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Bettter Half

Directed by Patrick Phelan
Narrative Feature
United States | 85 min | 2022

According to Greek Mythology, humans were once two-faced, four armed, four legged creatures, until Zeus split us in two, leaving us in an endless search for our other halves. Fast forward to modern day: Arturo, a hopeless romantic in search of true love, and Daphne, a serial polygamist allergic to commitment, meet for what should be a one-night stand, and quite literally find their other half when their bodies fuse during sex. The haphazard journey to come undone might just reveal what they’d been missing all along.

“Dianne Doan & Connor Paolo To Star In Rom-Com ‘Better Half’”


While watching this film, I hope the viewer connects to the journey of a person confronting their own biases to accept with love and understanding something they always looked at with enmity and suspicion. My favorite movies invite the audience to see themselves in the failures, faults, and subsequent resilience of the characters they see on screen.

Over the decades, films like In the Heat of the Night, Dances with Wolves, Brokeback Mountain, and Moonlight invite their viewers to challenge their perspectives of “the other,” and they remind us that real change comes on a personal level.

In developing this story, I wondered about the experience of an unprepared parent of a transgender child. As a special educator, I reflected on one student in particular and the pain, anger, and undeniable love felt by their very traditional parents. As this student came out as their true self, we talked about the challenge for kids in places and from families that were even more resistant. This film presents that picture in my beloved blue-collar town of Pittsburgh, PA. But my own town, while specific, is really middle America. And the film’s family, while particular, is really every family who requires help becoming the family that they need to be to support the child they have.

Thus, as the antagonism against kids who simply want to be their true selves mounts, perhaps this film can help those who are hardened and fearful of gender identity issues to replace their hostility with love, humor, and humanity.

Better Half - Poster

Better Half - Patrick Henry PhelanPatrick Henry Phelan

Film Information

Director: Patrick Phelan
Country: United States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 85 min
Rated:  PG-13


Writer:  Patrick Phelan
Producer: Charles Irving Beale, Jess Jacklin, Jake Bowen
Cinematography: Blake Horn
Composer: Bijan Olia

Connect With This Film

Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival