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HIDE is a contained psychological thriller capturing the terror and dread of emotional gaslighting as a resilient wife fights to escape her abusive husband during the 2020 pandemic lockdown.

The film is also a social impact tool with national partners to raise awareness and empower everyone to identify the more nuanced intricacies of gaslighting and grooming.

Written and Directed by Ben Samuels
Executive Produced by Mara Burros Sandler
Amy Blavin, Kate Samuels, & Eric Wolf
In Association with Be Forward Productions and River Knoll Productions

HIDE was made by a cast and crew that included survivors and just finished post-production.

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1 in 4

women will be the victim of

severe partner abuse*


and this does not include the insidious emotional and psychological tactics of daily intimate terrorism

Reports are just starting to reveal the untold and exponential rise of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job loss, alcohol abuse, and a breakdown in family, childcare, and personal support services are all correlated.

While abuse is on the rise, calls for help are down 50%. It is believed this is because victims are unable to reach out to support services with their abusers always at home.

*US Department of Justice Special Report

(Image from the National Domestic Violence Hotline)

1 person every 3 seconds

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HIDE is proud to welcome our


National non-profit One Love Foundation's partnership with HIDE

will focus on developing a companion outreach and intervention

strategy inspired by the organization's preventative education.

We hope to bring HIDE's story into every living room. HIDE looks and moves like a thriller, but if someone watching sees aspects of their own relationship on-screen, they'll be empowered to seek aid, devise a Safety Plan, and escape.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is including their support services 

in the film's end credits.


In addition to securing traditional distribution after a festival run, HIDE hopes to partner with local and national domestic abuse prevention groups and organizations to spread a message of RESILIENCE and HOPE.

Meet The Team


Ben Samuels

  • Instagram

Ben Samuels is a social impact filmmaker and playwright who won the Austin Film Festival and LaunchPad Screenwriting Competitions and reached the Top 50 of the Nicholl Fellowships. Ben wrote and directed the social justice narrative short WAY UP, confronting gun violence in North Philadelphia, and helmed the inspirational boxing documentary

TWO RIVERS about a DACA Dreamer fighting for the ideals of his new nation.

Ben has freelanced extensively on meaningful cinematic work, including as 1st Assistant Director on the feature THE SUBJECT, starring Jason Biggs and Aunjanue Ellis, as well as AMERICAN INSURRECTION, starring Nadine Malouf, Nick Westrate, Michael Raymond James, and Toby Leonard Moore. Among countless branded, narrative, and music video works, he is also particularly proud of Alicia Keys’s RAISE A MAN video.

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Mara Burros Sandler
Executive Producer

  • Instagram

Mara Burros Sandler is a dedicated activist, producer, and philanthropist with a passion for fostering healthy communities, strengthening educational and artistic institutions, and fighting bigotry. Drawing on her extensive experience in the philanthropic sector, Mara founded Be Forward Productions to advance compelling storytelling in the fields of theater and film. She is committed to seeking out stories that have the power to change and improve the world.

Some of Mara’s earliest philanthropic endeavors were motivated by personal loss. She co-founded the Janet Burros Memorial Foundation in her mother’s honor and served as the foundation’s director for 15 years.


Over the years, Mara has held governing positions at The Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Director & Co-President), The Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (Board Member), and, currently, the Basser Center for BRCA (Board Member). She's sat on the boards of Casa Columbia and Facing Addiction, and now supports films that shed light on this issue. Mara has also served on the boards of The Hewitt School, Facing History and Ourselves, and the 92nd Street Y. Mara is the Senior Advisor & Director of Social Impact for the Zuckerberg Institute, and she currently sits on the boards of The Afya Foundation (focused on global health), the Board of Visitors at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, the Frederick Douglass Project for Peace, and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). In addition to her position on ARC, Mara also served on the committee for Represent Justice for the film JUST MERCY. Her work within these organizations embodies her larger commitment to fighting mass incarceration and enacting prison reform.

A graduate of UW Madison with a BA in psychology, Mara also holds an MA/Ed.m in counseling psychology from Teachers College Columbia University.

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Amy Blavin
Executive Producer

Amy Blavin is the Head of Guest Relations at Mercy BioAnalytics. Dedicated to philanthropic work, Amy was on the social action committee attached to the film JUST MERCY and served as Executive Producer on THE HUNTING GROUND, MULLY, and HARRY & SNOWMAN under her For Good banner, co-founded with her husband, Paul. Together, they run the Blavin Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and Northern Arizona University, supporting over 100 students move from foster care to fulfilled dreams in post-secondary education. Amy and Paul also founded Freehab, a residential life transformation program for homeless and incarcerated women ages 18-26 that are challenged with addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. Amy served on the Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum representing the Southwest, Thrive Scholars, and Ready to Succeed, which focuses on high-level internships and career connections for former foster youth. In all her work, Amy’s focus is to give support, respect, and love to those that are most disregarded in society.

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Nadine Malouf
Lead Actress

Nadine was most recently seen in Tony Kushner’s A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY at the Public Theatre. She stars in the feature AMERICAN INSURRECTION, released in October 2021, and originated the role of Laila in the World Premiere adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel A THOUSAND SPLENDID SONS. Her feature film debut, Cherien Dabis’ MAY IN THE SUMMER, was an opening night premiere at Sundance and she has since been seen in HIGH MAINTENANCE, THE LOOMING TOWER, THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA, and as a recurring role on HIGH FIDELITY.

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Jamal Solomon
Director of Photography

Jamal won the Zeiss Precision Image Award and was DP on the Duplass Brothers's AS OF YET, which won the Nora Ephron Award at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. He previously lensed the short film FLOWERS, which won the American Black Film Festival and aired on HBO. He had favorable write-ups in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter for the feature ANGELFISH. That film went on to be featured in TIFFs 2020 Next Wave Film Festival. He previously lensed the Civil War social justice short ATTILA and music video WASTED with Ben directing.

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Maren Reese
Costume Designer

Maren is a veteran Set Costumer with nearly 50 credits on features and shows including DISPATCHES FROM ELSEWHERE (key costumer), SERVANT, CREED II, 21 BRIDGES, and as personal costumer to James Spader on THE BLACKLIST. She previously costume designed NIGHT CATCHES US starring Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie.

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Daniella De Jesus 
Supporting Actress

Daniella plays ABBIE, the Client Services Director at the local women’s shelter. After a chance encounter behind masks at the grocery store, Abbie becomes pivotal in Loena’s journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment, even as she is unable to break her own cycles with her abusive girlfriend. Daniella is a veteran stage and screen actress best known for her breakout role as Zirconia Cabrera on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

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Molly Griggs
Supporting Actress

Molly is NELL, a survivor who recently escaped her abuser but still visits him in jail. Intersecting lives with Loena at the grocery store as well, Nell shows Loena where abuse can lead before Loena’s ready to see. Later, she becomes a dear friend at a crucial moment. Molly currently stars in M. Night Shyamalan’s show SERVANT and in the stellar cast of DR. DEATH.

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Justin Cunningham
Supporting Actor

Justin realizes the role of NICK, a marriage counselor and friend of Kelly and Loena’s. From the earliest scenes, Loena feels Nick’s sensitive soul and that he may understand her, but when she finally marshals the strength to ask for help, Nick is one of too many people who don’t see what’s happening behind closed doors. Justin is a powerhouse actor who made ripples with his performance on Ava DuVernay’s show WHEN THEY SEE US and stars on GRAND CREW.


HIDE is currently approaching sales agents and distributors.

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We look forward to hearing from you.


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