• Director

    Jenny Ward

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2023, 10:52

  • Category

    Stories of Healing

  • Format

    Digital, ARRI ALEXA Mini LF

  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

BARE ESSENTIALS: 3 films that hide nothing.

April 22, 2024 @ 9:30PM • Kaufman Astoria Studios – Zukor Theatre

View the Trailer


A teenager tries to cope with her mom’s mental illness.


Jenny Ward, Director
Jenny Ward, Writer
Alex Swickard, Producer
Nastasia Koulich, Key Cast, “Tara”
Victoria Ratermanis, Key Cast, “Jules”, Fosse/Verdon
Marcus DeAnda, Key Cast, “Dean”, Better Call Saul, 13 Reasons Why
Kath Raisch, Post – Color, Aftersun, Black Bear
Junior Pereira, Director of Photography, 2023 ASC Vision Mentee, Yellowstone’s 1923

Director Statement

Jules is a short film that takes place over the course of an evening as a teenager struggles to cope with her mom’s latest manic episode. After years of experiencing the ups and downs of her mom’s mental illness, our main character Tara, is trying to figure out where to put the anger she feels.

This film opens up the reality that those caring for and closest to someone struggling with a mental illness often struggle with their own feelings of anger, fear and hopelessness.

Throughout the film we see Tara longing for a closeness that her mom isn’t always able to give. This leads to Tara wrestling with the idea that people aren’t always who you need them to be. Can she accept that and love her mom anyway? Past that, can she maintain her sense of self and who she is?

In this film I’m interested in exploring the dynamic of a “family illness”; when one member in a family suffers from a mental illness, behaviors and even personalities of the other family members can become deeply affected. My hope is that through this film there is a continued conversation around the benefits of seeking treatment and how it holds the power to not just heal the individual, but potentially an entire family.

Director Biography

Jenny Ward is a writer, director and editor based in Astoria, NY. Her short film, Jules, was a finalist for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant and tells the story of a teenager struggling to cope with her mom’s mental illness. Her short film, GOBLIN, about two sisters grappling with grief in different ways, was selected for the Portland Film Festival. She is the founder of Malibu Creative, a boutique production and post company based in NY. She is interested in exploring female centered stories that deal with complex relationship dynamics, often familial.