Experiencing Interruptions?

The Commitment

Robert and Ethan are an interracial gay couple fulfilling their dream of adopting a newborn baby. After they meet the expectant Asian birthmother, however, they receive a surprise that threatens their own relationship.

  • Albert M. Chan
  • Albert M. Chan
  • Aaron Howland
  • Albert M. Chan
  • Richard Possemato
  • Seth Howland
  • Albert M. Chan
    Key Cast
    Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, 30 Rock, Gotham
  • Jason Lane Fenton
    Key Cast
  • Kerri Patterson
    Key Cast
  • Mary Niederkorn
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBT, Asian
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2012
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Palm Springs, California
    United States
    September 22, 2012
    World Premiere
    Audience Favorite (Short Series, shared with "Groom's Cake" and "Little Ones")
  • Boston Asian American Film Festival
    Boston, Massachusetts
    United States
    October 28, 2012
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    United States
    November 1, 2012
  • Columbus International Film + Video Festival
    Columbus, Ohio
    United States
    November 3, 2012
  • Out in the Desert: Tuscon's International LGBT Film Festival
    Tucson, Arizona
    United States
    January 23, 2013
    NOMINEE: Best LGBT Film
  • Desperado LGBT Film Festival
    Phoenix, Arizona
    United States
    January 26, 2013
    Audience Award (Best Short Film)
  • PRIDE LGBTQ Film Festival
    Bloomington, Indiana
    United States
    February 2, 2013
  • Kansas City FilmFest
    Kansas City, Missouri
    United States
    April 11, 2013
  • Boston International Film Festival
    Boston, Massachusetts
    United States
    April 17, 2013
  • Torino GLBT Film Festival
    April 22, 2013
    European Premiere
  • DisOrient Asian American Film Festival
    Eugene, Oregon
    United States
    April 27, 2013
  • Southeast New England Film, Music & Arts Festival
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    April 27, 2013
    Jury Award for Best LGBT Film, Audience Award for Best LGBT Film
  • On Location: Memphis
    Memphis, Tennessee
    United States
    April 27, 2013
  • Little Rock Film Festival
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    United States
    May 16, 2013
  • KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
    May 23, 2013
    Asian Premiere
  • Kansas City LGBT Film Festival
    Kansas City, Missouri
    United States
    June 4, 2013
  • QFest St. Louis
    St. Louis, Missouri
    United States
    June 8, 2013
  • Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
    South Africa
    June 16, 2013
    African Premiere
  • Philadelphia QFest
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    United States
    July 13, 2013
  • Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival
    July 13, 2013
  • Woods Hole Film Festival
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts
    United States
    August 1, 2013
  • Long Beach QFilm Festival
    Long Beach, California
    United States
    September 7, 2013
  • CNKY Film Festival
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    United States
    September 21, 2013
  • DC Shorts Film Festival
    Washington, DC
    United States
    September 21, 2013
  • Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

    Hong Kong
    September 24, 2013
  • QUEERSICHT lesbisch-schwules Filmfestival Bern
    November 7, 2013
  • Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival
    Chicago, Illinois
    United States
    November 9, 2013
  • NewFilmmakers New York
    New York, New York
    United States
    January 4, 2014
  • San Antonio QFest
    San Antonio, Texas
    United States
    October 14, 2016
    NOMINEE: Jose Sarria Memorial Award for Best Drama Short Film, John Fryer Memorial Award for Best Male Performance, Marsha P. Johnson Memorial Award for Best LBGT Minority Portrayal
  • Chennai Rainbow Film Festival
    January 5, 2017
  • queerKULTUR Karlsruhe
    March 31, 2017
    German Premiere
  • Korea Queer Film Festival
    Korea, Republic of
    July 20, 2017
    Korean Premiere
  • qFLIX Worcester
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    United States
    September 17, 2017
    Audience Award - Best Men's Short
  • Serile Filmului Gay International Film Festival
    November 20, 2017
    Eastern European Premiere
  • Queer Kampala International Film Festival
    December 10, 2017
    Ugandan Premiere
  • LGBT FIlm Festival
    April 14, 2018
    Polish Premiere
  • qFLIX Philadelphia
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    United States
    March 24, 2018
  • My True Colors Festival
    New York City
    United States
    June 9, 2018
  • Santo Domingo OutFest (Dominican Republic)
    Santo Domingo
    Dominican Republic
    December 1, 2018
    Caribbean Premiere
  • Festival Internacional De Cine Lesbigaytrans
    July 12, 2018
    South American Premiere
  • Queerbee LGBT Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 7, 2019
    UK Premiere
  • PRIDE Queer Film Festival
    March 7, 2020
    Australian Premiere
  • boyOHboy Films Marathon
    October 17, 2020
    French Premiere
  • Flikkers Queer Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    February 26, 2021
    Best Directing
  • Sappho Film Festival
    Paynes Plot
    United Kingdom
    April 30, 2021
    Best BAME Filmmaker, Best Short Film Finalist, Best Director Finalist, Best Sound Design Finalist
  • Online New England Film Festival

    United States
    September 7, 2021
  • Las Vegas Queer Arts Film Festival
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
    October 15, 2021
  • The Fatherhood Image Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    October 23, 2021
  • Twisted Arts Film Festival
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    United States
    November 11, 2021
  • PRIDEFILM.online

