March’s Online Short: They’re With Me (Filmmaker Q&A)

Filmmaker Q&A:

What inspired you to make this film?
After a very painful breakup at 26, I had this strange fantasy that my
dead relatives were watching me live out my very melodramatic
existence. In my fantasy, they were both amused by how serious I
took myself and also genuinely concerned for my well-being.
What I longed for more than anything during that time, was for them to
actually materialize. I hoped that they would not only share their
wisdom and strength with me but also a healthy dose of perspective
about life and love. Since they never materialized in the flesh, I
decided to make a film about what would have happened if they had
actually shown up.

What was your greatest challenge during the filmmaking

The greatest challenge was acting and directing at the same time. I
would do it again, but it’s hard to keep perspective while switching
back between two very different roles.

Any thoughts you’d like to share about screening this film in a
Jewish context?

My hope is that the story is a universal one first and foremost but I
certainly hope that people who are Jewish appreciate some of the
more nuanced specifics of growing up as a Jewish kid with loud,
exuberant and pushy relatives.

What film/media has inspired you lately?
Woody Allen is a constant source of inspiration and comfort for me.
Most recently, on television, I enjoyed The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,
Escape at Dannemora, Catastrophe and have fallen in love with
Schitt’s Creek which is one of the funniest and most heartfelt shows
I’ve ever seen. As far as movies go this year, I loved Black Klansman, Wildlife, Cold War & Roma. I am also very into audible and really
enjoyed Stephen King’s book “On Writing”.

What do you do when you’re not filmmaking?
When I’m not working I am with my two year two year old son Julian
and my husband Blake, they are my best friends and I love being
around them. I also love to read, watch movies, play piano, drink wine
with my best friends and travel.

Lastly, gefilte fish: delicious, or disgusting?
Very disgusting.

For more JFI Online Shorts visit

Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute!

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