Nebula is a short film that explores the relationships of two women; Carrie who is finalizing her divorce from her
husband and Jonelle who is dumped by her partner of 7 years. The two women meet at a party celebrating the arrival of
the comet, Ison. It is a story about connectedness and transformation, demonstrated through the parallel journeys of the
two main characters as we witness the impact that they have on each other.
On the surface Nebula is merely about two women and their relationships,
but a closer investigation of the narrative reveals a story that penetrates the
deeper levels of human existence. Typically when we see relationships on
screen the focus is on external factors such as romance, or family. This film
explores the relationships we have with ourselves by proposing that
connections often manifest in unexpected ways.
The title, Nebula, is derived from the astronomical term that means a
formation of gas, dust and matter that becomes massive enough to form
stars. The characters must interpret their pasts in order to understand
their present circumstances and successfully navigate their future. In this
way, Nebula works on two levels: the cosmic or universal level, and the local
The cast is an eclectic mix of characters whose lives and situations are often left out of mainstream media. Carrie, who is
married and divorced before the age of 30 is defying the traditional narrative for a woman her age. She lives with her
best friend Ben, a gay man who invests most of his energy in spiritual pursuits. On the other side of this story lie Jonelle
and Pauline, an interracial lesbian couple whose relationship questions issues of intimacy and class moreover race. Over
the years, Jonelle has lost her identity in her relationship with Pauline and a sense of isolation and detachment permeates.
These four characters are connected by Doug, the spiritual advisor, who is also Pauline’s
The culmination of the story takes place at the party for the comet Ison which acts as the
ethereal manifestation of Doug’s character; like Doug, the comet is the force that connects
all of the characters. Experts say that Ison will be visible in our night sky for
approximately three months beginning November 2013 and has the potential to shine
brighter than Venus and the full moon as it approaches the sun. In the spiritual or
metaphysical community, the comet Ison is believed to usher in a new age of peace and
prosperity for mankind, the Age of Aquarius. In Nebula, Ison is not only a plot point but a
vehicle for transformation.
The past life reading that Carrie and Ben attend is an obvious way for these characters
connect with their pasts but it also serves as a metaphor for the larger themes of karma
and the connection to our inner selves. Like Ison, The nebula stone also materializes the
film’s broader themes. The stone represents the connection between the past, present, and
future and continually reincarnates. It is said to make one feel more complete and
contended in their body, expand consciousness. It is a tangible version of the comet, an
amalgamation of mind, body and spirit.
While media representations of the African American and LGBTQ community is increasing, the subject of spirituality
within these communities remains largely unarticulated or one-sided, favoring Christianity and other hetero-normative
traditions. Nebula aims to deconstruct the stereotypical depictions of the Black and Queer communities, offering new
ideas and a unique perspective found at the intersection of these marginalized groups.
The Comet Ison–slated to pass Earth during