Experiencing Interruptions?

Earthling

Earthling is a ten-minute animated documentary about Jack Weiner, a grown man whose entire life has been shaped by being abducted by aliens when he was young, a life story nobody believes.

In the summer of 1976, Jack Weiner, along with his twin brother Jim, and two friends went camping in Maine’s Allagash wilderness, where they were abducted by aliens. It wasn’t until ten years later, and massive changes in their personalities, changes brought on by repressed memories, that the four men explored what happened to them on that trip through hypnosis. Despite people not believing Jack about his encounter with aliens, he stands by his story.

  • Keith Lane
    Director
  • Molly Graham
    Director
  • Ameesha Lee Earnshaw
    Artist + Illustrator
  • Lola Villa
    Sound Design
  • Katie Flood
    Sound Editor
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Animation, short
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Keith Lane, Molly Graham

Molly Graham Co-Director
Molly Graham is a professional oral historian and radio documentarian. She trained at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine where she produced the award-winning radio documentary, Besides Life Here, which has been licensed by several National Public Radio affiliates. She has her master’s degree in Library Science and Archives Management from Simmons College in Boston. Molly is the former director of the oral history program at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and Assistant Director of the Rutgers Oral History Archives. In 2013, she co-founded Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc., with the mission of preserving the stories, voices, and cultural traditions of Maine and beyond. Currently, she is the oral historian for NOAA’s Voices Oral History Archives, where she collects, preserves and curates oral histories documenting historical environmental change and its impacts on fisheries, oceans and coasts.

Keith Lane Co-Director
Keith Lane is a filmmaker and director based in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the salt institute for documentary studies in portland maine, he set out to cover the complex socio-environmental issues he'd invested in as a student: war’s long aftermath; natural disaster; environmental devastation; and political unrest. His work has taken him to earthquake-ravaged haiti, mine-infested fields of cambodia and, eventually, a politically volatile cairo, where he both taught at american university (cairo) and photographed the city’s streets from the 2012 presidential elections to the new president’s ouster in 2013. In 2019 he produced and directed a short animated documentary about his father-in-law’s time in Vietnam during the war which received recognition at independent film festivals worldwide.

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Director Statement

Jack considers himself a representative on earth for the aliens he encountered in 1976 - and is still visited by to this day - with an urgent message for all of humanity. We’re destroying the planet, its resources, and each other. Whether you believe in his account or not, the information is an urgent warning to all of humanity.

For most of Jack’s life, his story has not been believed. He’s a pariah in his community and has been ridiculed publicly for his account. Despite this treatment, he stands by his story and has never wavered. He is resolute in the face of adversity, and his life story is an important lesson in empathy, understanding, and accepting others’ perspectives.

The visual representation of the story is inspired by Jack’s artistic style and artwork, which is surreal, bizarre, and evokes the liminality of his lived experience on the precipice of earth and space, reality and fantasy, and present and future. The animation and narrative’s conceptual imagery convey themes and emotions related to the fear of the unknown, loss of control, and an important message of unity for humanity. These motifs are expertly illustrated and expressed by Earthling’s illustrator/animator Ameesha Lee, whose moody abstract style echoes precisely the renderings that Jack and his fellow abductees created after hypnosis returned their memories to them.