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Swipe Right Columbia MFA Short Film A Project of Shorts


After accepting a Halloween party invitation from a woman he just met online, Jake must navigate an apartment full of over-protective friends, Jewish frat boys, and his own insecurities in pursuit of love.

The themes of love, romance, and trying desperately to connect with others, are ones that I have explored throughout my narrative filmmaking, and hope to continue exploring. Ever since 2009, I have been developing as a filmmaker and storyteller. Starting in experimental video, I directed a dance film ( Haptic Deviation) in collaboration with a choreographer, which was screened at film festivals in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Bonn, Germany. After that, I spent several years in Los Angeles and Paris, France, learning everything that I could about film production, after which I applied to film school. Upon arriving at Columbia University in New York, I directed three short films: Visiting Hours, Meeting the McAllisters, and A Birthday with the Greenbergs, honing my craft and voice.


Our goal is to make this film look like it was shot for perhaps double or triple our actual production budget. Though the concept seems simple on the surface, we actually have many hidden costs:

TALENT: We need to pay our main actors! Though many productions of our size don't pay at all, or operate on a SAG deferred pay contract, we decided that it's important to compensate and support our lead actors in light of our busy rehearsal and shooting schedule.

LOCATIONS and PRODUCTION DESIGN: We will have to pay location fees to shoot at a synagogue, and permit fees in order to shoot on the street. In order to make the locations and characters really stand out, we have brought on a talented production designer who has worked on many short and feature-length films, to dress the actors and apartments. Although he has generously offered to work for free, we will have many expenses for props, set dressing, and wardrobe.

FOOD: Despite our crew's relatively small size, we will have 15-20 background actors, plus lead actors, who will need to be fed. This becomes expensive quickly.

POST-PRODUCTION: We have post-production costs beyond color correction and sound mixing. We will be hiring a VFX specialist who will animate the text messages onscreen with speech bubbles and text, in order to pull the audience into the characters' conversations early in the story. This does not come cheaply. Because the actors will be improvising on set and talking over one another, and because on and off-screen sound is so crucial to the storytelling in this film, sound design is essential.


Our short film has 501(c)3 status thanks to our fiscal sponsorship through From The Heart Productions in Oxnard, California. Any dollar amount that you donate can be used as a 1:1, 100% tax deductible dollar donation. Although From the Heart will take a 7% service charge, the rest of the dollar amount will reach our production. From the Heart will provide a receipt which you can then use under the itemized deductions in the donations portion of your taxes. You can then use the 100% tax deductible amount to adjust your gross income.


For any donation, we'll provide you with email updates of the film, photographs of the production, a link to the finished film, and a special thank-you in the film's end credits.

Those who contribute $100.00 or more will receive all of the above, as well as an Associate Producer credit. And those who give $500.00 or more will receive an Executive Producer credit and an invitation to the premiere at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, as part of the Columbia University Film Festival. You'll get to see this film projected in one of the country's most prestigious film centers, and enjoy opening night with the filmmakers!

Thank you in advance for your support. I know that with your help, we can make this film the best it can be.


Jon Branden, Writer/Director

For more information about the crew and updates about the project, please visit jonbranden.com/current

$7,478 Raised
149% towards $5,000 Goal

Supported by 28 Donations:

  • Thais D.
    I Gave $25
  • Silhouette
  • Stan and Donna Hersh
    I Gave $100
  • Joshua W.
    I Gave $100
  • Katherine W.
    I Gave $100
  • Nadege S.
  • Silhouette
  • Cinthia C.
    I Gave $100
    We wish you the best of luck with this very exciting project!
  • Joel and Eileen G.
    I Gave $118
    Sounds exciting!!
  • Jill P.
    I Gave $100
    Jon -- Your project sounds engaging. We are thinking of you, wish you fabulous success and look forward to hearing more. Best, Jill & Jim
  • Silhouette
  • Claire W.
    I Gave $25
  • Curt  G.
    I Gave $100
    So excited for this. Go get 'em, brother!
  • Peter W.
    I Gave $100
    Good luck, Jonathan
  • James J.
    I Gave $100
    Wishing you the best of luck with the project.
  • Sally L.
    I Gave $100
    Jonathan - Congratulations on your excellent work!
  • Patty H.
    Jonathan, we're so happy to be able to help out with this!! Patty and David
  • Leslie and Eric B.
    I Gave $200
    Best of luck with the project! Can't wait to see it!
  • Silhouette
  • Dorothy and David G.
    I Gave $100
  • Ann/Alex B.
    I Gave $150
    I like to even out the numbers. Omi
  • Karen J.
    I Gave $100
  • Laila and Peter B.
    We look forward to seeing your film!
  • Ruth S.
    I Gave $50
    Break a leg?
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $100
    Let this, and all future endeavors, be a success!!
  • Peter and Pennie B.
    I Gave $1,000
    We are so excited to see your new film and are so proud of you!