Mirroring Passover of 2020 (can we call it a period piece?), this voyeuristic dramedy series takes place over eight consecutive days and follows Josephine as she tries desperately to avoid her life, religion, and sexuality while in lockdown at the onset of Covid-19.
With a hunt for a dog to adopt, a secret dating profile, family issues, and a spiritual crisis, this quarantine is a lot more than Josephine bargained for -- and it’s only April.
Creator/Director/Star Avital Ash has a history of creating viral content using only laptop screens and a micro-budget. Her acclaimed 2014 series 7p/10e, set entirely on Skype, went on to inspire two CBS pilots, produced by the creators of How I Met Your Mother.
Antisocial Distance was created, directed, edited, and written by Avital Ash and co-produced by Livia Treviño. The two-woman production team, along with the impressive cast, brought the series to life virtually, using video chat and smartphones to capture audio and video. The semi-scripted episodes necessitated collaborations from California, Texas, England, and New Zealand with Avital directing over Zoom.
Everyone worked for nothing, including our superb cast, which boasts Steven Weber (Wings,13 Reasons Why, Chicago Med), Rose McIver (iZombie, Woke), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect, Mulan), Amir Blumenfeld (College Humor's Jake & Amir), Christina Kartchner (Netflix’s Never Have I Ever), Ellington Wells (Adam Ruins Everything), Joe Cobden (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), and Avital Ash (FX’s Cake).
This is definitely a story borne out of the desire to be creative during a shutdown.
Rather than develop a show about COVID-19, I’m interested in how induced isolation facilitates a reckoning with ourselves, and how funny and painful that face-off can be.
I grew up an Orthodox Jew and, in the throes of a quarantined Passover in 2020, “upholding traditions” began to feel more and more like suppressing parts of myself. Passover, it dawned on me, is meant to be about freedom; instead I’d been confined to a lockup of my own making.
Being bisexual is not something I talk about — least of all with family — but in the process of making this series, I came out to my mom. (And, at least in my case, Mom is sort of the disseminator of information to the family.)
My relationship to religion, spirituality, and sexuality are complicated. This project created an opportunity to explore these areas, collaborating with other queer women and men, and even a rabbi with an Orthodox background at a liberal temple.
With Antisocial Distance, I hope to ask questions that resonate with others, even if no one has concrete answers.
Thanks for watching.