as well as a book focusing on women in the arts. www.jaclynbethany.net


Summer Xinlei Yang - Producer




Summer is a UCLA alumnus, who recently completed her master degree in producing at American Film Institute conservatory.  Summer served as a consultant for the Amazon Studios series Bosch feature as well as feature development intern in Blumhouse Productions while in school. She has extensive experience in film, TV and commercial productions and dealing with talents and investors. Summer has produced American Advertising Award winning commercials, TV series, independent features, numerous shorts and a documentary sponsored by Intel. Currently, she is also driven to help young student filmmakers.


Charlie Cole - Director of Photography




Charlie Cole is a Cinematographer currently living in Los Angeles. Cole recently completed his MFA from the American Film Institute, and completed his BFA at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where he studied Film and Drawing. Using his Fine Arts education as a foundation, Cole approaches his Cinematography with a unique and intimate perspective. His Undergraduate Thesis film Waterfall premiered at Slamdance 2015 Film Festival, and won the Best Experimental Film Award at IFF. His other works have screened internationally in venues such as Art Basel and the TED stage, as well as numerous film festivals. Cole has worked on a wide array of projects, ranging from Feature Films to commercials for brands such as eBay, Coca-Cola, and Chiquita Bananas. Cole also worked as Camera Operator on the feature film Kate Can’t Swim that won Honorable Mention for Best Narrative Feature at Slamdance 2017.


In January 2019, Cole wrapped a high-concept feature film as Cinematographer. He’s currently in pre-production on his next feature, to be shot Summer of 2019.


Kit Sheridan - Production Designer



Kit Sheridan is a production designer and art director who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She got her start as an art PA for several seasons of Girls and has cut her teeth in the New York indie filmmaking world for the last four years, recently designing two features set to be released in 2019. Kit is also a painter and visual artist. You can find her work here: www.kitsheridan.com


Daisy Stackpole - Costume Design & Art Department 



Daisy Stackpole a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and filmmaker based in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Her life has been surrounded by art since birth; raised in beautiful Charleston, SC by an artist mother. Daisy has had the pleasure to work on a vast array of projects from teaching a feminist film seminar for high school girls, curating contemporary art shows, writing articles that contain two of her great loves, astrology, and film, and being the editorial director for Women and Film. When it comes to filmmaking, Daisy is passionate about the art department, as these roles give films a sense of time and place and establish the visual world. She is passionate about costumes, as an avid follower and historian of style. Daisy is drawn towards projects helmed by womyn, people of color, and queer people, as well as a strong narrative and visual landscape. She is thrilled to be a part of Under the Lantern Lit Sky.


Rebecca Morandi



Rebecca Morandi is an Italian filmmaker living and working between Italy and the States. Initially tained as an actress, she tehn switcehd to filmmaking. From camera, to lighting and sound, she has worked and experienced many different roles on set. She then found her passion and specialized in production and directing departments from documentaries, to narrative and commercial work. For more info on Rebecca visit www.rebeccamorandi.com







New York theatre: Scissoring (INTAR), The Hollow (The Brick), Lady Macbeth and Her Lover (Director’s Company), Jesus Hopped the A Train (Atlantic), The Artist of the Beautiful (Metropolitan Playhouse), Hello, Red! (Best Actress nomination, Strawberry Theater Festival). Regional: Bad Jews (Long Wharf), The Great Gatsby (Virginia Stage), Murder on the Nile, Fantastic Mr. Fox (Dorset Theater Festival), Around the World in 80 Days (Berkshire Theatre Group). TV: Dietland (AMC), Blindspot (NBC). Film: Who We Are Now, Loser Leaves Town, Anomalous, Untitled Short Film About White People, The Brick Wall, Viral Beauty, Bright Morning. She will next appear in the films The Man in the Woods and The Rehearsal, as well as the Ava Duvernay mini-series Central Park Five on Netflix, and recently played the title role in the world premiere of the new play Queen of Basel at the Studio Theater in DC. Winner of 2018 New Dramatists Charles Bowden Award. MFA - NYU, BFA - UC Santa Barbara. 





