PENUMBRA - an exploration of addiction

An addict must survive addiction; everyone else must survive the addict.
Chelese Belmont
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Los Angeles, California
United States
2 Team Members


And thank you to everyone who helped make Penumbra Indiewire's Project of the Week!! It means so much to have your continued support!

Updated February, 2015
With the help of our Penumbra Angels, post-production is well underway! We are nearly finished with the edit and have sound mixing, color correction, and an original score all lined up to be completed in the coming months! 

We are still accepting donations because every dime that continues to come in is paying for studio time for the best sound mix that we can complete, paying songwriters for original music in addition to our fantastic composer, Daniel, who is working so hard to give us the perfect score for our story, and making sure our colorist has the time and space to make the film look its absolute best. 

In addition, funds that we receive past the post-production phase will all go to festival fees and deliverables (things like copies of the film, posters, and postcards) that festivals need in order to show our film. Funds will help us submit Penumbra to more festivals, which means it gets out to a wider audience, and that's our ultimate goal with this project. 

Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to sharing the film with you!

Forever Funding Stretch Goal #1 - $12,500 - The Score 

We have Daniel Clive McCallum attached to compose an original score for the film (more at Daniel was on set during phase 2 of production and has seen a vast majority of the edit, which he is currently working to score. We will continue working closely with Daniel in the coming months as he completes his beautiful score.

Stretch Goal #2 - Every dollar over $12,500 - The Post-Production-Beast

Every penny, dime, dollar raised after $12,500 would go into Post-Production. 

This would include, the Editorial Department (editing, color correction, and closed captioning), securing Music Rights (Shannan already has a wish list of songs she'd like to use as the soundtrack for Penumbra), Post-Sound/ADR, Titles & Graphics, Public Relations, and Festival Fees.


Thank you financial support, and your dedication to spreading the word about Penumbra. We can only hope that you are as proud of your choice to support our film, as we are of our passion project. 

Lastly, NEW PERKS 

Check out our new perks, designed with our Forever Funding Campaign in mind. But hurry, we won't be apart of this Forever Funding Pilot forever, because as you know, all good things must come to an end. 

"Forever Penumbra"


And if you're new to our campaign -- scroll on down, and find out all about Beleeve and our film Penumbra!! We're excited that you've happened upon us!!

* Check out for additional information! *

Brief Synopsis:

Penumbra is a narrative feature film about Erin Jacobs, a book- and street-smart cocaine addict who is living life by her own rules. She is a talented artist who has lost her drive to paint as her drive for the coke-induced high that she loves takes over. The film opens on Erin finishing the last of her cocaine when a knock on the door interrupts her solo party. She flippantly answers a line of questions about a noise complaint that two officers throw her way before getting off with a warning.

Later that day, as Erin is heading to a party, she notices one of the cops following her, but manages to lose the tail. After a wild night, she arranges some work at the leather shop that intermittently employs her. Her boss, Elizabeth, a successful musician and jewelry designer who has found the perfect balance between her success and her own addictions, warns Erin that she better do the same.

As Erin’s replenishing her stash the next day, the cop who tailed her, Valerie, busts her. We later learn that Valerie isn't as clean-cut as she lets on; she's struggled with addiction herself. As  she continues to fight her own personal demons, both her three-year sobriety and her husband, Jeff, are pushed to the limit.

In the meantime, Elizabeth invites Erin to a party, where a high society patroness of the arts commissions Erin to paint. Erin seems to be on the fast track to success, while Valerie struggles to keep her life on track, but an unforeseen event will bring everything to a halt.

When one of our protagonists musters the fleeting strength to go to rehab, she meets a tough-as-nails, but effective counseling team, Corrie and Christine, and a  fellow patient, Huck, who challenge her to face her demons head on. But after 90 days, will sober life stick or will she be right back to her habits?

Read More about how Penumbra Came to be in the Producer's Statement - Click here!

We started Beleeve Entertainment in 2012 after we decided to combine our collective skill sets and equipment to pursue our filmmaking goals: to give voice to those whose stories are often untold, misconstrued, or marginalized. We have spent the past few years honing our skills by shooting and/or editing short and feature films, promotional materials, live theater events, and music videos.

Women Make Movies Too:

One of the defining elements of Beleeve is that is a film company created and run by two women, and one of the key elements of Penumbra is that it filled with strong female characters, all of whom struggle with, and many of whom overcome the various challenges in their lives.

Martha M. Lauzen for Women in Film* reported that: "Female characters remained dramatically under-represented as protagonists, major characters, and speaking (major and minor) characters in the top grossing films  of 2013.

Females comprised 15% of  protagonists, 29% of major  characters, and 30% of all speaking characters.

Only 13% of the top 100 films  featured equal numbers of major  female and male characters, or more  major female characters than male characters."

According to the New York Film Academy’s study on Gender Inequality in Film**, "there are five men working in the film industry for every woman, and female directors only helm 16.9% of narrative films."

Penumbra’s numbers challenge this standard: The 2 Protagonists, and 18 Speaking Roles out of 31 (58%) belong to women, in addition to being directed by a woman (Shannan Leigh Reeve), produced by a woman (Chelese Belmont), employing a female DP, boom operator, and numerous crew members at various points in production. Women are on the screen for the vast majority of the film, influencing the events, and playing key roles in all of the characters’ lives.

We seek to prove that women can capably work both behind and in front of the camera in key positions, and that the result is a film with a strong message and production quality.



