Private Project

Just Us

An otherwise happy evening slowly unravels as Alie and Benny revisit the conversation of having children, ultimately uncovering an insurmountable obstacle that challenges the future of their 12-year relationship.

Alie and Benny have always agreed that they didn't want children, and for over a decade that decision was unwavering. However, when an evening spent with the couple's friends and their new baby prompts Alie and Benny to revisit the conversation, it inadvertently leads to Benny revealing that his mind has changed and he now wants kids. What follows is a long evening of arguments that shake the very foundation of their relationship. Once the bomb has been dropped it can not be taken back, and an otherwise perfectly happy couple finds themselves faced with the painful uncertainty that shrouds their future.

  • Lael Pollack
  • Lael Pollack
  • Hannah Querioz
  • Alex Astrachan
  • Siobhan McCarthy
    Director of Photography
  • Derrick Deblasis
    Key Cast
  • Natasha Dewherst
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lael Pollack

Hailing from the small town of Los Angeles, it would seem highly unlikely that Lael would fall in to such a niche, unpopular, business such as entertainment. However, as a self-proclaimed writer since birth and director since 2021, she never wavered on the possibility. After graduating in 2015, Lael began her career by working on various esteemed shows under the likes of Chuck Lorre, Pamela Adlon, and John Wells. By 2021, Lael had transitioned to the role of writer/director, completing her first short film by years end. With her next film, "Just Us," Lael hopes to evolve her filmmaking, bringing it to a larger scale and digging deeper into complex, emotional, storytelling.

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Director Statement

Motherhood is (in a perfect world) considered a choice. However, the choice against it is more of an exception to the rule than the rule itself. Society places an unshakable expectation of motherhood on women. If a woman reaches her 30s and doesn't want children, she is prodded with questions of "why?" -- people assume there must be a reason or story behind the decision. *It is of note that the same level of inquiry does not arise when men choose not to be fathers.* If that woman finds a partner who shares in this choice with her, then that person becomes someone with whom she can be safe from the inquisition of the outside world. Society might have expectations of who she, as a woman, should or shouldn't be, but within the walls of her relationship there are none. But what happens if the person who once stood at her side changes their mind, thus, subjecting their relationship to the same expectations and pressures it was once a safe haven from? Can a relationship survive such a fundamental disparity? What if the relationship is great in every other way?

My intention with this film is to tell a story exploring what happens when the foundation of a relationship is suddenly broken, through a lens that remains keenly attuned to the societal expectations of parenthood. Through this brief look-behind-the-curtain at Alie and Benny's life I hope to give voice and validity to a conflict so many couples have/continue to face. As such, the film will strive to tell a story that feels authentic and true to these characters. It asks, "what might you see/hear as a fly on the wall of a couple going through this?"