Private Project


Half-Jewish, bisexual Jonah Dorman comes out to his girlfriend, shaking the foundation of their relationship and launching a tragicomic exploration of love and religion in New York City.

  • Jacob Roberts
    Director, Writer, Editor, Producer
  • Tatiana Kelly
    Executive Producer
    THE CATCHER WAS A SPY Directed by Ben Lewin (“The Sessions”). Starring Paul Rudd, Sienna Miller, Paul Giamatti, Jeff Daniels, and Guy Pearce. Academy Award-nominated writer Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Patriot”), Academy Award-winner Howard Shore, and Emmy award winner cinematographer Andrij Parekh. Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. THE WORDS Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Wilde, and Zoe Saldana. Cinematographer Antonio Calvache. Closing Night Film at the Sundance Film Festival THE PROCESSION Directed by Academy Award-nominated writer Robert Festinger, starring Lily Tomlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Lucy Punch. Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY Starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Will Arnett, Leslie Bibb, and Tom Waits. Emmy-nominated cinematographer Vanja Cernjul. Premiered at the Sundance film festival, earned Kelly an Independent Spirit Award nomination, screened in over thirty film festivals and was an eight-time best feature Festival Winner. LIFE OF A KING Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, and LisaGay Hamilton. Premiered at the LA Film Festival. NAACP Image Award nominee.
  • Drew Levin
    Director of Photography, Colorist, Producer
  • David Shayne
  • Ryan Vincent Anderson
    Key Cast
  • Annabel O'Hagan
    Key Cast
  • Jacob Roberts
    Key Cast
  • Matt Walker
    Key Cast
  • Austin Weber
    Associate Producer
  • Jeff Liu
    First Assistant Director
  • Yasmeen Jawhar
    First Assistant Camera
  • Bridget McQuillan
    First Assistant Camera
  • Adam Roberts
    First Assistant Camera
  • Gabe Solorzano
    Key Grip
  • Julia Gowesky
  • Sawyer Oubre
    Steadicam Op
  • Nikola Chapelle
    Production Sound Mixer
  • Ken Goodwin
    Production Sound Mixer
  • Anna Andersen
    Production Assistant
  • Kevin Hillier
    Production Assistant
  • Jade Merriwether
    Production Assistant
  • Michael Bucuzzo
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital (Sony Venice)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Austin Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    United States
  • Outfest LA
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Award
  • Calgary International Film Festival
    Calgary, Alberta
  • New Hampshire Film Festival
    Portsmouth, NH
    United States
    Best Short Comedy
  • Milwaukee Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    United States
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, RI
    United States
  • Out on Film Atlanta
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
  • Saint Louis International Film Festival
    Saint Louis, MI
    United States
  • Santa Fe International Film Festival
    Santa Fe, NM
    United States
Director Biography

Jacob Roberts is an LA-based writer, director, and comedian represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

He graduated from Harvard College in 2019. At Harvard, Jacob performed in drag for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, where he was consistently praised for his "beautiful long legs" by the pervy old ladies who catcalled him every night. His script and lyrics were twice selected for the Pudding’s annual show, and he received the Jonathan Levy Award for the most promising actor at the University.

Since graduating, Jacob has studied sketch and improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade, an obscure group he personally discovered.

Statistically speaking, you probably didn’t see him in a sold out run of Mae West’s SEX at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival or on screen in 7 BLOWJOBS, a videoplay presented by New York City’s legendary La Mama Experimental Theater Club. (In light of the somewhat suggestive nature of these two titles, Mr. Roberts wishes to assure the public that he is not an adult film star.)

Jacob is interested in telling offbeat stories about sex and sexuality, and he hopes to be the world’s first Jewish comedian.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I made this film because I was pissed.

Pissed that pop culture sucks at showing what it’s like to be bisexual.

We’ve come a little ways since Sex and the City called bisexuality “a layover on the way to gaytown.” But bisexuals are still portrayed either as confused or slutty. Or as confused sluts.

Why not make films that dwell in the reality of being bisexual? There’s a lot of there there.

Take the inciting incident of this short: the moment of coming out to your significant other. Isn’t that… weird? Gay people, lesbians, straight folks—98.2% of the population—don’t find themselves in that position. It’s a singularly bisexual scenario. It’s the story of someone who doesn’t slot into any easy categorization.

Our protagonist's identity—bisexual, half-Jewish—gives him access to various subcultures. But never full access. Jonah doesn’t quite fit into the Jewish or queer communities. He’s half. Straddling a line. One foot out the door. He shares this skewed perspective with his closest confidante, Richie, a Black rabbi and adult convert. They see and experience cultural situations from both the inside and the outside. Jonah, without any ready-made identity available to him, must carve out his own singular identity over the course of the film.

The making of this film was an act of self-creation for me, too.

Like Jonah, I am (surprise, surprise!) bisexual and half-Jewish. Like Jonah, I have felt adrift in a sea of disparate possibilities for relating to others romantically, religiously, and communally.

Writing, directing, and performing in HALF gave me the opportunity to anchor myself to something, to hide little pieces of me in gestures, lines of dialogue, and carefully crafted frames.

It's thrilling and frightening to present a part of myself to you.

I hope you'll enjoy it.