Once Upon A Felony

Faerie Tayler and friends are checking in on one another, making art by creating a faerie tale about trauma therapy, and the long term consequences of being incarcerated.

Faerie Tayler is a storyteller and artist focused on using art as therapy and a smart advocacy tool. Leaving the NYC metro area, the Faerie heads out to visit the area where a crime was committed over a decade earlier in 2008. JAREN meets with the Faerie to talk about what’s happened to them in the last decade or so, to make faerie stuff, and to reunite with Faerie. They were co-defendants spending years in prison for a crime committed at 18 years old. Faerie then meets up with old friend from prison, KAT and her preteen MIRA, and mother daughter duo who chat about the past and their futures while helping Faerie make this faerie tale visual collage short film. Along the way, RELL, a single black queer mother of a 7 year old, meets the faerie for only the second time since the Faerie and Rell met in a small jail. Their son, King, joins in on the art therapy and faerie tale telling by drawing and coloring with mom.

Faerie then remixes photos, interviews, stop motion, puppetry, drawings, and sounds to present the road trip stories as a faerie and fantasy filled adventure! It’s not all whimsical- the faerie and friends are touched by many small things while making the art, sharing deep truths, surviving since then, how they have kept hope. Everyone grows closer as a community and feels like their story is partially told. The film will focus on using art, even the basics, as a therapeutic tool and implore the audience to share their story by making art and advocacy signs and joining the movement to end mass incarceration.

  • Noelle “Faerie” Richardson
  • Noelle “Faerie” Richardson
  • Kristin Aldair
  • Jaren Flowers
    Key Cast
  • Cherelle Auguste
    Key Cast
  • Allison Killian
    Key Cast
  • Jaren “Yaeday” Flowers
  • Aaron “Levandur” Garrett
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Short, animation, stop motion, fantasy, fairytale, True crime, independant, women
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    November 29, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • JustStories Presents: Unchained Stories
    United States
    November 30, 2022
    Unchained Stories Premiere
Director Biography - Noelle “Faerie” Richardson

When I was detained, I wall-papered my cell with letters and art out of loneliness and desire to stay connected to my humanity. Guards would tell me not to alter state property, “Take it down!” Reflected in my immersive art today, is that sense of impermanence and improvisation. No story will be alike. A moment not to be re-created.
When I returned home about a decade ago, I was eager for advocacy, but burnt out quickly; it’s a big system to fight. I turned my creativity to entertainment; became a performance artist andevent producer. Faerie Tayler is a storytelling character and a fantastic reinvention of myself. This piece, “Once Upon a Felony”, is about freedom and the ability to represent myself, artistic citizenship, and using my public art as a civic function. I believe in radical expression, civic engagement, transparency, inclusion, a DO-anything-NOW mentality, and how art can evolve our neighborhoods into more empathetic and compassionate places.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The piece, Faerie Tayler Presents: “Once Upon a Felony”, requests that people sit down and talk about the far reaching effects of the incarceration of our loved ones; a true American faerie tale.

Collaborating with Justice Arts Coalition to expand the reach of the pARTner Project; a correspondence program connecting artists inside and outside of prison the film hopes to connect more pen pals and art pARTners to one another and to push for people to take direct action and contact their legislators and local social justice groups.