Just Like You Imagined?


Out of stock

On Demand Lesson Plan Cast & Crew

Running Time 16:21
Behind The Scenes 9:08

This film is also available as part of the HIV/AIDS Film Compilation


Six teens hope to avoid heartbreak, HIV, and hard truths about their relationships while remaining true to who they are. This film was written by Verena Faden from Miami Florida and directed by David Frankel.


Just Like You Imagined? was written by 18-year old Verena Faden, an aspiring Cuban-American high school filmmaker in Hialeah, FL. The film was directed by David Frankel (Band of Brothers, Sex in the City).


  • 2001-2002 Miami Contest Winner, Hialeah, FL
  • Aired on Showtime
  • Outstanding Teen Film Program, International Student Film Festival
  • Highly Recommended, Educational Media Reviews Online
  • Highly Recommended, MOAPPP
  • Best Adult Collaboration, Westport Youth Film Festival
  • Featured at the Taos Talking Picture Teen Media Conference
  • Used in various school districts across the US including the NYC School District

The Story Behind the Story

2001 marked the launch of Scenarios in Miami. Students in Miami learned about Scenarios in their drama classes and almost all of the Miami-Dade schools entered the contest.

17 year-old Verena Faden wanted to write a story that told the truth about what teenagers deal with in relationships and, at the same time, made teens aware that their everyday choices may affect the rest of their lives. Her inspiration for her story came after the HIV/AIDS instructor told her drama class that the HIV virus can be transmitted through oral sex. Bam. That would be the start of her story.

Originally called Sex Sights, Verena’s script was selected by Scenarios USA’s 17-member panel of judges because the story effectively dealt with a variety of sexuality issues. Director David Frankel’s only concern was that the story was too long for a 10-15 minute short film. Both David and writer/producer Frances Negrón-Muntaner suggested that Verena scale down her story; possibly focusing on one of the three couples in her script. Verena, however, was adamant in keeping her story the way it was. She argued that the film needed complete stories of the three couples in order to truly capture many of the issues teenagers face. After some debate and many drafts, Verena’s story was told as she had originally conceived.

Just Like You Imagined? was shot in Verena’s hometown of Hialeah (a suburb of Miami), and her whole high school was involved in the filming. David and his crew took extra time out of shooting to mentor the kids and explain the filmmaking process. The cast and crew shot the film over two-22 hour days… yep, from 6am to 4am!

On October 17, 2002, Scenarios premiered the film at a screening party in downtown Miami for over 200 guests. Miami-Dade County Mayor, Alex Penelas, honored Verena and David and proclaimed the date “Scenarios USA Day.”