Rising from the sea monster of death, a young woman’s ghost leads her grieving sister through the heart of darkness in search of light.


Amy Lee Ketchum – Director, Animator
Ellen Boscov – Composer, Writer, & Producer
Stephanie Gumpel – Producer
Maren Montalbano – “Mezzo-soprano (Jhene)”
Jessica Beebe – “Soprano (Xanthe)”

Director Statement

The story of “First Light” is revealed through a synthesis of music and art, a hybrid of traditional hand-cut puppet and hand-drawn 2d character animation with digital effects, and an original classical score. Its poetry is sung by Maren Montalbano and Jessica Beebe, vocalists in Grammy Award-winning ensembles.

Director Biography

Amy Lee Ketchum creates poetic narratives and abstract worlds in her animations which draw from personal and collective memory, metaphysical narratives, and dance. Her work has been shown on broadcast television, various international film festivals such as Animasivo in Mexico City, and the Centre Pompidou web channel. Her works have also been exhibited at spaces such as the Boston Center for the Arts and have been written about in publications such as LA Weekly and the New York Times Magazine. She has also animated commissions for clients such as the ACLU and the Atlantic. In conjunction with her studio practice, she is also a member of the Philadelphia art collective Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

Exhibitions include the Boston Center for the Arts, Space 1026, and the Shelburne Museum (upcoming). Awards and Recognitions include Animation on the Edge Top Prize, Los Angeles Animation Festival, and National Finalist, Student Academy Awards. Festival Screenings include Ottawa International Animation Festival, Animasivo, and the New York International Children’s Festival.