Short Film Profile
Copyright © 2013 Cosmic Light Producions, Llc

Psyche Ascending

Eros, god of erotic love, falls madly in love with Psyche, the most beautiful woman in the world. He cloisters her, but she is never allowed to see his face. Eros says she is pregnant: a boy, a god! Aphrodite, goddess of romantic love, envies Psyche and connives a dangerous mission: to fetch a special beauty tonic from Persephone, Queen of Hades. Psyche wrangles a promise she sees Eros’ face if she goes; Aphrodite agrees. Persephone warns Psyche that the “beauty” tonic might harm her. On her wedding day, Psyche drinks in defiance of Aphrodite. Psyche collapses. Eros caresses her; she revives. Psyche sprouts butterfly wings, and the pair ascends into a dawn sky. She sees his face. Her wings fall apart in the heat of the sun. They descend; the wing pieces formed a cocoon. It opens to reveal a beautiful child - their daughter Joy.

Film notes

Director’s Statement

One of the reasons I was drawn to direct Michael Zeilik’s screenplay, Psyche Ascending was the film’s large number of strong female characters. As a director, the opportunity to work with actors on a number of complex, intelligent and interesting female roles is rare and not to be missed.

Casting is perhaps the most important responsibility of the director and as a filmmaker, one of the things that appealed to me in moving from the north of England to northern New Mexico was the opportunity to work with Hispanic and Native American actors and filmmakers. I saw in Michael’s screenplay, a contemporary take on Greek Mythology, a chance to do just that, and the majority of actors and background in Psyche Ascending are cast from Native American Nations and the local Hispanic community. Psyche Ascending therefore strongly represents under-represented voices on screen.

With Psyche Ascending we are dealing in a story rooted in mythology. The screenplay called for a look and style to reflect the magical nature of its reality. In staging the film we took the use of mirrors and reflections as a motif that plays out the film’s design. The mirror is an iconic symbol found in the language of myths and fairytales the world over.

From the screenplay, and perhaps unusual by American cinematic tradition, the feel of the film played naturally with a theatrical aesthetic more akin to the British cinematic tradition of Michael Powell’s Archers Productions. The choice of Gene Mederos as Production Designer, who comes from a theatrical design background, further developed this language resulting in our minimalist theatrical staged sets.


Executive Producer
Production Designer
Sound Designer


Copyright © 2013 Cosmic Light Producions, Llc

Previous screenings

1 May – 4 May | Santa Fe, United States
3 Sep – 7 Sep | Las Cruces, United States

Film details

Dialogue languages

Subtitle languages


Aspect ratio

Production formats

Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 5 Dec 2013