    October 17, 2021
    Ukrainian Premiere
    Honorable Mention
  • Muskoka Queer Film Festival
    March 18, 2022
  • Silicon Valley Asian American Pacific Film Festival
    Sunnyvale, California
    United States
    October 28, 2022
Distribution Information
  • Guest House Films
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand, Video / Disc
  • QueerBee
Director Biography - Albert M. Chan

Albert M. Chan is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker and actor now based in the United States. Among his distinctions, he has been recognized by the National Film Board of Canada, is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation Grant, and was named a finalist for the prestigious Roy W. Dean Film Grant, awarded to films that are “unique and make a contribution to society…stories that can heal and enrich our lives.”

Albert wrote, directed, and produced his first film, FATE SCORES, an experimental silent film which was recognized by the National Film Board of Canada and acquired by Moving Images Distribution (formerly Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West) after a successful festival run. He directed and starred in his follow-up film, THE COMMITMENT, which has screened at over 50 film festivals on six continents and won multiple awards, most notably edging out Oscar®-nominated MOONRISE KINGDOM to win a 2013 NASW Media Award. Albert’s third film, DESCENDANTS OF THE PAST, ANCESTORS OF THE FUTURE, stars Golden Globe®, Emmy®, and Drama Desk nominee Tina Chen and most recently won Best Screenplay and Best Actress at the 2015 NYC Downtown Short Film Festival. His latest narrative film, WELCOME TO THE WORLD, was shot on an iPhone in one continuous 7-minute take for less than $140, and has so far screened in over 50 festivals on six continents. Albert also directed, edited, and produced the documentary MAP FOR HEALTH, 25 YEARS OF ASIAN PRIDE, about a group of young people who banded together to help the largely neglected Asian-Pacific Islander population during the AIDS crisis in the early 90's, which premiered at the 2018 Boston Asian American Film Festival. Albert is currently developing science-based feature projects including the Black List Endorsed screenplay INCARNATIONS as a writer and THE ELUCIDATION OF DR. PARK as a creative producer, the latter a collaboration with writer/director Alice Cox Neff.

Also an accomplished actor, Albert’s film and TV roles include GOTHAM (FOX), JULIA (HBO Max), NEW AMSTERDAM (NBC), LOVE LIFE (HBO Max), GIRLS (HBO), PATRIOTS DAY, 30 ROCK (NBC), LAW & ORDER SVU (NBC), BODY OF PROOF (ABC), GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST, THE MAKEOVER (ABC), and BROTHERHOOD (Showtime). He has been cast by directors such as Spike Lee, Greg Mottola, Henry Bromell, and Mark Waters to act opposite Kevin Bacon, Helen Hunt, Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Justin Long, Larry David, Cybill Shepherd, and Mariska Hargitay.


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Director Statement

THE COMMITMENT is inspired by my own roller-coaster journey to become an adoptive parent, particularly as a gay Asian man.

When my husband and I decided we were ready for children, we naturally turned to domestic adoption, as there were obviously few other options available to two men. After deciding on an agency, we began to tackle the long checklist of requirements: registration forms, application forms (two!), criminal background checks, FBI fingerprinting checks, child abuse checks, employment verifications, written references, online and in-person seminars, book studies, and homestudy meetings with an adoption social worker.

Once requirements are completed, couples usually wait about a year before being selected by a birthmother. But before we had even completed the full set of requirements to join the pool of adoptive waiting parents, however, we received the surprising news that a young pregnant woman was searching for a gay couple to parent her baby. We rushed to complete the remainder of the requirements, especially our adoptive parent profile, that all-important book which would introduce me and my husband to birthparents considering adoption. At our last homestudy meeting, we were ecstatic when our social worker proudly announced that the young woman had indeed chosen us to parent her child.

We had less than three weeks to prepare for the arrival of our baby boy. In the first few days, we were able to select a pediatrician, make arrangements to take time off work, borrow a variety of baby items, choose a daycare, and max out the minutes on our calling plan. On that important day when we were to meet the birthmother of our baby for the first time, the agency canceled our meeting at the very last moment. A few days later, we received word that the birthmother had decided to give guardianship of her baby to family friends.

In the weeks that ensued, I secretly hoped that she would change her mind again, but as reality set in, it was difficult to be truly upset knowing that the baby who was almost our son would be able to remain closely in contact with his biological mother.

Those familiar with domestic adoption had told us before we began that the adoption process is truly a roller coaster ride, and now we finally understood what these people meant.

I dealt with the feelings of loss and disappointment the only way I knew how—I wrote a screenplay. Four unsuccessful birthparent matches and one year later, THE COMMITMENT went into production. Two weeks after the film wrapped, our beautiful son Andrew was born, the result of our fifth match.

I made THE COMMITMENT to educate, entertain, and move audiences with an authentic depiction of both the most heart-breaking and most joyous aspects of adoption, from the perspective of birthparents, adoption professionals, and a loving and committed gay couple.

One day, when Andrew is old enough to watch THE COMMITMENT with me and my husband, I hope he recognizes the magnitude of the love into which he was born.

—Albert M. Chan