This short film will screen with other short films in
The Opening Night Block – Block 4 | LAS JEFAS BLOCK
Friday, December 9th at 7pm
Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California.
Buy Tickets Here 

When a phone sex operator is accepted into Oxford University, she must confront her live-in mother, a codependent hoarder, about her decision to move across the globe.

Director Biography – Jeanette Dilone

Jeanette Dilone is a writer, director and actor born and raised in Washington Heights, NYC. Most recently, she was selected for Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today ‘22 sponsored by Warners Bros. Discovery and the HFPA. She was also selected for the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) Inclusion Fellowship, sponsored by Netflix, where she completed her third short, “Hoar” (2022), about a Latina phone sex operator who gets into Oxford University and has to confront her live-in codependent hoarder mother. The short premiered at LALIFF 2022. Her sophomore short, “Rizo” (2020), which she wrote, produced and directed, also premiered at LALIFF. “Rizo” won the 2020 HBO Latinx Short Film Competition and is available to watch on HBOMax. Jeanette made her directorial debut with the short film, “Return,” (2017), which she also wrote and produced. It premiered at the New York Shorts International Film Festival and was acquired by Shorts TV. Jeanette fell in love with acting and filmmaking during her college years at Columbia University. Her vision is to create compelling Latinx-centered narratives that explore themes of family, identity and success.

Director Statement

In the film “Hoar”, the protagonist Amy, a phone sex operator, dreams of becoming a psychologist. When she is accepted to a university program across the world, she must confront her live-in mother, a devout Catholic, about their codependent relationship. I am inspired to bring this short film to life because I am interested in seeing and creating stories about finding independence later in adulthood, particularly through the lens of the Latinx experience.

Latinx culture has a complicated relationship with the concept of familial independence. Traditionally, we believe in loyalty, family, and sacrifice, and these values help create a strong support system and close-knit community. “Hoar” explores what happens when this same system becomes overgrown and begins to hinder one’s own happiness and well-being.

The theme of the late-bloomer adult is a common trope; think “40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Failure to Launch.” But it is a story told often in overly simplistic terms, from almost exclusively the cis white man’s perspective. There’s a lot left to be said about these types of adult situations, especially when you complicate the matter with the cultural and generational gap that a lot of immigrants face with their children.

In this film, Amy is torn between her very American values and her traditional culture of “family-comes-first.” As the writer and director, I’m interested in the juxtaposition between the two ideologies. Amy works in the sex industry and views herself as an empowered, sex-positive, modern feminist. Constancia, on the other hand, prays to God for her daughter’s salvation. Amy suggests Contancia’s extreme behavior, like hoarding and social isolation, is the result of an undiagnosed mental illness. Constancia replies that she is not a looney and will not consider therapy; that it is family that must look out for each other, not paid strangers.

Leaving anyone you love, especially a vulnerable, isolated person, is a difficult decision – one that can be both right and wrong at the same time. Perhaps “Hoar” is less about one woman’s search for independence, but more of a family’s path to interdependence, a journey that is universal and yet unique to every person, situation and community.

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