Until I Met You
A still from Until I Met You courtesy of NFMLA

“Until I Met You,” the directorial debut short film written, directed by, and starring Rachel Deutsch, offers up a relatable story of a woman whose depression is exacerbated by the dissonance between the fantasy lives we project on social media and the often wildly different lives we lead in the real world.

“‘Until I Met You’ is about Rachel, who I also play, who is a highly neurotic, very depressed person and she spends her days scrolling on Instagram and Tiktok. I’m not sure if anybody can relate to that,” Deutsch laughs in an interview with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles’ Danny DeLillo.

Making Until I Met You

“I wanted to write about what I knew,” Deutsch says. “I see so many people online who I am jealous of, just truthfully, and I’m like, ‘Wow, your life seems so cool. If only I could live that way.’ I’m a person who’s very outward presenting, very extroverted, and very outgoing — but I also deal with really bad depression. So I wanted to take this part of myself that’s sometimes more shameful and not as out in the open and talk about it with people and put it into a script that I could show — okay, maybe other people can relate to this too. We have those days where we can barely get out of bed, or go outside. What happens if you take that really depressed person and you make her go outside, make her be extroverted, and you make her see her biggest fear or her biggest jealousy right in front of her face?”

“Until I Met You” explores friendship and mental health in a world where connection is digital and often artificial. Rachel is struggling with depression and anxiety — and constantly scrolling Tiktok and Instagram doesn’t help. One of her obsessions is Raquel, a cool DJ whose positivity online is equal-parts inspiring and sickening. It all becomes too much. After a panic attack, she goes to a bar where she accidentally meets Raquel in real life and discovers that she is not as she appears on the internet.

To Rachel’s surprise, Raquel does not have it all together. When they start being vulnerable with each other, they are able to move past the facade of social media and learn how much they need real life.

Rachel Deutsch is an actor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She earned her BFA from NYU Tisch with a focus on clowning and producing. Making “Until I Met You” fulfilled her lifelong dream of exploring her depression and dyeing her hair pink.

Watch Deutsch’s interview with NFMLA below.

“Until I Met You” was part of NFMLA’s March film festival celebrating up-and-coming female talent in front of and behind the camera. The program included two shorts programs, along with award-winning filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone’s debut feature.

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The day began with InFocus: Female Cinema Shorts I, a collection of films that explore motherhood, fertility, birth, and reproductive choice from a wide range of perspectives. The programming continued with the Los Angeles premiere of “Mother of Color,” the first feature from award-winning writer-director Dawn Jones Redstone. The night concluded with InFocus: Female Cinema Shorts II, an eclectic mix of short-form work from emerging talent, whose stories explored body image, intimate relationships, work, and its many struggles.

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year in addition to its special InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion, and region. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects which will be considered for all upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the InFocus programming. 

Main Image: Rachel Deutsch in “Until I Met You” courtesy of NFMLA.