London, GB

A science fiction short film that spans centuries and galaxies.

Using real data from the Kepler mission and the history of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Ellipse is a film to inspire and encourage interest in science and / or the creative arts.  You can help us make this!.

ELLIPSE - Lily introduces a behind the scenes update

So what's it about?

Leo is from another world, many light years from Earth.  He is a player in an intergalactic game, travelling to other worlds and planting the seed of knowledge about whether we are alone in the universe.
On Earth he has tried many times to point us toward the truth but our technology and the recipients of his 'sharing' have not been able to take the steps needed to unlock the secret.
Then he finds Ro, an exceptionally bright girl who he draws into the game.  She becomes fated to study astrophysics and as a grown up astronomer, her research leads her to identify a particular comet and send a lander to explore it.

How does science and history figure in this scifi movie?

Firstly, the film begins over 400 years ago at The Queen's House. We meet Louise de Kerouaille, a mistress to Charles II.  She was responsible for convincing the King to create the observatory as a way to map the stars and solve the problem of longitude, an amazing woman.
The Great Hall at the Queen's House, Greenwich
Next, the whole of Ro's study and the data seen in the film from the alien world is from NASA's Kepler mission and the amazing app called EXOPLANET.  Hanno Rein, from the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton has chosen several stars with exoplanets to be discussed on screen and in the educational pack we are producing to support the film for schools, this will be written by Dr Lewis Dartnell and Marek Kukula, the Public Astronomer at the ROG.
Also, the whole film Is being made in collaboration with the Royal Observatory Greenwich, home of the the Prime Meridian. 

You need a lot of money, what's it for?

We have a small budget for this film, but larger than normal crowd-funded shorts.  This is because we want to make sure we get the best crew, props and look for the film.  It will have a wider reach if we make it a quality production.  We have cut as many corners as we can, but as we all know, film making costs alot of money.  We really need every penny and hope you can participate in making it happen.  Remember, even if you cannot donate, we would ask you to spread the word about the project.

Jessie Dubieniec testing costume

As well as our eternal thanks, we have some cool rewards below.  Thanks for reading and check back for news about the production as we progress.

About the team:

The film is being made by director, Ilana Rein, who made the fantastic award-winning documentary WE ARE ALL CYLONS, which has received much critical acclaim.  She has screened her films at galleries and festivals internationally and her work has been widely published in press such as Wired, Doubletake, Scientific American and Art in America

Our producer is Louis Savy, founder and festival director for SCI-FI-LONDON.  Louis has produced many corporate videos in his time and as the programmer for his festival, seen over 10,000 scifi shorts and features.  Putting his head on the block, he thinks it is about time he made a scifi film.

Special effects are being handled by Territory, the studio that recently worked on Prometheus - it is going to look amazing!

We have an amazing crew helping us make the movie including Gareth Ward (DOP)  Ewan Cassidy (Gaffer, Moon), Ali Reith (Make-up) and we even have a tantra guru on set, the wonderful Hanna Katz-Jelfs! - every film shoot should have one http://www.hannakatz.com

Finally, music is being scored by  Luke Corradinecomposer of numerous award winning features and shorts and the film is being edited by Ben Nugent.

The Cast.

We have assembled a cast of superb character actors with many years experience.  Check the image below!
The Tulip Staircase at the Queen's House, Greenwich

Jessie Dubieniec on set


a few days to go...
Posted: Thursday, 14 March, 2013 - 18:03

HI Backers!

Once again thank you for supporting the project - we are on the way though post now and looking forward to sharing the finished movie with you.

In the meantime, this is a plea to help promote us to your friends and networks - we are still shy of our target, so the more people we can reach the better our chances!

Below is our press release text and link, if you can blast it out there!


Louis Savy (Producer)

Ellipse the movie:
Film and science worlds collide at the Royal Observatory

A unique collaboration between SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival and The Royal Observatory Greenwich just wrapped on their co-produced film, ELLIPSE.

The film was shot on location at the Queen’s House and The Royal Observatory Greenwich –  a sumptuous backdrop to a story which aims to inspire and encourage interest in science and the creative arts. It will premiere at the BFI Southbank on Friday 3rd May 2013.

What makes this film project so extraordinary is the authenticity of the real science side. At the core of the film is real research data from NASA's Kepler mission and EXOPLANET app. Hanno Rein, from the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton has chosen several stars with Exoplanets to feature on screen and in the accompanying educational pack for schools written by Dr Lewis Dartnell and Marek Kukula, the Public Astronomer at the Observatory.

The film starts off in 17th century London where Louise de Kérouaille, a mistress of Charles II and keen amateur mathematician, persuades the King to build an observatory in Greenwich. She encounters an unusual character, LEO (Brian Bovell).  Centuries later, RO (Deborah Bouchard), a young girl also meets LEO and her interest in astronomy begins. As an astrophysicist in adult life, working with real NASA data, RO can investigate whether we are really alone.

Louis Savy, Festival Director, SCI-FI-LONDON says: “Science fiction film has been a key influence on so many of today’s scientists as film sparked their imaginations when they were kids. I want to contribute to making those sparks for today’s generation. Also, I must have seen over 10,000 sci-fi shorts and features coming through the festival and think it’s about time we made one!

Award-winning Ilana Rein directs Ellipse. She says: "I love that so many incredibly talented people are on board for Ellipse – it proves to me that people recognize that we are creating a film that will spread inspiration through art. I know that women are vastly underrepresented in the sciences and we hope to help be a part of changing that in the coming generation. Having the Royal Observatory as a location is a filmmaker's dream and the fact that it's a true sci-fi story filmed there adds to the excitement.

