Private Project

The Rock Within

After a four-year emotionally draining battle with infertility, a traditional Asian-American auditions for a physically rigorous reality TV competition show, in hopes of finding her sense of self.

  • Jessica McGaugh
    Three Worlds, One Stage, Red Pearl, The Golden Hour
  • Roma Sur
    Three Worlds, One Stage, Maa, The Golden Hour
  • Runtime:
    53 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jessica McGaugh

Jessica McGaugh is an award-winning independent film director, cinematographer and editor working out of Denver, Colorado. Her work has been screened internationally including the Mumbai International Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, NDTV and Rocky Mountain PBS. Jessica received an MFA in Film from Syracuse University and is currently teaching in the Film & Television Department at the University of Colorado Denver.

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Director Statement

“The first time I miscarried, I felt alone. The third time, I reached out. I learned the hard way how many women are affected by these struggles, and how common infertility and miscarriage really are. The Rock Within is my opportunity as a filmmaker to give voices to families who have shared this experience. I hope the film will act as a starting point for discussion and a place where women can find a place to tell their stories.

Beyond the infertility narrative, the core of the film is the cross-cultural friendship developed through the characters’ struggles. Tonally and thematically, that adds a fresh spin on a story in this genre of women’s topics. The script is punctuated with humor and adventure. The film blends a soft yet raw quality- the crux of emotional imbalance true to the lead character’s experience.

The film’s writer, Roma Sur, and I have been working together as a team since we met in 2011. Immediately afterward, we rushed off to Delhi to film a feature-length documentary. As filmmakers, we have explored and demonstrated our passion for bridging cultures. This is apparent in our films and in our friendship. We have lived this story.”