BORDERLINE is a short realistic drama that offers a provocative look at the consequences of addiction. Haunted by an abusive relationship with her mother, Esme struggles to keep her walls up around her new, perceptive partner Aaron, even as her world spins out of control.

Set in Boston, the film follows the newly partnered paramedics over the course of two distinct emergency calls. Thrust into the immediacy of an emergency, Esme is forced to confront the personal demons that threaten to cloud her judgement. Will she crumple under the pressure or will she delve into the darkness within and find something worth saving?

  • Emily Sheehan
    After, Adaptation
  • Emily Sheehan
  • Amy Geller
    The Guys Next Door, Stay Until Tomorrow
  • Herlin Navarro
    Key Cast
  • Emmanuel David
    Key Cast
  • Tara Kavanaugh
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 8, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Sony F3
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Film Festival Boston
    United States
    May 6, 2017
    Winner of Student Short's Showcase
  • Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner
    May 22, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Boston Redstone Film Festival
    United States
    March 31, 2017
    First Place, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design
  • LA Redstone Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 13, 2017
    First Place, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Design
  • Short to the Point
    Official Selection
  • Middle Coast Film Festival
    Bloomington, IN
    United States
    August 10, 2017
    Official Selection
  • St. Albans Film Festival
    St. Albans, England
    United Kingdom
    July 8, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
    Middlebury, VT
    United States
    August 26, 2017
    Finalist - Best Narrative Short Film
  • Gig Harbor Film Festival
    Gig Harbor
    United States
    October 26, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Adirondack Film Festival
    Glenn Falls, NY
    United States
    October 19, 2017
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Emily Sheehan

Originally from Seattle, WA, Emily Sheehan is a filmmaker based in Boston. She recently graduated from Boston University's Cinema & Media Production MFA Program. In 2015, Emily was listed amongst Variety Magazine’s “110 Students to Watch,” and has been written up in The Boston Globe and BU Today for her work. Emily has won numerous awards and showcased her narrative short’s, AFTER and BORDERLINE, at multiple film festivals internationally, including the Cannes Short Film Corner (2017), the International Film Festival of Boston (2017), and the Middle Coast Film Festival (2016, 2017).

After wrapping up a semester as an Adjunct Professor at Boston University’s College of Communication, Emily is now working as an Assistant to Producer, Robin Sweet, on the new Stephen King adaptation, CASTLE ROCK, a Bad Robot / Hulu collaboration. To see more of her work or to drop her a line, feel free to visit her at

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Director Statement

The film has two goals.

First, I want to emotionally connect the audience with an emotionally guarded character. I want people to love Esme for all of her flaws and feel for a moment what she feels.

I also want the audience to understand the impact of addiction on the friends and family of an addict. What it feels like to watch as those you love succumb to opioid abuse — the helplessness and the pain. Esme's struggle to recognize her own role in her mother's addiction is the core of the film.