Lashonda’s a driven, successful businesswoman
with a passion for Korean food (and Korean men).

Sung-min’s a laid-back artist who loves good music
as much as he loves to kick back with a comic book.

When their marriage goes sour, they both seek out affairs
online…and accidentally end up secretly dating each other.

Samantha’s approach to filmmaking is to get on every set she can, in whatever role necessary, from extra to producer. Audio supervisor, assistant director, production coordinator, consultant, or production assistant—wherever she’s needed, she’s entrenched in the world of film technique. As primary creative she’s experimented with horror, documentary,advertising, educational shorts, and narrative film, among others; this romantic comedy is her first feature film.


Samantha’s the kind of creative who watches. Whether she’s seeing the world through a camera lens as she documents people’s special moments—her clients’ or her friends’—or analyzing the way language affects Facebook politics for her sociolinguistics PhD, she’s paying attention to the human experience.

And that’s what she wants to share in film: the details, the places, the thoughts, and

the people that make up the reality we’re not always paying attention to.


Samantha reads Russian, Latin, and Gikuyu, and may or may not read her husband’s mind.

You can read her academic works, CV, and a few of her film credits on her website, at


Producer: Samantha Aiken (formerly Samantha Mauney). Sociolinguist and Photographer.

Screenwriter, Publicist: Jen Finelli. Professional Science Fiction Author and Almost-MD.



Affair Movie Twitter: @affair_movie

Affair Movie Instagram: Affair_Movie

Fan E-Mail:

Facebook:  I’m Having An Affair With My Wife

Samantha Twitter: @samanthamauney

Jen Twitter: @petr3pan

Script advanced to Second Round (top 15% of scripts) of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Contest.

The name Dead Laurels refers to the fleeting quality of fame and glory—and reminds us to pursue the things that last. The things that matter. The things St. Paul called unseen and permanent. As we’re reaching for the unseen, we’re striving to represent the diverse stories Hollywood overlooks. We understand that representation matters.

Romantic comedy is easily one of the least diverse genres of film in the United States. When was the last time you saw an Asian man take the lead as the desirable hunk? How often do you see a Black woman with a realistic body shape showcased as the standard of desire? And in a genre rife with single twenty-year-olds, how often does film showcase the cultural struggles of marriage in a romantic light, without just playing it for laughs as a bitter prison, or using it as the happily-ever-after end screen? At Dead Laurels we understand that laughter brings us together, and gives us an opportunity to talk about these things in a comfortable way. That’s why we’re starting our production history with I’m Having an Affair with My Wife! Married people deserve to fall in love, too.

Sam and Jen met at a “Steak Night” in college, which means they both knew a guy from the linguistics department who’d invite everyone over to eat steak on a college budget. (Translation: Everyone shared the same plate. And fork. And steak.) Later, the pursuit of Samantha’s linguistics degree brought her to Texas, where Jen incidentally happened to have military training one summer. Excited to see each other again, the two spent a day frequenting hipster hang outs and hashing out everything from film and diversity politics to wedding plans and life stuff. Already familiar with Samantha’s production expertise, Jen mentioned she was working on a low-budget script she thought Sam might be right for, and Samantha told her to send it along.

It took Jen almost a year and a half to get up the courage to actually send the freaking thing. Jen’s parents were originally told not to marry each other because of their different races, and as a third-culture kid one of the most challenging parts of her own marriage is mingling that culture with that of her husband’s—so the film felt personal. With much nail-biting and huffing, she finally finished and pressed send…

And to her delight Samantha agreed to produce I’m Having an Affair With My Wife!