Private Project

Damned If You Do

On a bitter winter night, Heidi shows up at Jen’s door, battered and bloodied from an encounter with a slime-ball producer, Larry. Jen comforts Heidi, all the while stewing over her friend’s traumatic encounter — and the fact that men like Larry always seem to get away with it.

But not this time. This time will be different. Jen takes action.

On the way to execute her impulsive plan, Jen brings the audience alongside as she tells a wry joke. A funny/not-so-funny tale about the double-standards women face every day. Jen’s darkly-comic journey toward salvation takes her through a heightened reality of a slightly magical city where the struggles of injustice bubble just below the surface, and the imagery of victims and survivors appear with every turn.

Jen arrives at Larry’s apartment with the upper hand as she pulls a gun and insists Larry turn himself into the police. But Jen’s not fully prepared for what she has committed to, and Larry turns the tables. Desperately trapped and left for dead, will Jen be destined to live out the punchline of her own joke?

  • Liz Renner
  • Maher Jafari
    Executive on multiple primetime series
  • Dans Karagannis
    Ground Control, A Day, Middle Ground (Jubilee Media)
  • Olivia Grace Applegate
    Key Cast
    Organ Trail, Love & Death, Euphoria, Dirty John, Song to Song
  • Brian Rooney
    Key Cast
    God Forgive Us, Dead Girls, Tasmanian Tigers, General Hospital
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Dark Comedy, Thriller
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ScreenCraft Film Fund Competition (Screenplay)
    Los Angeles CA
    January 23, 2020
    Finalist (Top 50 of 1000+)
  • NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge
    New York, NY
    December 15, 2018
    First Round Winner
  • Omaha Film Festival (Screenplay)
    Omaha, NE
    March 12, 2022
    Best Short Screenplay
Director Biography - Dans Karagannis

Dans Karagannis is a Los Angeles based Writer, Director, and Photographer who specializes in scripted and non-scripted storytelling, bringing their background as a visual artist and musician to their approach. Dans’ work largely examines the nuances of marginalized communities and subcultures that shatter societal expectations. Their work also serves as a mirror, reflecting the dynamic interplay between environments and the individuals who inhabit them. An example being Dans’ feature directorial debut, INSOMNIA!, which is currently in financing and packaging. You can connect with and say hi to Dans on instagram (@dans_karagannis) and check out works of theirs here,

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Director Statement

We’re in a refreshing, re-birthed movement. One that, so fortunately, has proven to be more than a trend. But despite genuine efforts, the particular issue of sexual harassment and abuse of power is still too prevalent. The fight toward gender equality has its ways to go. As to how DAMNED addresses this - specifically the unhealthy, unbalanced power dynamic… DAMNED is bold. Ambitious. Blunt. Brave. Dark. Crude. Funny. Interactive. Witty. Smart. And unfair. It's really fucking unfair.

This is a story about being a woman, the injustices and double standards too many of us face. One with the tone of Birdman meets Fleabag. Additionally, cinematography from both of those pieces will be reflective in DAMNED. A cross between fluid, continuous, and in-motion camera movements alongside our protagonist, Jen, all while remaining intimately engaged with her when it’s just us: her and her audience.

DAMNED opens with a soft teaser, then the moment Jen brings us in, we move forward without looking back. Pace will be essential, as she engages with us and as she grows closer to implementing her plan - what that feels like, what that sounds like. And through this time, we witness many victims who have experienced the grotesque double standard Jen “jokingly” shares with us. The intent is to cast women of many ethnicities, to make it clear that this can and does happen to every kind of woman. Abuse knows no boundaries.

Once Jen reaches Larry’s apartment and her plan becomes achievable, reality begins to sink in. Internal tension and anxiety begin to flicker. Subtle breaths of conflict and doubt grow present, all as the experience itself remains fluid and sharp. Ultimately leaving Jen in a position she hoped to put an end to, and finding herself having to take action once again.

- Dans Karagannis