To break down how the funds have and will continue to be spent: 

Location Rentals, Insurance, & Permits: $4250.00

  This amount includes the rentals for the two locations that will serve as the residential rehab facility where the rest of the film takes place. It also allows for liability insurance and permits to film.

Camera Department: $1200.00

  This includes our DP and 2nd camera unit, which will enable us to shoot expediently while still getting coverage.

Sound Department: $950.00

  This will cover the cost of our sound mixer/boom operator for six days of filming.

Batteries for Cameras/Sound Equipment: $50.00

  Everything takes power, and filming for 12-14 hours per day eats it up, so we need to replenish batteries to ensure uninterrupted shooting.

Makeup: $1000.00

  This covers the time and kit for our talented makeup artist for 4 days of filming, including the few effects demands that are required.

Craft Services: $1200.00

  No. Hangry. Actors. This will feed our cast and crew for the full 6 days.

Gas Stipends, Parking, & Lodging for Actors: $1500.00

  Part of our filming will take place two hours outside of Los Angeles, and so we need to make sure our actors are well-cared for when they come to set.

Total: $10,000

The funds raised after the $10,000 mark:

Mediation Scene - the final scene that we considered cutting for budget reasons is being filmed! $1500.00 includes cast/crew, craft services, location fees, etc. for this final day of filming. 

Additional P.A. on Set for September 27th/28th, and some vital sound equipment that will make the quality even better! $500.00

Find This Campaign On
total funds raised
Original campaign was 120% funded on September 9, 2014
on April 1, 2015
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    The Tweet

    A personalized tweet with a fun fact about the film from one of the filmmakers, the limited edition sticker, and a thank you on our website (Available Immediately)

    1 claimed
  • $25USD
    The Download

    A digital download of the film upon release (estimated 2015) and a thank you on our website

    14 claimed
  • $35USD
    The Big Picture

    A downloadable .pdf production journal of the film, a digital download of the film upon release (estimated 2015), and a thank you on our website

    2 claimed
  • $45USD
    The Quote

    A 11”x3” durable vinyl bumper sticker with one of the quotes that inspired the title of the film, plus the digital download of the film upon its release (Estimated 2015), production journal .pdf, and a thank you on our website (Bumper Sticker and Thank You available immediately)

    2 claimed
  • $50USD
    The Film

    A DVD of the film upon its release (estimated 2015), production journal .pdf, and a thank you on our website

    12 claimed
  • $50USD
    Piece of the Picture

    An 8x10 of the official movie poster, digital download of the film, the .pdf production journal, and a thank you on our website.

    1 claimed
  • $75USD

    For the dreamers in all of us, show you Beleeve in making a difference through the stories we tell! An #iBeleeve T-shirt, digital download of the movie, the .pdf production journal, and a thank you on our website. Plus a sneak peak of the new trailer before it's released to the public.

    2 claimed
  • $100USD
    The Talk Back

    Invite to a 30-minute Google Hangout or Skype with members of the cast and filmmakers (cast subject to availability), plus the DVD upon release (Estimated 2015), the production journal .pdf, and a thank you in the credits & on the website

    2 out of 5 claimed
  • $125USD
    The Script

    A copy of the full length Penumbra Script, signed by members of the Cast and Crew, to be delivered upon release of the film (Estimated 2015 -- we can’t give away the spoilers!) plus the digital download of the film upon release, the production journal .pdf, and thank you in the credits & on the website

    6 claimed
  • $200USD
    The Look - Still or Video

    Still: A two-hour photo shoot by Beleeve Entertainment, which you can use for marketing, family photos, or headshots (unlimited looks, 4 retouched photos). Video: Your choice of 30 sec commercial (shot & edited) for your company, or shooting a 3 page scene for your reel (for editing, please add an additional $50). Examples available on Travel not included. Plus a thank you in the credits & on the website

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $250USD
    The Works

    A DVD of the film with a director’s commentary and deleted scenes upon release (Estimated 2015), plus the bumper sticker, t-shirt, production journal .pdf, and a thank you in the credits & on the website

    3 claimed
  • $250USD
    Forever Penumbra

    To celebrate the Forever Funding extension of our Campaign, we've created something special to give you a forever piece of Penumbra. Perk includes the official 16x20 matted & framed poster (23x27 with frame and mat), digital download, the .pdf production journal, and a thank you on our website.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2015
  • $350USD
    The Screening

    Two Limited Edition tickets to a Private Cast & Crew Los Angeles screening of the film upon completion (Travel and lodging not included). Plus the exclusive Penumbra t-shirt, the digital download of the film upon release, the production journal .pdf, bumper sticker, and a thank you in the credits & on the website (Estimated Fall 2015)

    2 out of 15 claimed
  • $750USD
    A Night Out

    Dinner for two with the producers (& a surprise member of the cast depending on availability) (Travel to Los Angeles and lodging not included). You also get the digital download of the film upon completion (Estimated 2015), plus the bumper sticker, t-shirt, production journal .pdf, and a thank you in the credits & on the website

    0 out of 2 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    The Collaborator

    An Associate Producer Credit in the film, 4 tickets to the Private Cast and Crew Los Angeles Screening of the film (Travel and lodging not included; Estimated 2015) , plus a DVD of the film with a director’s commentary and deleted scenes upon completion (Also Estimated 2015), the bumper sticker, t-shirt, and production journal .pdf (Bumper Sticker & Production Journal Available Fall 2014).

    1 claimed
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