Devin Kawaoka has appeared on television in Runaways (Hulu), Criminal Minds (CBS), The Path (Hulu), I Just Want My Pants Back (MTV) as well films Submission, David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake, Surviving Family, and The Trouble with Cali. Off-Broadway performances include City Of (Playwrights Realm) and Unnatural Acts (CSC), for which he received the Rosemarie Tichler Award. Devin received his MFA from NYU Graduate Acting.




TV: NBC's Mysteries of Laura,  ABC Body of Proof,  ABC Shonda Rhimes pilot Gilded Lilys w/ Blythe Danner, The Onion News Network. Film:  How to Follow Strangers (opposite Ilana Glazer) Jobs (opposite Ashton Kutcher, Dir. Joshua Michael Stern),  The Nearest Human Being (2019 Manhattan Film Festival), Sweetheart (2019 Portland Film Fest + Toronto Shorts),  Swiped (2011 Santa Barbara Film Fest), Storm Up The Sky (2011 Tribeca Film Festival).  Theater: On the Spectrum (Fountain Theatre, LA) The Normal Heart (Fountain Theatre), Waxing West (World Premiere La MaMa Etc. NYC + Europe tour), Baby Monitor @ Playwrights For A Cause w/ Carol Kane), Graham & Frost ( PS 122 NYC), Dorm #5 (Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series, LA)  Cake (Planet Connections Theatre Festival, NYC)  The Fever Chart, (Dir. Elena Araoz, Boston),  Soul Ascending (La MaMa Etc, Dir. George Ferencz), Raquel Alamazan’s La Negra ( HI-ARTS NYC), Stone Cold Serious (The Clurman Theatre, NYC),  Snow Angel (Dir. Lola Cohen).   





Off Broadway: The Comedy of Errors (Public Theater), Hell House (St. Ann’s Warehouse), Empire Travel Agency (Woodshed Collective), On the Line (Canal Park Playhouse), The Mission (Labyrinth Theater Company). Regional: Tom Jones, Romeo and Juliet (Actor's Theater of Louisville), Silent Sky  (Theaterworks Mountainview), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare on the Sound), Arcadia, A Winter’s Tale (Chautauqua Theatre Company), Western Country, Caravan Man (Williamstown Theatre Festival), February House (NY Stage and Film), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing (Commonwealth Shakespeare). Film: Pavilions, Ambition’s Debt. Web: Honest Trailers (Youtube), Cohab. Composing Credits: Angelo Soliman (Book, Music, Lyrics; 2016 Drama League Resident), The Henry Box Brown Play by Tony Kushner (World Premiere for NYU Graduate Acting).  Original compositions have been featured on The CW, MTV, Dreamforce 2018, and the Olympics 2016. Education: M.F.A. NYU Graduate Acting. www.mattcitron.space.





Akilah A. Walker has always been fascinated by the performative, the magical and the absurd--especially as it relates to people of the African diaspora. This early fascination has catapulted Akilah into a journey of creating a sustainable career for herself as a performer and creator. Akilah is a classically trained actor/writer/director who is moved by transformation, collaboration and storytelling that explores the lives of women and people of color. During her time as a graduate student at American Conservatory Theater, Akilah had the honor of performing as Eurydice in an adaptation of Black Orpheus that she co-wrote and was presented at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in 2016. Akilah also co-wrote a two-woman play A Subtlety: Black Women, Sugar & Power, a cyclical satire chronicling sugar’s brutal impact on black bodies through time. She holds a BA in acting from Fordham University in New York City. Akilah spent six years in NYC where she was able to work extensively with The Classical Theater of Harlem, New York Stage & Film and The Flea Theater. During her time in NYC she had the opportunity to work with masters Phylicia Rashad, S. Epatha Merkerson, Billy Porter, and Moritz Von Stuelpnagel.


Additional Attached Crew: 


Script Development: Tennessee Strok 


Assistant Director: Rebecca Morandi


Tanya Crossland - Hair and Makeup 


Hammad Hassan - Assistant Editor

Current Team