When a stranger collapses on her doorstep in the thick of a blizzard, a young woman makes a choice that will unravel a lifetime of secrets.

Mildred always did what was expected of her: find a man, settle down, and carry out chores on the family farm. As a woman in the early twentieth century, she did little to disturb the traditions of the time. She worked hard, said little, and suffered for years at the hands of her controlling, abusive husband, all while watching him dig the family farm deep into debt.

Our story takes place in the winter of 1920 as a brutal blizzard strikes and Mildred’s husband falls terribly ill. That same night, Mildred finds George, a charming World War I veteran, collapsed on her doorstep. As he regains his strength, their growing bond unearths secrets each would rather keep hidden.


Lain Kienzle - Director

Lain comes from a long line of tough southern women but grew up across the Midwest and East Coast, visiting friends' farms with her Aunt Betty, baking with her mom, and tackling filmmaking challenges wherever they might arise.

Since receiving her BFA with honors in Film and TV Production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Lain has worked all over the production world, holding the titles of Production Coordinator, Producer, First Assistant Director and more at companies like BBC Worldwide, BrenesCo, and 1st Avenue Machine. Her favorite television credits include Quantico, The Blacklist and 30 Rock.

I come from a long line of steely, southern women, and I can proudly say that some of the stereotypes are true. In our family, feeding houseguests is not optional, polite conversation is the only conversation, and my Grammy’s motto was “fat is what The Good Lord put in food to make it taste good.”

But this means that some of the uglier stereotypes are true of my family as well. And the most constant seems to be that sometimes the man who’s supposed to love you turns out to be a man who harms you, deeply, constantly. So many of the women in my family have a story that starts with love and ends with abuse. And we’re not the only ones; these stories belong to millions of women.

Too frequently, Hollywood presents domestic violence as a terrible tragedy that ends when “I packed my bags and left him.” But the stories my family tells start after that, when the real work begins. Moving forward requires immense strength, hard work, and the right people helping you make the choice to love and be loved, even when you’ve been told over and over that you don’t deserve it.
— Lain Kienzle, Writer/Director

The Look:

Cory Fraiman-Lott

Check out our Cinematographer's reel. 


Check out our Production Designer's work.


The Mouse and the Lion is currently in the pre-production phase. We are looking for contributions to help support our journey. We are partnered with Cinefemme, so all donations $200 and up are tax deductible! 


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