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Reveiw: Halfway There
by Karen Pecota

The thirty-year veteran filmmaker, Rick Rosenthal collaborates with Whitewater films to make a pilot for television called Halfway There. It turned into a short film just in time for the 2018 Sundance film festival application selection.

A nice surprise happened for the film team in that for the first time, Sundance would dedicate a special section to showcase short form programming made for online and television called EPOSODIC. The variety of independent episodic programs now up-and-running without festival presence makes sense to now incorporate this format as a part of the Sundance independent storytelling. Rosenthal entered his film Halfway There into this section and was chosen.

Rosenthal says that Halfway There is about a dysfunctional family where one can not escape. He asks, "How does one go about running away from such a family when the family members will eventually find you?" Rosenthal continues, "It's the journey of true adulthood where the influence of the parents should no longer hold sway over key decisions one makes." But, he adds, "Halfway There tries to chart the ever moving pieces with comedy, drama and emotion."


Jimmy Bishop (Matthew Lillard) a recovering addict, runs a a sober house but has trouble making ends meet because his compassion to help people gets in the way of good business sense. On the verge of bankruptcy, Jimmy asks his mother, Jeanne Ross (Blythe Danner) for assistance. She refuses to give him the money outright but agrees to become a client in his facility to see if he can help her with her addiction to alcohol. Jeanne's wealth will solve the financial crisis but unaware of how desperately she needs his services. The new client forces Jimmy to reconcile issues he's kept hidden his whole life.