Parting Out

Opposites attract, nobody wants to talk about suicide, and Grace is holding a secret that Hayley refuses to hear, until revelations in a vintage car graveyard put their love on the line.

  • Susan Buster Thomas
  • R J Zenk
  • Susan Buster Thomas
  • R J Zenk
  • Wylie Orion Thomas Soltes
  • Claire Rigsby
    Key Cast
  • Claire Aldrich
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 6, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    28,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival
    Palm Springs
    United States
    September 17, 2022
    North America
    Official Selection Festival Favorite
  • Seattle Queer Film Festival
    United States
    October 15, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Flickers Rhode Island Film Festival
    United States
    October 24, 2022
    Official Semi Finalist
  • Venice Shorts Film Awards
    United States
    October 24, 2022
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Susan Buster Thomas

Susan Buster Thomas began her film career in Seattle, advancing from production assistant to DGA commercial director. Her work has received multiple industry awards including a Clio; Best Director at the New York Film Festival; the United Nations Public Service award; and recognition in Adweek magazine’s list of Top 50 Best Commercials.

“Parting Out” is a passion project derived from a feature script in development, that has drawn Susan from a nine-year film industry hiatus spent in organic farming, back into hands-on local filmmaking. This is her second narrative short.

Susan is a co-founder of Seattle Women in Film, and currently sits on the board of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth.

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Director Statement

The story of “Parting Out’ was inspired by the sudden loss of close friend to suicide. Her parting words included the hope that “one day you can remember me without pain.” This film is a testament of honor to that hope. The means and methods by which she left her life were not the summation of that life, and she asked us to view it that way. She was intelligent, funny, awkward, beautiful, and sometimes difficult. She left an impact on many who knew and loved her, including my co-producer and writer, Robert John Zenk. Working together, on and off since the late 1990s, Bobby and I have developed our friend’s story, including a feature-length version that was shopped, optioned, financed, and entered pre-production, but ultimately didn’t reach the camera. Recently, my son Wylie Soltes, a twenty-two-year-old filmmaker and actor, read a current revisitation of our script and championed me to get back into filmmaking with it. I could not have done this short without Wylie’s help and encouragement. Together, the three of us brought this small, personal story to life in the middle of an auto salvage yard. It's a story of acceptance. We all carry baggage, and we all crave someone to help us with the load. It’s true of life, and it’s true of filmmaking.