Crohnie

While deflecting his parents’ concerns about his Crohn’s disease, a young man receives an unexpected announcement in their backyard swimming pool.

Director’s Statement

In the summer of 2017, my parents announced their divorce in our backyard swimming pool. I was 23-years-old, but I instantly resorted to a child-like mentality. Over the next few months, it was interesting to see the parent-child dynamic change and develop during a time of familial struggle. Soon after, I experienced a total gastrointestinal flare up and was hospitalized immediately for the next week. I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 15-years-old and had spent over ten years trying to understand the illness and the connection between the mind and body. It occurred to me that the stress, anxiety, and depression I was suppressing was the catalyst for my body’s aggravation that I was also trying to hide. So – hooked up to IV and pain killers – I began writing the feature-length screenplay that I wished had existed when I was 15-years-old and diagnosed with a chronic illness I had never heard of before. “Crohnie” is a semi-autobiographical comedic story of a young man dealing with an invisible illness amidst the news of his parents revealing their hidden marital struggle. This short film is a single scene from the feature-length screenplay by the same title. After gaining interest from the film’s actors Matt Besser and Pam Murphy, two comedians I look up to from studying and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, I knew we needed to make this short film. The film has since screened at several festivals around the country, including NFFTY in Seattle, WA where it won the Audience Award. My hope is that someone with an invisible illness, or someone who is experiencing the ramifications of divorce, or anyone else who may be struggling with something they aren’t ready to share with others, will see this film and know that it will all be okay in the end. And, more importantly, it’s okay to laugh at ourselves and our shitty situations.