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Alone Together premiered at the Los Angeles International Film Festival online last week.

Twenty-two minutes and 16 seconds. That is how long Alone Together will hold your attention. This short film follows a young high schooler named Alejandra “Alex” Alvarez. Alex joins the wrestling team and works hard at practice. She later admits to her father, Hector, that her inspiration for this was an Olympic women’s champion. She claims that she wants to “feel how she looked, so strong and in control of herself. No one would mess with her.”

What she doesn’t disclose to her father is that she has been sexually abused and that is the reason she wants to regain control in her life.

Naomi Oliver is the actress tasked with portraying all the feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness, and the need to overcome it all. Oliver may be on screen for a film with a duration of 22 minutes and 16 seconds, but her performance has made a lasting impression beyond screen time.

What was so powerful about Alone Together was the message behind the realness. The film’s tagline: “Not talking about it doesn’t mean it never happened” holds firm throughout its entirety. This is not a “one size fits all” experience. Individuals decide on their own terms when they can confide this kind of news to someone, if ever. Alex might tell her father that someone close to him has violated her one day. Until then, she is still processing the trauma.

Alone Together was “written by Katie Sponseller, and is a female-led project with a goal of helping to start important conversations for those who have experienced sexual assault.” Nominations for Los Angeles International Film Festival will begin on Sunday, October 18.

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