The Lady in the Lake Short Film

by Laura Turner in Lincoln, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 20th July 2021 we successfully raised £820 with 38 supporters in 28 days

A short film about a young woman's awakening as she forms a complex, dark bond with a strange creature from the ancient world.

by Laura Turner in Lincoln, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we reach (and exceed!) our target, the extra money will be invaluable in terms of us being able to spend a little more on the special effects, costume, location and make up that are so crucial to the vivid magical realism of this story.

What's the Story? 

The Lady in the Lake is a short film about a young woman, Emily, living in the nineteenth century, who meets an unnerving, but strangely captivating, creature and becomes obsessed with her.

Emily is a battered young woman, fleeing from her troubled past. A past that haunts her as she hides on the shores of a remote lake, late one night, the bruises of abuse blooming on her pale skin. Then, in the moonlight, Emily sees a shape rising from the still waters of the lake. A figure unlike anything she has seen in her life. A creature of the imagination. Not a woman, but not an animal like she has ever known before. This creature - part woman, part reptile, part fish - is a thing of folklore, of legend, of nightmare, like the sirens, harpies and selkies of mythology.

As the creature approaches Emily, transfixing her and drawing her in mesmerically, the atmosphere shifts and alters. Takes on a new energy that burns and blisters in the night air. An unspoken but undeniable bond is forged across the open waters, igniting new, never felt before sensations in Emily. Dreams of freedom, of change, of a different life. A life where she feels more empowered and in charge of who she is. A life that grants her pleasure, when all she has known before is pain. 

What's it REALLY about? 

The Lady in the Lake is a story about female sexuality and specifically about the fears that still exist about women who empower themselves and take charge of their destinies. By setting this story in the past, the film will shed light on historic attitudes towards women who break the rules and defy convention, and in doing so, draw parallels with today. The film asks: how much has truly changed in gender representation in the centuries that separate us from this fictional - yet very resonant - story? 

The film is also an exploration of the shared mythologies that join us across cultures and experiences. The Lady in the Lake herself may be a siren, a harpy, a selkie - or many other creatures of myth and legend - but ultimately she resists easy categorisation. There is something free and unknowable about her that inspires Emily's fascination and ignites the possibility of a different life. Emily finishes the story with a new, burning curiosity about who she is and how she wants to live her life. Perhaps very differently to before. Perhaps much more deliciously. 

What will it be like? 

The film will be a visceral and immersive evocation of the experience of sexual awakening, brought to life through a surreal and disturbing atmosphere of the lake, the creature, and the disarming, confused shapes of Emily's thoughts and memories. The viewer will be plunged directly into Emily's experience of the world - and of this strange creature she encounters, and desires. 


Photo credit: Sophie Hillman Photography

Who are we?

The Lady in the Lake is the second short film to be made by Ignis Films, a brand new independent film production company based in the East Midlands and creating work that explores big questions about today through the stories of the past. 

Established by Stephen Gillard and Laura Turner in 2020, Ignis Films is committed to uncovering unheard stories from the rubble of the past. We delve into the themes and hidden tales of times gone by, suggesting to the audience the parallels that so often still exist with the present.


Photo credit: Sophie Hillman Photography

What will we do with the money? 

The funds we raise here will be used to make our second short film, THE LADY IN THE LAKE, following the success of our first short film, IN UMBRA EIUS IGNIS, which was made on a mobile phone for a budget of £200 in the summer of 2020 and recently premiered on Paus.TV.

With the money we raise during this campaign, we will be in the amazing position to make our short film in August 2021. We are currently in a self-funded pre-production period, but to get to production, we need as much help as possible to pay for the shoot and the post-production. We want to pay our actors and our crew, as well as having a modest budget to secure the suitable location, historically accurate costume, special effects and make up to creature our "creature". Going forwards, we plan to enter the finished film into film festivals, and your support will help us to launch the project to (hopefully!) a global audience. 


Photo credit: Sophie Hillman Photography

Why should you support us? 

This is a story about what it means to begin the journey of taking charge of your sexual identity. A story that doesn't shy away from the complexities of female experience and sexuality, but instead reminds us that desire and self-empowerment comes in many different forms and is, most importantly, always unique to each and every one of us.

Meet the Team

Stephen Gillard, Director

Stephen’s directing career began on the stage, building up a list of directing credits, including shows such as One Man Two Guvnors, The Importance of Being Earnest and a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stephen decided to make the jump into film directing; during the 2020 lockdown he wrote and directed his first short film, In Umbra Eius Ignis, using a mobile phone and a couple of borrowed light boards. The film won Official Selection at the FFTG Awards in New York and inspired the creation of Ignis Films as a way of exploring new and challenging works with emerging talent behind and in front of the camera.  


Sophie Hillman, Director of Photography

Sophie is an Royal Television Society Award-nominated director of photography and photographer. Having taught herself the way around a camera in 2016, she has gone on to work on many various projects, including working with known YouTube duo Jack and Dean. Alongside film and photography projects, Sophie is currently studying a Masters in Media and Cultural Studies in order to expand and develop her understanding in film. She is very excited to get started on The Lady in the Lake and can’t wait to be able to share what has already been worked on!


Aaron Good, Editor

Aaron is a Royal Television Society Award-nominated writer, director, and freelance video editor. His passion for filmmaking began when he was just 12 years old and has continued to develop since then, now having had his work shown at film festivals across the UK and Europe.


Laura Turner, Producer

Laura is a writer, actor and producer whose work focuses always on telling unheard stories of the female experience, often through the lens of the past. Her first feature film as screenwriter, Lapwing, will be theatrically distributed in 2021 and as a writer for the stage she has worked with Hull Truck Theatre, East Riding Theatre, the Almeida, BBC, She Productions, Middle Child, Chapterhouse Theatre Company and the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival amongst many others. Laura is thrilled to take on the role of producer to bring this beautiful, haunting story to life. 


From the whole team, thank you so much for any help you can give us!



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A nice warm glow (and a shout out on social media)

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A thank you in the credits (plus shout out on social media)

£15 or more

£15 Reward

A unique digital production shot, a thank you in the credits and shout out on social media

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A signed digital copy of the film poster (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£30 or more

£30 Reward

A digital copy of the script signed by the cast (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Invitation to an online Q&A with the cast and creatives of The Lady in the Lake (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£100 or more

£100 Reward

A digital copy of the film for you to keep (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£200 or more

£200 Reward

A special edition copy of the film for you to keep, plus a signed, framed film poster (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£500 or more

£500 Reward

121 scriptwriting workshop with award-winning writer Laura Turner (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£750 or more

£750 Reward

Invitation for you and a plus one to attend an exclusive, catered screening of the film with the cast, crew and creatives (plus rewards in all previous categories)

£1,000 or more

£1000 Reward

Executive Producer credit, plus a walk on part in the future feature production of The Lady in the Lake (and all rewards in previous categories!)

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