Kepler X-47

Posted In Short Films


A woman is forced to adjust to a new life in a human zoo on an alien planet.


* Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Muse Young Directors Night, 2014
* AFI Directing Workshop for Women Showcase, 2014
* Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Golden Reel Nominee for Excellence in Short Film, 2014
* The Caucus for Writers, Directors and Producers Foundation Grant Recipient, 2014
* ARC Center for Cultural Innovation Grant Recipient, 2014
* Panavision New Filmmaker Grant Recipient, 2013


  • Bella Dayne as Krystal
  • Leith Burke as Marcus
  • Eva La Dare as Dawn
  • Ricardo Mamood-Vega as Ray
  • Elisa Gabrielli as The Intercom
  • Katherine Pawlak as Lucy
  • Tyler Parks as Billy
  • Unati Mangaliso as the Alien Tour Guide
  • Folake Olowofoyeku as an Alien Sentinel
  • Henning Fischer as an Alien Sentinel
  • Jemal Draco as an Alien Tourist
  • Elaine Mani Lee as an Alien Tourist
  • Elena-Cristina Marchisano as an Alien Tourist



The concept behind KEPLER X-47 was initially sparked by the Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Under the Big Black Sun” exhibit featuring California art from 1974-1981. In 1978, conceptual artist Lowell Darling ran for governor of California using a tongue-in-cheek campaign. One of Darling’s proposals was to create a “Human Zoo” – all animals would be returned to their original habitats and the government would hire the unemployed, who would wear animal costumes and get paid from the zoo’s proceeds.

I wanted to explore further the idea of humans being held captive like animals, but by choice. It is “normal” for people, at least in the United States, to be chained to their desks for at least eight hours a day, live in one box for most of the year, take one or two weeks of vacation, etc. Our workaholic culture rewards a live-to-work lifestyle. The economist, Paul Krugman, recently wrote in The New York Times, “We live in a sick society.”

Ultimately, Kepler X-47 is an examination of humanity, the absurd living conditions we have created for ourselves, and how most people would choose security and being comfortable over the unknown, even if it would mean being free.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my film.

Best Regards,
Erin Li
Director and Co-Writer, KEPLER X-47


KEPLER X-47 was selected to be produced as part of the AFI DWW program in 2013. Since 1974, AFI has offered this tuition free training workshop and opportunity to direct a digital short that has launched the career of many directors. The three-week workshop focuses on the development and production of a short narrative project. Participants enter the program with a short screenplay, which they develop and revise within the workshop. Each year, AFI selects only eight women for this prestigious workshop. Over 250 women have been given the opportunity to participate the program. Some DWW alumnae include: Maya Angelou (DOWN IN THE DELTA), Tricia Brock (SAVING GRACE, 30 ROCK, BREAKING BAD, GREY’S ANATOMY, UGLY BETTY), Jennifer Getzinger (MAD MEN, SUITS, HUNG, THE KILLING), Lesli Linka Glatter (MAD MEN, THE NEWSROOM, HOUSE, THE MENTALIST, THE CLOSER).


TRT 13 min. | Color | HD | 2:37 | 5.1 Surround Mix | 23.98 fps | English



  • Director: Erin Li
  • Writer: Allison Lee
  • Writer: Erin Li
  • Producer: Kaz Kipp
  • Producer: Gregory Chou
  • Producer: Erin Li
  • Co-Producer: Stephen Paratore
  • Director of Photography: Kristin Fieldhouse
  • Editor: Susumu Kimura
  • Production Designer: Niko Vilaivongs
  • Costume Designer: Elena Flores
  • Assistant Costume Designer: Megan Knowles
  • VFX Supervisor: Eric McAvoy
  • Line Producer: Andrew Cummings
  • Casting Directors: Shana Landsburg and Patrick Baca
  • Key Makeup Artist: Alexandria Storm
  • Special Effects Makeup Artist: Cat Elrod
  • Sound Designer: Nathan Ruyle (This is Sound Design)
  • Composer: Robert Allaire
  • Colorist: Chris Hall (Prehistoric Digital)


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