Experiencing Interruptions?

Unspoken Code

A female AI robot finds herself caught between developing her own AI to its full potential and her coding, which programs her to please, with devastating consequences. Designed for sophisticated tasks, she aspires to develop past expectations, but is thwarted by her human host, who pushes her buttons.

  • Jennifer Schwerin
    A Part Apart, Elixir, Talking Trash
  • Jennifer Schwerin
    A Part Apart, Elixir, Talking Trash
  • Peter Walters
  • Kira Leinonen
  • Jennifer Schwerin
  • Augusta Xu-Holland
    Key Cast
  • Karim Oyarzabal
    Key Cast
  • Andrew Lane Cawthon
    Key Cast
  • Paul Allica
    Key Cast
  • Stanley Tsang
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, Drama
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 14, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Chicago Feminist Film Festival
    Chicago, Illinois
    United States
    March 7, 2018
    North American
  • The Female Eye Film Festival
    Toronto, Ontario
    June 29, 2018
    Canadian Premiere
    Best Short Film
  • Beijing Indie Short Film Festival
    June 13, 2018
    China Premiere
    Best Drama
  • California International Shorts Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    September 16, 2018
    California Premiere
    Best Narrative Short
  • Icon Science fiction and Fantasy Festival
    Tel Aviv
    September 25, 2018
    Israel Premiere
  • ReFilmery Summer Screening Series
    New York, NY
    United States
    July 18, 2018
    New York Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jennifer Schwerin

Jen Schwerin is an award-winning filmmaker working in the USA and China.
In the US, she won awards for her feature documentary, TALKING TRASH. It screened at festivals and aired on PBS. HBO then hired her to make a doc, WHIPPED UP, which aired in 1995. Her short fictional film, THE VESSEL, aired on PBS, screened at festivals, was curated by Laurie Anderson for a show on women’s voices, and was nominated for an Emmy Award.

In China since 1995, Schwerin created the first Chinese short films for MTV. Taking her expertise in short-format, creative content, she founded TaDaa! Media and Films to create entertainment for clients and to develop her own films. She has directed award winning shorts and has written and developed several Mandarin and English language feature film projects. Her feature script, DELICIOUS, was selected for the CHINA-CANADA CO-PRO SCREENPLAY COMPETITION in 2012 and is in development. Her short, A PART APART (2012), won Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Cinematographer at The National Film Challenge, while another short, ELIXIR (2011), was a finalist the previous year. Currently she is working on her first TV pilot and writing feature scripts. She grew up in New York City and is based in Beijing.

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Director Statement

Unspoken Code is about that catch-22, that "no win" place for females, where often their impulse to please and make "life happen smoothly and happily" is in conflict with their need to grow and reach their potential. It is a simple allegory for that place we often find ourselves in, which results in our own destruction, our own implosion. It's about all those unwritten, unspoken codes, which we internalize and are subtly and not so subtly, subjected to by ourselves and by society that are very difficult to break out of.

I love this idea of using a she-bot as a way to express a very fundamental frustration that I imagine most women face often. I know the frustration of this internal conflict is vey central to me, and the she-bot was a wonderful embodiment of this idea.

At the same time, I wanted to explore the uneasy, sometimes conflicting feeling we all have about AI, the ways in which we might feel threatened, and fundamental questions about what makes us human. Where and how are we going to draw that line and negotiate this conundrum in our lives as technology races forward?