A man is face-down on the edge of a burning field. Another stands by watching the flames. Welcome to Light, Arkansas.

Set in the sweeping farmland of the Arkansas delta, this 12 minute short film tells a story of the small personal triumph of overcoming trauma with imagination.

Nick is a farm hand at Bettis Farms and a life-long resident of Light. Son of the town drunk, some say that even as a boy, Nick was never expected to amount to much; today, on the date of his divorce, he would have agreed. While Nick has every reason to want his failed marriage to be over, he drags out his trip to the court house despite encouragement from his secret love, Jeanne, as well as nosey questioning from the local cafe regulars.
When a biting but revealing argument with his pre-teen daughter finally pushes him to go, Nick unearths magical memories of long drives with his grandfather.

In a combination of hand-drawn rotoscoping and magical stopmotion, we see Nick’s Papa driving & telling tall tales of how he wrestled dinosaurs to create the rolling hills that appear on the edge of the farm. This reminder of his childhood admiration of his grandfather gives Nick the unexpected strength to take control of his life for the first time. In the middle of a field burn-off, Nick makes a crucial decision to stop enabling his alcoholic boss and embrace an uncertain future.

DELTA is a Southern Gothic tale that examines the passage of time and the dangers of believing what people say.


Southern Gothic live action/animated drama set in rural Arkansas.

A middle-aged farmhand in the rural South questions his relationship to his abusive boss and his own identity on the day of his divorce.

Nick Faulkner is an accidental outsider in his own rural hometown. Due to family history and stubborn prejudice, the small farming community where he grew up branded Nick as
“no good” and he believed it for far too long.
Secretly in love with his boss’s wife while also struggling to let go of his failed marriage, Nick discovers the past that shaped him into a man is also holding him down. On the day of his divorce, Nick finds strength and imagination in unlikely places and finally stands up to his abusive boss amidst a fiery predicament.

  • Juli Jackson
  • Juli Jackson
  • Juli Jackson
  • Mandy Maxwell Mooneyham
    Art & Design
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Southern Gothic, Magical realism, drama, black comedy
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Juli Jackson

Juli Jackson is a filmmaker and media artist focused on creating narratives that integrate animation and new technology to push boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Her feature film 45RPM which features a blend of live action and hand-painted animation has won over 10 awards and is distributed by BrinkVision. Jackson is completing her MFA in Film Production from Temple University and currently prototyping The Yellow Wallpaper as a room-scale virtual reality narrative in addition to producing Delta, as a short film a based on her experiences growing up in Arkansas.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I grew up in the Arkansas Delta which is home to many small rural farming communities in the fertile land near the banks of the Mississippi River.
The stories in DELTA are drawn from my personal experiences as well as family stories that have been told and retold so many times no one knows any longer what is truth and what is fiction. Maybe no one ever knew the truth.
This short film is about the passage of time - how the past affects the future.
How generations are connected by blood, by friendship, by necessity, and how those connections forged in the dirt are people, not monsters. Even if it is sometimes easy to confuse the two.