In Keaton's Lemon Garden
As a result of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Keaton and Leila must learn to live simply while in hiding in an Italian lemon garden. There, they choose to repress their love due to cultural complexities and fear of what waits for them beyond the walls of the lemon garden.
Inclusion StatementWhile building on the impact of the Iranian Revolution, our story highlights the challenges of those from the Middle East as well as the Jewish minority in the region, specifically through a female character. We're lead by a crew heavily made up of females ready to approach this film authentically.
About The Project
A Slice of Life
In Keaton’s Lemon Garden follows Keaton Reyn, an American filmmaker sent to Iran to cover the Revolution of 1979. As the Revolution erupts into chaos, Keaton hastily flees the country with Leila Shirazi, the daughter of a Jewish political figure with ties to the monarchy. Keaton decides to take Leila to his family’s lemon garden in Italy, where the two develop a romance amidst their fears as they hide from Iran's revolutionaries.
As a filmmaker, I hope to tell the story of lives most only know as statistics. The lives that have confronted grave tragedies, only to acquaint themselves with a life familiar to them awhile ago, struggling with the mundane, simple tasks that also contained such a sweetness. In Keaton’s Lemon Garden, although a work of fiction, has found its way into me.
My grandparents grew up as Jews in Iran. While they fled prior to the Iran Revolution, narrowly escaping the persecution of countless Jews, it begs the question— what would Iran be if the Revolution had never occurred? What would the fate of my grandparents’ relationship be had they remained in Iran long enough to experience this historical catastrophe? This film explores two complex lives in an extremely complex situation. Rather than make an attempt at explaining the bigger picture, the film focuses on the small pleasures and encounters that we all must face in light of tragedy. Leila, the main actress and a victim of the Revolution, finds solace in the purity of romance, even if it's in an isolated lemon garden.
We understand the hesitation if you don’t know where your money is going, but we decided to break it down for you! Production is fast approaching in Minori, Italy, and we want to produce something authentic to the time period. To achieve this, we need additional funds to supplement the various aspects of production such as props, wardrobe, transportation, equipment, craft services, festivals fees, and more!
Seed and Spark is an incredible tool that allows filmmakers like us to gather the funds needed for their projects. With such support, we are able to share our project all over the world. We simply create our campaign, set up a goal, have a time frame to raise the money, and provide rewards for your generous donations!
By backing In Keaton’s Lemon Garden, you’re a part of it! Your support means everything to our team. However, for Seed and Spark we need to reach 80% of our goal. That means we NEED to meet our goal of $6,500. If we raise even a dollar short of that, we lose it all, and everything is refunded. This film will only come to life with your help and we greatly appreciate any help that we can get!
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About This Team
Gabriella Kashi is a writer and director based in New York and Philadelphia. Her creative work explores the unheard narratives with an emphasis on cross-cultural differences and language variation. Her latest short film, Angelette, was chosen to be showcased in various festivals, such as Temple’s Women in Film Festival and at the Philadelphia Jimmy Kimmel Center’s Film Fest. Her short film, Purple Prose, is currently in principal photography.
Valerie Jane Bailey
Valerie Jane Bailey is an award-winning Philadelphia based film producer that focuses mainly on narrative and documentary works. In 2017, Bailey executive produced the short film Besieged, which won Best Narrative Short at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and garnered other official selections across the United States. As a producer, Bailey focuses on works that explore the integration of larger social conflicts into individual conflicts of characters. Currently, Bailey is in the development phase of the web series, Big Trouble in Little America.
Addy Leigh Cassady
Addison Cassady is a Philadelphia-based media producer and photographer focusing on various media works. She’s produced and directed shorts as well as music videos that explore and foster creative visions dedicated to promoting diversity in cinema. Currently, Cassady is in the preproduction phase of her latest film, Las Lobitas, Los Angeles, which delves into the life of a 19-year-old that struggles with the complexities of her identity and home.
Director of Cinematography
Luc Ung is a French cinematographer based in New York City. He has a ranging style in narrative, experimental, and surreal cinema. His approach to cinema is mainly influenced by French New Wave, Eastern European cinema and Taiwanese New Wave.
Jane Finta is a Philadelphia based production designer and actor from New York, specializing in refurbished antique props, historical fashion, and practical effects. In addition to her film work, Jane mentors young adults in fashion, orchestrating charity fashion drives in her free time.
Madelynn De La Rosa
Madelynn De La Rosa is a filmmaker, video editor, and production designer based out of Los Angeles. Madelynn specializes in shooting on super8 and super16 film, finding great inspiration from French cinema. Currently, Madelynn manages her own YouTube channel Madewin which explores her many passions, daily rituals, and film projects, some of which are Something Sweet and Bisou Bisou.