Matthew Marshall’s newest short film under the banner of his company m & s Marshall productions in association with IME films is nearing the end of filming in London, Ontario and area. The film called Malicious Attack is directed by Marshall himself. The film centres on bullying in high school as well as themes like love and peace. It is to be a 30 minutes in length and will centre around two primary characters. The Bully Savannah whiote played by Elina Lattanzio and the Good girl Naomi Spencer played by Katie Ostojic. Savannah and her relentless attacks focus on a few students at the Meadowbrooke High School including the “Good Girl” Naomi, but also the “outcast” (April Booth), the “pregnant teen” (Tiandra Edwards) and an “immigrant”. Lattanzio has her figure of the pulse of the issue and the how it plays itself out in the movie. “This film is an excellent depiction of the culture that surrounds bullying, particularly in the school system. In spite of the numerous opportunities for different characters to intervene in the situation, ultimately each character is left to endure the struggle alone”, she says.
Bullying is a topic that the film’s director Marshall feels is important to open a discussion about. “I think we all have seen bullying in some form or another regardless of our ages. It’s an issue that crosses all lines and borders in our world. Everyone knows someone who has been bullied. It happens every day and it affects everyone”, says Marshall.
Helena Rose who plays Alicia in the film is an actress a few years removed from actual high school life, looks back on reflection with some words from her characters point of view. “My character sees bullying happening around her and it saddens her. I see a reflection of real life in the film, where teen girls are bullied over prom dresses and other social matters that in a few short years will not matter. Yet in the moments of here and now, the words and actions said and done to them hurt deep and leave scars that last into those few years down the road”, says Rose.
One of the central targets of the bullying is an immigrant named Linda Tai played by Londoner Dina Jasim. The character is being bullied by Savannah and is trying to deal with what she is enduring. Jasim comes to the project with a desire to help bring light to the issue of bullying within the teenage generation. “I have seen people around me struggle with the effects of bullying in their lives” offers Jasim. She goes on to reflect on the character and what Linda is dealing with in the role. “Words said by others can hurt deeper than we think. They get into our bodies like a disease, slowly affect our brains and hearts. They sometimes cut deeper than a knife, and can stay in one’s mind forever. Linda feels like this world is too small for her, she feels like she is a crowded room feeling lonely. She is living with toxic thoughts, fighting inside of her brain because of words that have been said to her. She is mentally overwhelmed and sick on the inside. Yes she is hiding it from people around her while living with it. Losing her hope and herself esteem,” says Jasim. She feels the story mirrors what she sees in the world and how she hopes that those enduring these comments will respond. “Some people live to attack others not only physically but emotionally. You can’t change and control what others say, but you can start with yourself and the surroundings. Stand up for yourself and the people you love, bullying is only a word but a word can kill. It is important that we try to prevent the words from doing harm to ourselves and those around us”.
The story gives lots of opportunity to discuss the issue of bullying and the reactions of those that are bullied. “Each of these characters has a different reaction and response to the bullying they experience”, Marshall adds.
The film is finishing in late spring, early summer and then will go into post production with a release day sometime after that in the future. The film can be found on IMDb at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6156436/combined