Project UnLonely Films Season 7

After (A Love Story)

Clare Cooney

A married couple survives a traumatic event – but their relationship might not.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

Clare Cooney is a filmmaker and SAG actor currently living in Los Angeles, trained in Chicago. She recently made her feature directorial debut with the horror-comedy, Departing Seniors. Previously she wrote, directed, edited, and starred in RUNNER, a short film that played at 15 film festivals, winning 6 awards and garnering Cooney a “Filmmaker to Watch” nomination from the Oscar-Qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. The latest short films she directed/edited, AFTER (A LOVE STORY) and PICK UP, both played at Oscar-Qualifying festivals, and all her shorts have gained popularity on the prestigious short film channel, Omeleto. As a director, she is known for grounded, character-driven stories filled with tension through naturalism. She made Newcity Magazine’s Film 50 list in 2020 and 2019 for being “one of 50 individuals who shaped Chicago’s film scene.” Acting credits include a recent guest star on NBC’s CHICAGO MED, a recurring role on CW’s 4400, lead roles in numerous independent features, and a supporting role in Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS. Cooney is a School at Steppenwolf graduate and is repped by DDO Artists Agency and Activist Artists Management.

“Quite often in movies we see the most climactic moment of a character’s life, but we don’t always get to see what happens after. After painful years of the pandemic we’ve all experienced, we didn’t want to force the audience to live in moments of violence and trauma. Instead, we wanted to explore what happens in the aftermath: how shared trauma can change people, how we all react to pain in different ways, and how we pick up the pieces. Sometimes when you experience grief or trauma differently than your partner, it can be a very isolating, lonely, alienating experience, and can put strain on the relationship. Instead of bonding and supporting one another through trauma, it can lead to estrangement and misunderstandings. We wanted to see this couple struggle to love each other through that.”

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Join The Conversation

What comes after trauma, and can love be found on the other side? How can a couple move forward together and rebuild their sense of partnership and support?


  1. Anonymous

    I liked the way the film ended on a hopeful note – and I liked the way the therapist had them face each other and hold hands during some of the therapy session. Overall a good and thought provoking film 👍

  2. Anonymous

    Powerful! I’m a believer in therapy and when two partners are willing, change can happen. I’m glad they left you hanging as you put yourself in their position and it could go either way. Great potential for discussion!


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