Film Title: Frenemy
Logline: No one should feel so alone
Length: 11 minutes
Director: Skylar Burke
Producer: Jonathon Millman, Tricia Burke, Sabrina Velandry
Writer: Skylar Burke
About the writer/director: Skylar is a 13 year old actor/singer/dancer/writer and now Director. At just 9 years old, she began acting, and signed with a top manager and agency New York City. Four months after signing, she was cast as Young Ila in the Paramount feature film "Noah", directed by Darren Aronofsky. Skylar spent the summer filming in Iceland and New York with amazing actors like Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson.
Skylar has also worked on commercials and was a featured sketch player on Saturday Night Live alongside Paul Rudd and One Direction. Skylar also starred in the short film "Finding Inspiration" which was accepted into the White House Youth Film Competition, and Boston International Kids Film Festival.
Most recently, Skylar wrote, directed and starred in her own short film, Frenemy. Skylar wrote this film based on her own experiences with bullying. The film premiered at New Hampshire Film Festival, and plans are being made for other festivals as well as a bullying tour at schools throughout the nation. She is excited for what is to come!
Key Cast: Skylar Burke, Riain Keefe, Matthew Sullivan, Hannah Perreault, Naysa DaSilva, Sarah Munroe, Constance Witman, Jennifer Pollock,
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
All of the above. Anyone who is interested in bringing Frenemy to more people.
Release Date: Premiered at New Hampshire Film Festival October 2015
Where can I watch it: Dances With Kidz Saturday, June 11th 12:00pm, and recently accepted into Intendence Film Festival in Denver, CO June 24-25.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made my film as an outlet for feelings I'd been repressing for a while. I wanted to put my emotions on paper. I wrote the script just for myself and I had no idea it would become a real film! Then as my mom and I thought more about it, we realized I could maybe help others who may be going through the same thing. As an actress, I knew that I could bring this story to life. I was also intrigued and inspired by the directors I had worked with, especially Darren Aronofsky, and always wanted to be on that side of the camera as well.
Why should I watch it?
You should watch Frenemy because it's meaningful and can help you understand how some victims of bullying feel if you haven't ever felt that way yourself. If you are a victim of bullying, maybe it will make you see that you're not the only one, and that things can get better. If you're a bully, maybe it will make you realize how your words and actions can hurt others. If you're a bystander, maybe it will make you think about standing up for someone if you see they are being hurt.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I wrote this film based on my personal experience that many others have also gone through. Bullying is everywhere, all around the world, all ages. It's not just physical anymore: pushing a kid into a locker or stealing lunch money. The worst kind of bullying doesn't leave physical bruises or scars, but emotional ones. These days bullies use teasing, taunting, rumor spreading and social exclusion to hurt their victims. Thanks to social media, it can now happen 24/7. I tried to incorporate all of these into Frenemy.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The script has had many, many revisions. It started out as just a few pages. Then as we began expanding the project, the story and script grew to 10-12 pages. Scenes and characters were added and removed, dialogue was spread between different characters, and much more. The film itself has changed quite a bit since the first draft, but I love the new changes.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Frenemy has received great feedback so far! Even before filming began, so many people connected with the project, from Director of Photography Jonathon Millman - who wasn't expecting to take on this project, but really connected when we met the first time, to our generous contributors and supporters, to the cast and crew. Then when Frenemy was screened at New Hampshire Film Festival, and our own premiere party, we heard so many great reviews from strangers as well as my own family, cast and crew.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It means so much to hear how Frenemy touches other people. People connected with my story, and related it to their own experiences. Everyone connects with different scenes and events - some relate to the social media bullying aspect, some to the exclusion, some to the moments of seeking help. I was surprised to hear how strongly people connected with the film since it is such a personal and traumatic experience for me. Knowing how many others share these experiences is disappointing. This is why I hope more people can see Frenemy, so it can help make a difference.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Having my film on wearemovingstories.com would be another way to reach out to help people. Frenemy won't do much good just sitting on my computer. It needs to be seen so the message can spread. It is an honor to have you take notice of my project and feature it on your site.
Who do you need to come on board?
I would like anyone to come on board who is also passionate about helping to stop bullying. I am interested in hearing from anyone who can help us bring Frenemy to more people - schools, theaters, festivals - any place that kids especially would be able to watch the film. Maybe it will make them think, which maybe will make them do some things differently.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want people, kids of all ages in particular, to watch Frenemy and be inspired to make a difference. Think before speaking and acting. Treat people with respect. Help someone who is in need. Find the strength to stand up for yourself if you are being bullied. Use your voice. Make a difference.
What are some key questions that will help spark a debate o begin a conversation about this film?
I think there are three questions: 1. Do you know how your words and actions affect others? 2. Do you know how your words and actions can help others? 3. Are you using your own voice to stop being a victim?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. I never would have been able to go anywhere with Frenemy if it wasn't for my amazing supporters, contributors, cast and crew. I am so happy to share Frenemy with everyone and I hope you enjoy and connect with it as much as I do.
What next for the key creatives?
Skylar has been happily enjoying her new arts-based charter school, where she is continuing to develop her writing, music and art. She looks forward to writing and directing her next project. Jonathon has been quite busy as Director of Photography on several film projects as well.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela