Permafrost takes place in a world devastated by climate change, and follows a small crew on an impossible mission to find an artifact from before The Frost. The film is set 11 generations after the earth changed, in northern Texas which has become a frozen wasteland. This is a world without literacy, where people rely on oral tradition and stories told through generations about brave expeditions and attempts to locate the essential artifact. But this crew is different. They have a secret weapon. They have a young girl with an uncanny talent for mapmaking; she can see what no one else sees. It's as if the land speaks to her. Placing their faith in this young cartographer, the crew strives to bend the arc of history toward hope.

  • Aeryn Lee
  • Nathaniel Porter
  • Aeryn Lee
  • Gentry Lee
  • Meghan McNeil
    Key Cast
  • Gentry Lee
    Key Cast
  • Nini Crannell
    Key Cast
  • Joni Adahl
    Key Cast
  • Brandon Veen
    Director of Photography
  • Jonah Eslinger
    Production Designer
  • Andrew Klein
  • Cody Read
    Music / Sound Design
  • Shaina Hovrud
    Makeup / Hair
  • Elley Cannard
    Script Supervisor
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indie Short Fest Los Angeles International Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    Best Sci-Fi Short; Best 1st Time Director (Female); Best Original Screenplay; Best Special Makeup; Best Trailer/Teaser; Best Short of the Season (Runner Up) (February 2021); Outstanding Achievement Awards for Producers, Production Design, and Actress.
  • Independent Shorts Awards
    Los Angeles, CA
    Platinum: Best Film of the Month (Runner Up) (February 2021), Best Sci-Fi Short. Gold: Best First Time Director (Female), Best Production Design, Best Sound Design. Silver: Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Story. Honorable Mention: Best Original Score.
  • IndieX Film Fest
    Los Angeles, CA
    Best Producers, Best First Time Female Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Special Makeup, Outstanding Achievement Awards for Actress and Actor, Award of Excellence (Special Mention) for Best Short Overall and Best Sci-Fi Short.
  • Depth of Field International Film Festival

    Award of Excellence: Direction. Award of Exceptional Merit: Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Original Score. Award of Merit: Supporting Actress, Makeup.
  • New York International Film Awards
    New York, NY
    Best Sci-Fi; Best Producers; Best First Time Director; Best Trailer; Best Actor (Gentry Lee); Best Acting Debut (Meghan McNeil); Best Makeup
  • Venice Shorts
    Venice, CA
    Best Producer
  • San Fransisco Indie Short Festival
    San Fransisco, CA
    Best First-Time Filmmaker
  • Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift
    Toronto, Ontario
    Best Sci-Fi Short
  • Big Sur Film Festival
    Carmel, CA
    United States
    Best Sound Design
Director Biography - Aeryn Lee

Aeryn's filmmaking brings an uncommon vantage point to expressive visual storytelling. Originally from North Dakota, Aeryn relocated to New Mexico in 2016 to pursue a career in film and television. Aeryn is the co-owner of 701 Productions, a Santa Fe NM based film production company, through which she works as a director and producer.

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Director Statement

This film will always be special to me because it allowed me to bring my filmmaking and my hometown together. The film was produced on location in North Dakota, in December of 2019. I thought the cold and the wind were our greatest challenges, but they became minor inconveniences in the face of Covid-19. Post-production was done 100% remotely, which was an obstacle, but like the crew in Permafrost my dedicated team refused to give up. While a lot has happened since this film's inception, the story continues to matter deeply. While the concept addresses the looming threat of climate change, the characters move through the world continually illustrating the strength of human spirit and the essential, primal need for human connection.