What makes a family a family? Can you take responsibility for someone else’s happiness, especially when a perfect plan falls apart? A Brooklyn-based web designer named Jess Harris (in a fantastic performance by Jasmine Batchelor, making her big-screen debut) decides to become a surrogate for her best friend, Josh, and his husband, Aaron. The relationship between the protagonists begins to deteriorate dramatically, however, when prenatal tests indicate that the baby is going to have Down syndrome. The director Jeremy Hirsch wanted to look not only at reactions and decisions taken at a time of crisis, however, but also to break the dominant patterns in cinema concerning the LGBTQ+ community. It came from wanting to explore the archetypal relationship between a straight woman and a gay man. Growing up that was the only kind of queer representation I would see. Will & Grace, Sex & the City ... It’s often portrayed in this unrealistically positive way. I know a lot of people are interested in positive queer representation. I’m much more interested in ... something that shows [a] dimension [that is] present in any real relationship, says Hersh.
Jeremy Hersh, a director, screenwriter, producer, and playwright, lives and works in New York. He made his debut at the SXSW Festival with the short film Natives; his next production, Actresses, was shown at numerous festivals, including Sundance and New Orleans, where it won an Audience Award. The Surrogate, his full-length debut, was partially financed by a campaign on the Kickstarter crowdfunding site.
2013 Natives (short)
2015 Actresses (short)
2020 Surogatka / The Surrogate