Encouraging girls towards science

Women are vastly underrepresented in science, and we need thoughtful, positive strategies to engage young girls in science subjects at school. Ellipse begins with a 10 year old girl in a London park, and shows her successful journey as an astrophysicist, leading a crucial mission to the discovery of life in other solar systems. The female lead and real NASA data used in the film work together: Ellipse encourages girls to believe there is room for women in the sciences.

Crowd-funding films
The producers of the film needed to fund this film as cuts to the Observatory's budget wouldn't allow for this type of project.  Therefore the film has had to use a crowd funding platform, Sponsume.com, to help finance the project.  The details are here:  http://www.sponsume.com/project/ellipse. 


- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:
Director Ilana Rein has screened her films at festivals internationally, including award-winning documentary We Are All Cylons [2011]. Rein has also been published widely in press such as Wired, Doubletake, Scientific American and Art in America. Special

Effects are by BAFTA 2013 nominees Territory FX [Prometheus and Casino Royale]. Music is scored by Luke Corradine, composer of numerous award winning features and shorts. The project is produced by Louis Savy, founder of UK’s premiere science fiction event, SCI-FI-LONDON.

Ellipse is currently in pre-production, gathering funding on Sponsume crowdfunding website and we start shooting on Feb 18th. The film is premiering at the BFI Southbank in NFT1, on 3 May 2013

Further Information:
Please Contact: Louis Savy
Telephone: +44 7588 681 566
Email: louis@sci-fi-london.com

Images are available at http://media.sci-fi-london.com

That's a wrap!
Posted: Sunday, 24 February, 2013 - 10:02

Hello supporters!

Thanks once again for helping getting this far, we have wrapped photography. 


The shoot went very well at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the Queens House.  Four days on location and an amazing cast and crew.  we shot on a RED EPIC camera and our DP, Gareth Ward got some amzing images...

We have a long way to go still, the editor, FX and sound design are next.  We still need to reach our target on Sponsume and ask you to tell your friends to donate if they can.

We want to again thank you all, and look forward to showing you the finished film soon.


Louis Savy
Producer, Ellipse

All ready... well almost
Posted: Thursday, 14 February, 2013 - 23:02

Hi all,

We are excited to be starting shooting this film, Monday - Friday 18th-22nd Feb... 

The team have come together, we have a great crew that now includes EWAN CASSIDY, the gaffer who did MOON - now that is some scifi credentials!

Costumes are hired from The National Theatre for the period costume scene in the beautiful Queens House in Greenwich Park, and money is slowly coming in from some lovely people - thanks folks!

Please keep spreading the word and check back next week for some set reports!

Louis Savy

Users details

Days to go
GBP £7,956.23
66% raised of our GBP £12,000 goal
This project ended on Sunday, Mar 24th - 16:12

This project's deadline has now expired - you can no longer back these rewards

You cannot back this project, funding is now complete.


Space dust

£2.00 or more : Our eternal thanks and gratitude and a hand written note from the producers of the film


Space Station

£10.00 or more : A big thank you and your name on the thanks page at ellipsemovie.com and a digital download of the film and score.



£15.00 or more : A signed and beautifully packaged special DVD of the film



£45.00 or more : A thank you credit on the film and on our website, plus all of the above. Two free tickets to any event at the next SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival and any parties!


Planet finder

£50.00 or more : REDUCED - LAST DAY Two tickets to the iconic Royal Observatory Greenwich, come watch the film, followed by an EXOPLANET workshop and planetarium show. GREAT LAST DAY OFFER! Was £75 for one, now £50 for two!



£60.00 or more : free download and upgrade of the hugely popular KEPLER App. Plus the DVD and thank you note. This also adds the Kepler add-on to EXOPLANET. Plus all the above.



£100.00 or more : An accurate 3D orrery model of our solar system/THE SOLAR SYSTEM USED IN THE FILM Plus all of the above



£100.00 or more : An exclusive animation workshop with Territory Studio. The people behind our digital animation will give a 40 minute talk on their work in the film followed by a Q&A. Plus the DVD and thank you note.



£100.00 or more : LAST DAY SPECIAL OFFER!!! Reduced from £150 to £100. A private guided tour of the Royal Observatory Greenwich with the public astronomer Marek Kukula. Getting behind the scenes look at the observatory and access to parts normally closed to the general public. DVD of the film and digital download or film and score. Two free tickets to any event at the next SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival and any parties!


Voyager II

£120.00 or more : NO LONGER AVAILABLE -


Deep Space

£150.00 or more : An exclusive invitation to the premiere of the film, screening with our new feature film, The Search for Simon. Premiering at the UK's most prestigious cinema: the NFT1 at the BFI on London's Southbank. Plus a VIP ticket to the after party with cast and crew. PlusDVD, download of film, soundtrack and credit on the film



£300.00 or more : AZ-152 is the name of our comet. How about we name it after you? You will be credited on the film and in the education pack that accompanies the film, Of course you will get an invite to the premiere and after-party. You also get the DVD, digital download of film and score and credit on IMDB.


Galactic Hero

£750.00 or more : You will be listed as an Executive Producer on the film and on IMDB.com. You will also be mentioned in the educational materials that accompany the film. Of course, you can come to the premiere, the party, get the DVD and be apart of this fabulous project. Access to all events at the next SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival as our guest!


Star Maker

£1,000.00 or more : LAST DAY SPECIAL OFFER An Executive Producer credit on the film and IMDB.com, A mention in the educational materials, invite to the premiere, a personal call from the film's director. Access to all events at the next SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival as our guest! A personal and public thank you at the premiere by festival director and producer, Louis Savy