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The Leaping Place

An elderly woman journeys to a mysterious tree hidden in the depths of an ancient cave. Her journey takes her through the emotional and psychological growth of overcoming fears and insecurities, while finding peace and acceptance in the unknown.

Director Biography - Michelle Ionescu

Michelle Ionescu was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Although a Chicago native, Michelle’s Romanian heritage plays a large role in her personal and creative life. Fascinated by the way animated films visually told stories and captivated audiences; Michelle completed a degree in animation in hopes of doing the same. She wants to create and develop content that can influence and inspire the next generation of creative minds.


  • Michelle Ionescu Director

  • Matthew Amor Additional Visual Development

  • Lauren Anderson Additional Visual Development

  • Michael Baillie Jr. Additional Visual Development

  • Rochelle Dimapilis Additional Visual Development

  • China Nadeau Illustrator

  • Kevin Ridgway Character Modeling

  • Nora Graven Additional Modeling

  • Michelle Ionescu Additional Modeling

  • Jarel Kingsberry Additional Modeling

  • Dennis McCoy Additional Modeling

  • Nora Graven Rigging

  • Brittany Williams Rigging

  • David Hixon Technical Direction

  • Marius Lacatus Score

  • Michael Mcwethy Title Design

  • Michelle Ionescu Sound Design


  • Project Type: Animation, Student, Short

  • Genres: Adventure, Animation, Drama

  • Runtime: 3 minutes 36 seconds

  • Completion Date: March 14, 2014

  • Production Budget: 10,000 USD

  • Country of Origin: United States

  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: Yes

  • Student Project: Yes


  • Wonder Root Local Film Night Atlanta, Georgia September 25, 2014

  • Minnesota Speechless Film Festival Mankato, Minnesota March 20, 2015

  • 12 Months Film Festival

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