Leah Chen Baker- 2021 Short Finalist


An absent mother desperately attempts to win her young daughter's affection during a belated birthday celebration but risks straining the relationship further.

Belated was sparked by my internalized mom guilt and a deadline. The story follows Frances, an absent mother, over a day as she tries to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. Despite their moment of connection gaining an invitation into her daughter’s life, Frances’ circumstances still loom and the question remains whether their newfound relationship will sustain.

While films like Andrea Arnold’s WASP (2003) and Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (2017) are influences, Belated is not about getting a date with the handsome guy or seeking other forms of validation from a man. Instead, men exist only on the periphery of the story, drawing the focus to the complicated mother-daughter dynamic at its core.

Currently, I am developing long-form projects and an MFA candidate in writing/directing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Contact Leah Chen Baker:

Website: www.leahchenbaker.com

Instagram: @leahchenbaker