Because the Only Way is Through...

Project type: Fiction Feature
Project status: Development
Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Noonan
Casting Director: Monika Mikkelsen
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Harley Knox, a double amputee combat veteran, returns from Afghanistan and faces a new battle she must wage to regain her self.


Harley Knox is home from the war and trying to make sense of her life. Her father, Thomas, a Vietnam vet, is unable to cope with his daughter’s new situation. Her boyfriend, Justice, active duty, is still by her side but she is unable to let him in as she grieves and grapples with debilitating phantom pain and PTS.

The VA gives her oxy and a disinterested psychiatrist. By day she dreams of rock-climbing, by night she dreams of IEDs. Both dreams leave her hurting and broken.

She feels like she’s losing the war when she meets Dr. Maddux, who offers new legs, if she’ll participate in a new simulation program designed to heal PTS. Harley agrees.

Harley’s obsession with getting her old life back via her new legs tears her already strained relationships with Thomas and Justice. She grows closer to Dr. Maddux, blurring the line between mentor, therapist, and doctor. Harley avoids Justice.

Harley is laser-focused on learning to use her new legs and is nearing a breakthrough in her VR exposure therapy when she loses access to Dr. Maddux’s program. In anger, she shuts out Justice. Thomas gets arrested. Max overdoses after she carelessly leaves her oxy out.

Harley hunts down the now-disgraced Dr. Maddux. In a suspenseful climax to Harley’s journey, Harley must face this inevitable truth in trauma recovery…

The Only Way is Through.

Meet the Filmmakers

Jennifer Noonan – Writer/Director/Producer
Based in Los Angeles, Jennifer feels passionately that Story has the power to inspire, to uplift and to unite humanity. Jennifer’s screenplays have received attention through the American and global festival contest circuits. Her first script, Assimilation, earned her a place in the inaugural Black List/Athena Film Festival Writer’s Lab in New York in addition to Nicholl Fellowship Semi-Finalist recognition. Her second script, Ofrenda, received attention at the Oaxaca International Film Festival as a finalist in three categories and New York Film and Television as a finalist. Her third script, Griffith Park, received recognition as a semi-finalist for Sundance/YouTube New Voices and Sundance Episodic Lab as a script and proof-of-concept that Jennifer both wrote, directed and produced.

Phantom, which will be Jennifer’s feature film debut, has been recognized through the following entities: Breaking Through The Lens Cannes Film Festival 2022 recipient, Black List/WGA/Easter Seals Media Access Awards Disability List Winner, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, Athena Film Festival, Women in the Screen Trade, Women In Film and as a Nicholl Fellowship Semi-Finalist.

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