Future Weather

Future Weather

Also Starring:
Executive Producer:
  • Laura McKenna
  • Marc McKenna
  • William G. Kay
Photography Director:
Production Designer:
Costume Designer:
Music Supervisor:
Line Producer:
Associate Producer:
Production Company:
  • Lipstick Pictures

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Future Weather (2012/2013)

Opened: 02/22/2013 Limited

reRun Theater03/01/2013 - 03/07/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Drama

Rated: Unrated

Abandoned by her dreamer single mom, a teen conservationist becomes obsessed with ecological disaster, forcing her and her grandmother, a functioning alcoholic, to learn to trust each other as they leap into the unknown.


Lauduree is a 13-year-old loner, passionate about nature and obsessed with ecological disaster. Greta, her grandmother, is a fiery 50-something nurse jaded by alcohol and disappointment. When Lauduree's mother Tanya runs away to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a makeup artist for the stars, Lauduree tries to make it on her own, clinging to the secluded rural trailer where she lives, to see through her personal carbon sequestration experiment. When she is caught shoplifting, her cover is blown and she is forced to move in with Greta.

The new situation compromises Greta's already laid plans to sell her house and move away to live with her boyfriend, Ed. Convinced that her mother will return for her, Lauduree searches for ways to stay in town. She turns to the junior high science club: an activist teacher she idolizes and a lonely new boy. Meanwhile, Greta, daunted by commitment, begins using Lauduree as an excuse to sabotage her plans with Ed. As the two women struggle with Tanya's disappearance, they inch closer together, learning to trust each other as they leap into the unknown.

Featuring humorous, sharply drawn characters and powerful performances by Amy Madigan, Lili Taylor, and Perla Haney-Jardine, Future Weather is about finding the courage to survive change.

Selected Festivals

  • Tribeca Film Festival 2012
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival 2012
  • Little Rock Film Festival 2012
  • Seattle International Film Festival 2012
  • Nantucket Film Festival 2012
  • Woods Hole Film Festival 2012
  • Palo Alto International Film Festival 2012
  • Hamptons International Film Festival 2012
  • Planet In Focus Film Festival 2012
  • Heartland Film Festival 2012
  • Philadelphia Film Festival 2012
  • Naples Film Festival 2012
  • Virginia Film Festival 2012
  • Napa Valley Film Festival 2012
  • Arthouse Film Festival 2012

Selected Awards

Alfred P. Sloan Science in Film Prize - Hamptons International Film Festival

Crystal Heart Award - Heartland Film Festival

Sharon Pinkenson Award for Best Local Feature - Philadelphia Film Festival

Best U.S. Narrative Feature - Napa Valley Film Festival

Director's Statement

Future Weather is not autobiographical; however, it's very personal. In 1987, when I was twelve, I stood in the stacks of Young Adult novels at the public library and imagined a girl, not unlike me, opening the mailbox to find a postcard from her mother who was traipsing around the country in a pick-up truck. The girl was on her own. There was something both sad and romantic about this image, and it stuck with me for years. Coming-of-age novels, as I remember them, were about kids in trouble, kids who were alienated from adults. They were awkward and romantic and sexy in a way that felt sincere, not flashy. I wanted to create a film that evoked these same emotions and set it in the small Midwestern town and lush rural landscape where I grew up.

In 2006, with this seed of a mother-daughter story, I read a sobering series of New Yorker articles by climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert. The scientific proof of global warming was undeniable, and its implications for life on earth were heartbreaking. Yet at the time, no one was talking about it. I felt alone, angry, and abandoned in the face of such an uncertain future. Childless myself, I also wondered whether it was responsible to bring children into such a world. It seemed intuitive to weave these environmental anxieties into the story of a teenage girl trying to survive on her own. Perhaps I could get people to ask themselves the same question I was: are we an endangered species or can we adapt in time to create a sustainable life for future generations?

While writing Future Weather, I discovered that the characters had a will of their own and could be difficult. How does one feel about a mother who abandons her daughter? A grandmother who can, in turn, be charismatic, tender, deceitful, furious, or weak? Even Lauduree clings to the dishonesty and distrust learned from her mother and grandmother. I worried that people wouldn't like these characters until I realized that they have pain, obstacles and limits. They learn from their parents. They're human. The changes they manage are small but hopeful.

Future Weather strives for a cinematic language steeped in the poetry of everyday objects and elements of nature (e.g. night, water, sky). I was interested in representing these motifs with the Japanese sensibility of wabi-sabi, a beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." Hence, our lighting and art direction was done with this aesthetic in mind. We utilized natural light and embraced the irregular textures and age we found in our set pieces and props. A minimalist cello score allows Lauduree's visions of the world to bloom, unfettered by sentimentality; and our ensemble cast brings moments of humor and intimacy.

-- Jenny Deller, 2013

About the Production

Weather is the debut feature of writer-director-producer Jenny Deller and producer, Kristin Fairweather. The project is a labor of love that was developed from grassroots outreach and has been supported by mentorship and awards from organizations including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Film Independent, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Independent Filmmaker Project. In 2009, Jenny took the script to the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony for refinement and in 2010, the project received three grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of the script's unique treatment of global warming and climate science. After five years of development, we raised the funds to complete a five-week sustainable production in our hometown of Philadelphia in summer 2010.

As independent filmmakers, we have had to reconcile our goal for a sustainable production with a limited film budget. We found the most practical approach would be to take as many green actions as our budget permits at all stages of the film's production. Our guideposts were to conserve energy, reduce emissions, renew materials, and choose local whenever possible. We also utilized American University's Code of Best Practices for Sustainable Filmmaking as a guideline for creating a green production plan.

We took advantage of local environmental resources, shooting at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and the Pennypack Ecological Center, where we coordinated with experts to safeguard these local ecosystems during our shoot. We partnered with sustainable businesses to provide organic catering, on-set composting, and reusable water bottles. And our cast stayed at Philadelphia's only LEED Gold Certified hotel. Rather than go with a traditional carbon offset provider, we have opted to make donations directly to Trees for the Future, a Maryland-based non-profit that works with communities in developing countries to plant seedlings that can contribute to their ecological and economic sustainability.

Several of our green actions are visible onscreen. The video camera we used, the RED, is highly innovative. Images are recorded, not to videotape, but to reusable data cards that can be saved directly to a hard drive for editing. This saves film and tape stock as well as the energy required to transfer our footage from film to a digital format. Many of our props and set-dressing were purchased from second-hand shops, and our production design required very few built setpieces, reducing the need for building materials. When needed, we used soy-based paints. The use of natural light is another reductive measure that further enhances the film's ambiance.

To make sustainable options as transparent and unintimidating as possible for other filmmakers, we have documented the process of "greening" our office and film-set on our blog, The Future Weather Report. We have also used the blog to highlight other environmental films and local environmental issues, such as gas drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. Over time, sustainable practices will become more accessible and economical for independent filmmakers and consumers alike, but in the meantime, we must commit to taking actions - however small - today.