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The Hideout—A Conversation with Daniel Wahlen on His Award-winning Short


The short film that won top honors at the 2014 SONscreen film festival, “The Hideout,” was recently released online and is now available for online viewing and purchase.

Last year a short film created by a group of young adults swept the 
SonScreen Film Festival, garnering several awards such as Best Dramatic Short, Audience Choice Award, Best Cinematography, Best in Fest Sonny Award. The film centered around the story of a young girl named Holly who was molested by her favorite teacher, and portrayed her journey to share the devastating news with her mother. The film was shot with a budget of $10,000 and was directed by 2014 Southern University graduate Daniel Wahlen.

In a previous interview with Spectrum, Wahlen described how the film drew inspiration from his own life.

Over a year after The Hideout’s debut at the SonScreen Film Festival, the film is now available to be viewed online or purchased on DVD. Since its original showing, The Hideout has been screened across the country and at various film festivals; it has also gathered several more awards, including the “Daily Short Pick” on the website Film Shortage.

During The Hideout’s tour across the United States, Wahlen and his crew also sought out and screened The Hideout at support groups set up for survivors of sexual abuse and their families.
“Taking The Hideout to film festivals across the country was a wonderful experience because [it] created an intensely focused audience that we could interact and directly share the message with,” said Wahlen to Spectrum Magazine. “Now with the online and DVD release, I’m excited to be casting our net further and being able to reach those that may not have been able to attend one of our screenings.”

Even though it has been gratifying for The Hideout to be well received on the film festival circuit, Wahlen has been even more pleased with the discussion that has been occurring after the film finishes.

“I’ve been blown away with the response to the film,” said Wahlen. “Nearly every time it’s been shown, someone has approached me afterwards and shared their story. People from all over the world have emailed me and they are just so thankful for The Hideout and that they have a chance [for their stories] to be heard.”

Wahlen hopes The Hideout will set many survivors on the path to healing, and educate those who have been fortunate enough to have never encountered this type of abuse.
“Sometimes viewers have been incredulous about the statistics at the end of the film [‘By the time they are 18, an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused’],” said Wahlen, “They may be surprised, as I certainly was, at how many people you interact with daily that have been affected by child sexual abuse….The abusers are nearly always someone that is close to the family and child.”

Wahlen believes that remaining silent or believing abuse could never happen is counterproductive to both healing and prevention.

“I’ve listened to survivors tell of how they suffered sexual abuse from family members, teachers, pastors, pathfinder leaders, and even parents….Silence or rationalization that ‘it would never happen in our church/school/family/etc’ only gives perpetrators more power.”

Now that the film is available online, Wahlen is excited to move on to new projects. He has been developing several feature film ideas, as well a concept for a documentary.

“I’m aiming to round out the drafts at the end of this year and have something to show again soon.”

View The Hideout online here, or purchase the DVD version at a special 50% discount using the promo code “Spectrum” here


Rachel Logan is a writing intern for

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