by Jordan McClelland in Penryn, Cornwall, United Kingdom


Total raised £231

raised so far



Saints of the Night, through dance and experimental form, will reframe Romanian folklore, inspire feminine rage, and return the male gaze.

by Jordan McClelland in Penryn, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 10th March 2023 we'd raised £231 with 18 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

The flame and the dance - What is this film about?


Inspired by the pagan myth in Romanian folklore, the iele, Saints of the Night takes the images of mythology that creator Elena Cazacu grew up with and disrupts them. First, through the experimental layering of images and a rhythmic edit based upon a traditional style of music, the film presents the fierce beauty of the iele with unconventional techniques. Second, the story is transformed from one where the male gaze is dominant, with a man spying on the fairies at night, to one where the women's gaze is dominant, returning to look back at the male figure. This is a film about taking old stories and metamorphosing them until we once again see ourselves within them. It's also a film about dance, freedom, rage, feminism and all the various hot emotion the subject lets loose. 

Concept moodboard:


The myth:


The Gaze - Structure: 

The story is split into three parts. In part I, the fairies are joined in a dance of freedom and communion around the fire. In part two, Returning the Gaze, one of the fairies feels that they are being watched. She turns around: no one is in sight. In part three, the fairies join to chase and punish the man in the woods, yet, this time, he cannot see them. In the end, the thread is cut and his punishment is death.  

The 'Returning the Gaze' shot:


The Threads (inspiration):

Song and dance: 

- Florence + The Machine - Strangeness and Charm. 

- Aurora - Heathens

- Jean-Baptiste De Laubier and Arthur Simonini - Portrait of a Lady on Fire (bonfire scene). 



- 'Give in to the love' by Aurora

- 'Dyketactics' directed by Barbara Hammer

- 'Viragom, Viragom' directed by Anna Jarai. 


Feminist mythology retellings inspirations: 

- Madeline Miller: Circe. 

Other inspirations:

- 'The VVitch' (2015) directed by Robert Eggers


The Saints (crew bios):

Elena (director): 

1675950241_1675950240199.png"In my first year of university, I made an experimental film that changed my life (truly, I'm not being cheesy). I've grown so eager to go back to those roots. To me, experimental film is an opportunity to carve my frames into art and draw from introspection. Romanian culture is something that I desperately strived to reject for a long time – but when you hate the world, make another. I strive to bring those folk myths anew through a feminist perspective. Through a combination of different art forms, such as choreography, music, and film, Saints of the Night is a celebration of sisterhood by firelight – with a touch of female rage – nature, and folklore, as well as a chance to learn from the shining stars in my crew. I am so lucky to collaborate with such devoted, talented, and insanely creative people whom I fully trust."

Jordan (producer): 

1675950167_1675950165990.png"I've wanted to work with Peanut (Elena) for a long time now. Our work has always circled each other, always in conversation across the classroom, but never touching. Now our work is still in conversation, but we are truly collaborating at last! What draws me into Saints of the Night is not Elena alone, although her calm, thoughtful temperament exudes that of a born filmmaker, but the film's aesthetic deconstruction of mythology. Elena is not just interested in recreating myth - they aim to revolutionise its very surface. Through multiple layering techniques, as well as how music and dance guide the edit, this is a film where style disrupts and revitalises the representation of an old folktale. The iele will be seen in a new, artful form. This is what the new cinema of mythology needs: resistance and revolution. Peanut knows this well and I can't wait to assist her in making her vision happen. Let's do this x."

Sam (choreographer):

1675950085_1675950082367.png"I am thrilled to be working as choreographer on this project. Elena’s passion and ideas for the project drew me in and I can visualise her ideas so clearly because they’re so thought out. The film interests me because of the magic it has, and the main idea of sisterhood between women. As there are so many people working on different aspects on this project, I’m really excited as it celebrates art and each others' strengths - it’s a project practicing connection while also communicating connection through the screen. Working with dancers is the best part. They bring their own flair and ideas and I cannot wait to put the choreography to screen and celebrate the beauty of their bodies and the movements beauty!"

Dayna (costume designer):

1675950036_1675950034857.png"Hello - I’m Dayna. E, the head costume designer and maker on the Saint’s of the Night project! I initially signed on because the concept sketches and visual inspiration caught my attention, and, after doing more work with the rest of the crew to get a firm idea of where we want to end up, I can happily say I’m delighted to be working on these costumes. I’m pretty enthusiastic about flowing, draped fabric, and really enjoy the concept of bringing the fairies toward a more intimidating, wild aesthetic! I’m looking forward to seeing how the talents of everyone involved come together to create the director’s vision."

Harvey (editor):

1675949840_1675949838116.png"Personally, I find myself drawn to experimental because of the strength and personal nature of the artistic voice. Naturally, this extends to my practise, so it’s exciting for me to work on a project with such a strong directorial voice. It's a pleasure to be able to work alongside such a talented crew with our director to help realise something that is so wholeheartedly her, whether it be the story, the style, the visuals, or the themes. I can't wait to get into the edit, especially experimenting with layering, and hopefully use my experience in the field to do the film justice."

Filip (Sound Designer): 

1675950191_1675950189968.png"Working on a project that is culturally inspired tends to create a very organic element of excitement for me. It's a chance to get to know certain countries and understand them and their people better. I have known the director of Saints of the Night, Elena, for quite some time now and they probably remember rather well how often I would slip into a situation in which I would ask about their opinion based on their cultural background as well as discussing films made in Romania. I have yet to visit the country but already I'm looking forward to exploring a piece of its folklore, understanding Elena better and capturing the haunting and beautiful magic that this film shall create."

The Woods - the support we are asking for: 

We are asking for two things, my friends. First, if you can spare it, we ask for financial aid to help with a lush set of costumes, as well as covering the transport and catering costs for our crew. Moreover, some of this : will go towards exhibition and gallery spaces, as we aim to position this film within a wider arts and events context. We will use local gallery spaces in : and Falmouth to help showcase this piece of work. 

Second, your support creates a community around this film, and around the folklore that underlines it. This is not just a film, but a conversation and a way to bring people together over shared national history, but also international feminist cultures. Please share this : and join with us to help build this community. 


The Fates - our end goals: 

Our end goal is ultimately to share something of ourselves with the wider contemporary world. We hope to join in with current feminist conversations, in particular those which revolve around the female position within film. We believe we have our little addition to those conversations. 

We hope to entertain you and inspire you. We hope to build this with your help, a big team of all of us. 

Thank you for reading, and join us around the fire. 

Project page illustration by Lily Roberts.


This project offered rewards

£1 or more

Your Name in the Flame!

Anyone who donates to our project will be included in our end credits.

£15 or more

The Iele bring you a gift...

A little postcard from the crew, which we will send to you after the shoot. It will be designed by our illustrator Lily Roberts and signed by the director Elena :) A little token of our thanks.

£30 or more

That magical sight through the trees...

For this reward, we will gift you a poster from the illustrator, and a postcard too. Another small token of our thanks :)

£50 or more

Carry your gaze all the way back with you!

This reward includes a tote bag with a design from our illustrator, a poster, and a postcard! Thank you very much, friend.

£100 or more

You spin the thread!

We will credit you as an executive producer, and reward you with some sketches, a tote bag, a poster, and a postcard.

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