Cinema Femme had the opportunity to speak with filmmaker Rachel Annette Helson about her short “Good Daughter,” that will have its World Premiere at HollyShorts Film Festival on Saturday, August 12th at 7:30pm at the TCL Chinese Theatres as part of the Primetime Block. The short is written by Jesse Harris and stars Samantha Sloyan (Midnight Mass, Grey’s Anatomy) as Rebecca, a small-time con artist who rips off elderly dementia patients by pretending to be their daughter – until the con catches up with her.

“From the moment our writer Jesse sent me the idea for GOOD DAUGHTER, I wanted to make it. It was full of complicated, compelling morality questions about eldercare and the healthcare system that were wrapped up in a really entertaining and poignant character study,” said Helson.  “On the surface the lead character, Rebecca, is doing something so terrible that it’s hard to connect with her, but as you peel back the layers of the story, you learn about her motivations – and ultimately, the film becomes a story about the lengths we go to for the people we love. I was over the moon when Samantha Sloyan agreed to come on board as the lead. Rebecca is a complex role, and Sam knocked it out of the park.”

Helson has directed three feature films that have been distributed on television networks across the globe, and she was selected as a Shoot Online New Director to Watch. As a character-driven director,  she is heavily influenced by her acting background (Select credits include: Steven Soderbergh’s FULL CIRCLE on MAX – 2023, THE KNICK, LAW & ORDER.) She has been featured in publications like MovieMaker Magazine, the New York Times and Forbes. Writer Jesse Harris is best known for writing on the Marvel TV series JESSICA JONES.

“My first short film HATCHED debuted at HollyShorts, and I couldn’t be more excited to be kicking off our festival run of GOOD DAUGHTER there,” said Helson. “HollyShorts gives participants amazing access and opportunities to network with major players in the industry and curates amazing films from first-rate filmmakers. I’m honored to have our film included. ”

Tickets are on sale now at:

Rachel Annette Helson

Rachel Annette Helson’s feature film directing credits include THE ENGAGEMENT DRESS (2023,) HOW TO LIVE YOUR BEST DEATH (2022) and THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW (2021.) Most recently, she directed the short drama GOOD DAUGHTER written by Jesse Harris (Jessica Jones) and starring Samantha Sloyan (Midnight Mass, Grey’s Anatomy.)

Her 2019 short film HATCHED (starring Melissa Ponzio) was chosen as a Bitpix Short of the Week, an Official Selection of HollyShorts, an Official Selection of StudioFest – where she was a finalist director – and a Film Shortage Daily Short Pick. She was named a New Director to Watch by Shoot Online Magazine and is a current member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales.

As a character-driven director, Rachel is heavily influenced by her acting background. Select credits include: FULL CIRCLE (directed by Steven Soderbergh – TRIBECA 2023 PREMIERE,) THE KNICK, LAW & ORDER: SVU, POWER and the Netflix film THE POLKA KING (SUNDANCE PREMIERE.)

Rachel holds the proud distinction of being the Youngest Producer in Broadway history to be Nominated for a Tony Award for her work on Neil LaBute’s REASONS TO BE PRETTY – and has been featured in publications like the New York Times, Backstage and Forbes.

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