'Between The Cracks' attacks bullying via the movies

Film highlights common issues affecting children

PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio - 'Between the Cracks' is a short film that revolves around two students named Melissa and Mitchell. They are both bullied in school and form a bond together.

The 20-minute film was produced by Darryl Epp, of Parma Heights. He felt it shows many of the problems both children and adults deal with - problems that can eventually lead to bullying.

The film will premier Friday, Jan. 17 at the Solon Fine Arts Center.

"Children are neglected by their parents and they're neglected by their schools. They begin to be bullied day in and day out," said Epp.

Local actors were used in the making of the film. The main character, Mitchell, is played by 11-year-old Giovanni Castiglione of Solon.

Mitchell's best friend in the movie is Melissa, played by Ashley Fast of Copley.

Both Ashley and Giovanni have been bullied in their own schools.

"I've been shoved and called names," said Giovanni.

"Whenever someone would walk over to sit with me, another girl would pull her away. She would call me names and make sure I had no friends at recess," said Ashley.

'Between the Cracks' is designed to point out warning signs that people may not see. Between issues at home and at school, it may be difficult to spot a situation that could lead to bullying.

"I think every day most parents ask 'How was your school day?' I think that's a little different than asking, 'What's going on? Are you being bullied?'" said Epp.

The movie could be used as a tool to show how bullying can begin and escalate into a major problem.

"I do see the possibility of this film being mass-produced, not only for the Cleveland area, but nationwide," said Epp.

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