Synopsis: BREAK/UP is a queer musical short film following three confidently flawed people who should definitely not be dating. Alex, torn between a toxic relationship and a fling, must come to terms with her own truth when she realizes a break-up might be exactly what everyone needs. It’s a bop-along musical story where it’s totally fine to burn bridges, especially when it comes to putting yourself first.
Flower Estefana Rios (Sam)
Fiora "Feathers" Wise (Jamey)
Ashlei Hardenburg-Cartagena is a queer German-Puerto Rican from Jersey City, New Jersey. Raised on cheerleading and Bon Jovi, she considers herself a karaoke princess with a passion for drama. After graduating from Vassar College with a B.F.A. in Film, she worked production in New York on shows like DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES. She won Best Director for her first musical short A SINGLE EVENING at the Long Beach QFilm Festival in 2020, and her latest musical short BREAK/UP won best music (short) at the 2022 Micheaux Film Festival and was selected the festival favorite at the 2022 Cinema Diverse Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival. Ashlei currently works as a staff writer in Los Angeles, CA.