‘Bite’ Trailer: PTSD Gets Surreal in ‘Promising Young Woman’-Esque Tribeca Short

Tribeca-selected short film “BITE,” written and directed by filmmaker Jorey Worb, is a reclamation of sorts. The 15-minute short is lush, well-acted by breakout lead Troian Bellisario, and captures a story known all too well by too many people, including writer/director Worb.

“BITE” centers on a woman who seeks treatment for jaw pain, or TMJ, and is assaulted by her dentist (Evan Arnold). The encounter leads to a reexamination of lingering PTSD and a faux Marie Antoinette-esque courtroom scene that plays out as she debates whether or not to go to the authorities. With its poppy set design, reminiscent of “Promising Young Woman,” mixed with a “Girls” kind of millennial dialogue and Wes Anderson-inspired production design, “BITE” tells a #MeToo tale in a completely new and fresh way. The film is one of the many star-studded shorts premiering at Tribeca Festival.

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“Having ‘bite’ means standing up for oneself, speaking one’s truth, and demanding respect, transforming victimhood into heroism and rewriting mental health narratives as stories of resilience and strength,” writer/director Worb told IndieWire. “Living with complex PTSD feels like a dream world ready to collapse. The film’s heightened design reflects this. Positive thoughts, like using the affirmation clicker, help counteract dark feelings.”

Worb added that the short was a form of “auto-fiction” and that each production detail was meant to drive the story forward. “The last scene, intentionally cheesy, captures the camp of the moment,” Worb said.

Multi-talented Canadian filmmaker Worb is based in Los Angeles, and has done everything from working on Netflix’s “The After-Party” to being Jennifer Lopez’s brand manager. In recent years, she sold a TV series called “Group” to WBTV about a romance set in group therapy (and based on her own marriage) and tried her hand at music video directing. Worb’s production banner 21 Grams has announced another directing project slated to begin filming in June 2024.

Actress Bellisario credited Worb for telling her own story through a heightened surreal lens onscreen with debut short “BITE.”

“The authenticity and bravery Jorey Worb brought as a director, producer, and writer every day of the shoot effortlessly blended the personal with the political. It was an inspiration,” Bellisario told IndieWire. “She is an advocate for mental health, recovery, and survivors of abuse. And I believe the message she champions both on and offscreen is one that so many people need to hear. I’m so excited for the world to meet Jorey, and for everyone to know they deserve to have ‘bite.'”

“BITE” premieres at the 2024 Tribeca Festival. Check out the film’s first trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.

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