Private Project


Separate is a post-apocalyptic survival story. When the Supreme Court rolls back marriage equality and orders couples’ lawful children to be taken and placed with “traditional” families, a daughter and dad flee their home, dodging citizen bounty-hunters, to find refuge in a gay-ballroom safe-house across the border.

  • Kestrin Pantera
    Mother's Little Helpers (writer, producer, director)
  • Cool Benson
  • Rhyan Schwartz
  • Desiree Castro
    Releve (writer, director)
  • Cool Benson
    Mother's Little Helpers (associate producer)
  • Daelyanna Kelly Benson
    Key Cast
    The Orphan Train
  • Cool Benson
    Key Cast
    "Daddy Cool"
    Mother's Little Helpers, Johnny's Sweet Revenge
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, thriller, gay family, Activist, political, black gay culture, LGBTQ, women director, female director, black actor, diversity, black owned, equality, gay marriage, gay adoption, equal rights, dance, cheer, gay ballroom, Los Angeles, Hollywood
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kestrin Pantera

Kestrin Pantera is a writer/director the New York Times called “a force.” Her newest feature film, PRETTY PROBLEMS, will World Premiere at SXSW 2022. Her last feature, MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPERS World Premiered at SXSW 2019 and released in 2020 with Gravitas Ventures. Lauded as a “wonderful, Big Chill-esque dramedy,” with “big screen chemistry from the ground up,” awards include Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Actress. Prior to her success at SXSW, her feature, LET’S RUIN IT WITH BABIES, was released theatrically and hailed by the LA Times as, “honest, convincing, and just plain adorable.”

She is currently in development on her next film and TV series.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The production team is comprised of all People of Color/LGBTQ/women department heads, on camera and off. Co-written by a black gay dad born from bubbles over his head saying "what if..." It’s about his own families fears. He developed the script with his Daughters acting coach Rhyan Swartz. They got a crew of friends together planned it out. We decided that because we didn’t have any money and no one could do more then a one day favor .. we shot it all in one day and planned the last shot to be sunset shot. It was w race against time from the moment we woke up from our sleepless night.

This project included an especially thrilling component. A TV crew from E! network filmed the planning, writing, creative process, directing, and filming of this movie but did not assist in any aspects of production-monetary or otherwise. The making of Separate was featured in the TV reality docu-series "Raising a F***ing Star" which aired in Fall 2022 and is currently available on the NBC App for streaming. The actors star in every episode of the TV show and episodes 1 and 2 feature BTS of making this film. The series was produced by World of Wonder and aired on E!

It is indie to the bone-everyone who worked on the film did it as a labor of love. Cool and Mark David (Director of Photography) and everyone involved in our project were longtime friends with the actors and producers. We all shared our talents with each other with no monetary exchanges. All costs were covered out-of-pocket because Cool wanted to build a reel for his daughter and get our cautionary tale out to the world.

Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy the film!