Rachel – a short film by Karen Anstee


From beyond death, a young woman fights to have her last wishes fulfilled against the will of her unyielding and devoutly religious father.

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Producer: Karen Antsee
Year Produced: 2016
Running time: 15 minutes
Trailer:  Watch on Youtube
Watch online: ideo on demand


In a world where couples often come from different cultural backgrounds, the traditional rites of passage that once brought families and communities together may now bring bitter conflict.

RACHEL is a short film drama (15mins) that explores the complex relationships between religion, family and love, and asks whether funerals are for the living or the dead.

The story opens in a funeral director’s chapel of rest. Laid out in an open willow coffin is RACHEL, a girl who has rejected her Conservative Jewish upbringing in favour of a bohemian life with her surfer boyfriend JOSH. When Rachel’s imposing father FRANK arrives to claim her body for burial in the traditional way, Josh has to stand up for Rachel’s wishes and give her the farewell she wants, even though he knows it will break her parents’ hearts.


Asher Tlalim, UK International Jewish Film Festival:

“I really , really loved it. Rachel is a beautiful cinematic work which took me from deep sadness, and even anger, to a real celebration of love. It’s an impressive work I am genuinely moved by it and congratulate you for your remarkable achievement.”

Extract from a letter I received from a fan of the film in USA:

“Your short film, Rachel, is by far the most incredible and emotional film I have ever seen. I have experienced a similar situation, and this brought back memories that I had forgotten, ones I cherished, but also the incredible aching that goes from having a life planned to suddenly an unknown and frightening future. I cried as I watched in a range of tears spanning all emotions. I just wanted to say thank you… it will stay with me always.”



SNOB, New England Indie Fest, USA. 2016. Best Foreign Film.
UK International Jewish Film Festival, London. 2017. Runner Up Pears Short Film Fund. Screenings at JW3 and Phoenix Cinema.
Portobello Film Festival. London. 2017.
Southend on Sea Film Festival, UK. 2018.
Sainte-Livrade Film Festival, France 2017. Companion to features LUCKY (USA), CARRÉ 35 (France)
HERE Festival, London. 2018.
Ouchy Film Awards, Switzerland 2016.
BLOW-UP Arthouse Film Festival, Chicago USA. 2017.
Life Death & the Rest Fest, Bristol UK. 2018.
You Only Die Once Fest, Birmingham UK. 2017.
Death and the Maiden Conference, Winchester University UK. 2017.
Toronto Beaches International Film Festival, Canada. 2019 – Runner Up.

Social Media: rachelbykarenanstee.com
Instagram: @rachelthefilm.pr Twitter: @RacheltheFilm Facebook: @rachelthefilm


Originally trained at the Royal Academy of Music, I enjoyed a successful career as professional violinist, performing with many of the UK’s highly regarded orchestra and touring with commercial artists such as Sting, Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins, Goldfrapp, Kanye West and Alfie Boe.

I went on to write short stories, and a novel, inspired by my time in the music industry and I then graduated with an MA in Screenwriting, from the London Film School, in 2012.

I have since written, directed and produced a series of award-winning short films and I am currently aiming to shoot my first feature film in the spring of 2021 alongside writing an adaptation of my opera novel When the Fat Lady Thins.

I launched my production company – Precious Hack Productions – in 2017, with the aim of creating meaningful, thought-provoking films and ensuring that I work with a genuinely collaborative and caring approach. My team is always paid fairly, at least fifty percent female and diverse both on and behind the camera. I truly believe that films can change the world for the better.

Rachel from Concord Media on Vimeo.


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