Watch. Do. Share.

Get inspired and get involved with this film
from our Second Annual UnLonely Interactive FilmFest.

Watch. Do. Share.

Get inspired and get involved with this film from our Second Annual UnLonely Interactive FilmFest.

See this FilmReturn to Lobby

Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!

Step 1: Watch the film.



A group of individuals comes together in recovery to tell their diverse stories of substance misuse and find hope in self-knowledge and helping each other.

About the FIlmmakers

Director Paul John Cook is from Detroit, Michigan but now is based in NYC. He is an actor as well and his short film OVERCOME is his first film as a Director and Producer. As an artist Paul John looks at filmmaking as a way of expression, manifesting a script into a living form and being able to connect with people’s everyday lives is the ultimate satisfaction to filmmaking for him.
Writer Jewel Donohue is a New York-based stage and screen actress and a screenwriter who has studied at NYU and at The University of Barcelona.



Did you set out to explore loneliness in your film and if so, what prompted this focus?

I honestly really didn’t set out to explore loneliness for the film. I feel the writing and the actors’ ability to channel their inner emotions and experiences really broadcast their true emotions including loneliness, depression, and isolation. Hopefully, the audience can not only feel that authenticity of different emotions, but it also affects the audience in an emotional way. As a filmmaker, I want the viewers to tap into their own emotions and experiences, for them to make their own conclusions and assumptions from what they see and feel from watching the film.

Alternately, did you recognize a theme of loneliness as your project developed?  

Absolutely. As the project developed, each actor felt the loneliness in their character’s story. You can even say different levels of loneliness were felt and the cast beautifully expresses their own type of loneliness from their characters’ eyes. There are different levels of loneliness. Not all of us experience the same levels of loneliness and that’s totally OK. Don’t be afraid of that.

Did any of your viewers give you feedback that reflected this aspect of your film?

Definitely got that feedback from viewers not only about the emotion of the film, but also the eyes, facial expressions, body language and the tone of voice from the performances were relatable to viewers. Being able to have people who understand us is extremely helpful but specifically having the viewers of a film understand, sense and pick up the emotions and message of the film is truly an honor. Extremely humbling.

What do you hope UnLonely Film Festival audiences, trying to make sense of loneliness and isolation and navigate a path forward, take from your film?

I hope OVERCOME truly hits home for people who are trying to navigate a path forward past isolation and loneliness. I’ve personally battled this and from what I’ve learned and what the film’s message is,  you don’t have to do this alone. People should be confident in asking for help, guidance, advice. And if nobody is available to help at that present time, I’m a believer that a high power is essential in the recovering process to OVERCOME these dark emotions. We all learn from each other’s journeys. Isolation prevents that beautiful connection between people from happening, that evolution of growth, strength, and knowledge.

At the same time, it’s totally OK to be comfortable in your own space and take time to self. It’s important to learn that we all need time for ourselves at times to process things in our minds, prayer, and meditation. It also allows us to learn about ourselves. I hope people feel that message in the film and they can help themselves get through their dark times, but also help someone else in need.

Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.

Click Here.

Reflective Questions

  • In the film, we see one of the participants, Madeline, resisting and questioning the group. She walks out but then returns. Can you relate? Do you find it difficult to seek out help if you need it? If so, why?
  • Do you or someone you know have an addiction? How do the stories in the film compare to the stories you’ve heard? What was familiar about them? How did they make you feel?
  • What do you think about this quote from the film: “I don’t think I’m me anymore. I’ve changed…And I’m glad.” Does that resonate with you? Has the way you self-identity changed over time?


  • Having a good day and feel hopeful about things to come? Stop and send your future self some words of encouragement. Pick up a few postcards or design your own and when you feel inspired, write the message quickly and tuck it away until you come across a post office.
  • Embrace the unexpected and celebrate chance by making a drip-and-spatter painting. See here for suggestions and tutorials. Pick your colors and hope for the best. The end result is guaranteed to NOT look like what you had planned, but the journey will be full of discovery.
  • Which version of yourself are you? To further explore the various identities we all adopt in a variety of situations, make a mask that shows we all have different faces at different times (even if we strive to be our true selves). On a large cardboard (~2’X4’) draw the shape of a large shield and cut it out. From the scraps, draw and then cut out eyes, a mouth, and nose. Think about the size and shape of each of these features in relation to what you would like this mask to represent. Pick out some paint colors for the shield-face and each of its features, and paint completely. Then glue the pieces onto the larger shield-shaped face and decide whether you would like to add an elastic band across the back so that it will stay on your head or you can secure a large stick to the bottom of the mask so you can hold it in place with your hand. How do you feel behind your mask? Take a selfie and share.

PS: Looking for even more ways to "creatively connect?"  Follow this link for a few other ideas.

Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.


  1. Elzbieta Uher

    Sad and moving experience. The film is about much more than loneliness, it holds the ambience of lost of hope. The place where those young people meet, where they go through the big open doors, seems dark and cold inside. As it may seem to correspond with the atmosphere of individual stories, it doesn’t seem to offer a “holding space with an uplifting spark of hope”. It seem to unite people through their personal struggles in a way that they become a lonely group meeting in a shady, cold space, far away from the “streets of life”. A girl, beautiful and delicate was talking about her traumatic experiences and it seemed as if she was like a flower kept in a pot in a dark room, as if she now belonged to another “world” , while there should still be a chance to replant it into a beautiful garden. Sad.

  2. Nicole Bulera-Ropal

    To me it seemed the church was the bright bringing each person’s darkness to the light. Recognizing the wrongs done by or to them to help them overcome said events. Very enlightening to me.


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Step 4: Share this film with friends!

Because it really helps with awareness for The UnLonely Project 🙂



  • George Bennett
  • Alex Drane
  • Doug Drane
  • Rose Higgins
  • Jeremy Nobel
  • Kevin O’Grady &
    Nella Webster O’Grady
  • Barbara Ricci
  • John Zweig

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