Bay Creek Tennis Camp
Writer/director Michele Meek’s forthcoming short film Bay Creek Tennis Camp is a timely and refreshing take on the cross-generation disconnect around gender inclusivity. In the film, Charlie has been doing things his way for decades. But the Generation Alpha kids who join his camp this year won’t stand for being split by gender—so they decide to teach him a lesson in a charming and amusing way.
LGBTQ+ youth are on the rise in the United States, and in a 2021 study by the Trevor Project, approximately one in four youth identify as nonbinary. These increases have provoked more awareness and dialogue within academic, parenting, medical, and educational communities. At the same time, anti-LGBTQ+ bills are being put through local legislatures at an alarming rate, and most target youth—including their rights to play sports and use bathrooms based on their gender identity.
Bay Creek Tennis Camp gently poses a provocative question—what if gender is not the ideal way to divide youth?
By presenting a story about a group of Gen Alpha kids, played by several nonbinary youth who come together to advocate for themselves and each other, Bay Creek Tennis Camp can be used to entertain, educate, and inform adults and youth. By screening the completed film at festivals, schools, camps, and other venues, our hope is that Bay Creek Tennis Camp can help spark compassionate conversations about youth, gender, and sports.
Bay Creek Tennis Camp is currently in pre-production as we prepare for our August 2022 shoot. Several experienced crew members have joined the team, and our cast includes a diverse group of nonbinary youth actors alongside professional actor Paul Kandarian as Coach Charlie. Director Michele Meek has seeded the project with $3,000 and is seeking another $2,700 in donations/contributions to the film.
For more information, contact Michele Meek at email@example.com or visit https://michelemeek.com.
Have you ever drifted from your best friend?
I thought mine would remain beside me forever. I pictured us laughing as bridesmaids at each other’s weddings and raising our kids side-by-side. She knew me better than anyone. So what happened? Did I do something wrong? Or did we just grow into different people, during the most formative years of our life?
For a teen girl, losing a best friend can feel like losing your entire world, but it’s rarely given the same weight as losing a romantic relationship. Growing Pains follows childhood girlfriends Zoe and Nat, who face the tumultuous transition from middle to high school as their friendship drifts apart. A real and raw coming-of-age story about identity, sexuality, the aftermath of surviving cancer, and growing into yourself amidst a society that throws a rug over the serious hardships that teen girls face. Addressing disability, queer representation, and mental health; Growing Pains is a love letter from my co-writer Mariana Fabian and me, who have forever struggled to see our stories depicted accurately on screen. Or, depicted at all.
Growing Pains is written, directed, produced, and filmed by women. Our film is a female-centered story, so it’s only appropriate that women are both in front and behind the camera. According to the Geena Davis Institute, only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female. In the entertainment industry, men outnumber women in key production roles by 5 to 1. Growing Pains is supporting female filmmakers and championing diverse, real stories about young women. Shot entirely in Massachusetts, Growing Pains uplifts local New England artists and locations.
Zoe Christopoulos and Natalia “Nat” Martinez are childhood best friends. Zoe is a bubbly and self-involved childhood cancer survivor. Nat is witty, hard-working, and reserved. During the summer before high school, their friendship drifts apart as they each set out on their own journey of self-discovery.
Zoe develops insecurities about her body, which stem from a cancer scar that divides her stomach in half. In an attempt to feel more confident in her own skin, she joins the crew team but then develops body dysmorphia and an eating disorder. Crew becomes quite toxic for Zoe, as she is trying to make the lightweight boat. She resorts to unhealthy habits, like using diet pills and restricting her eating. Zoe meets Dan, an older boy on the crew team, who pressures her into sexual encounters. Zoe pretends to be someone she’s not and loses her innocence too fast, which ultimately makes her feel worse.
Zoe’s self-involvement prevents her from noticing Nat as she navigates discovering her sexuality and first crush on Lexie, a new co-worker. Her dad is uncomfortable with Nat’s budding relationship, as he comes to terms with his internalized homophobia.
Nat struggles to manage her family’s expectations, as her parents put tremendous pressure on her to work full time at her family’s restaurant. She has the responsibilities of an adult and no free time to be a kid, as she is expected to run the restaurant and help her family succeed. Nat’s home life fractures, as her relationship fails with her dad and her grandmother becomes ill.
Zoe and Nat’s friendship comes to a boiling point as Zoe is unaware of what Nat is going through and Nat puts little effort into maintaining their friendship. As Nat hangs out more with Lexie, Zoe becomes jealous and afraid of where she stands with Nat.
Will Nat and Zoe be able to rectify their fragmented friendship?
Meet our Characters
Zoe Christopoulos, a 15 year old cancer survivor, struggles with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder as she pursues crew. Played by Molly Morneweck, a high school student from Wayland Massachusetts with a love of performing. After many roles in the theater, this is her first film project. The role of Zoe resonates with Molly, who is also a rower with a medical history that includes a tumor removal at age six. She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing film.
Nat Guzman, a 14 year old closeted lesbian Latina, feels an immense sense of responsibility to manage her family’s expectations and balance her home life. Played by Deanna Tarraza. Deanna Tarraza was born and raised in Boston, MA. Her love for acting started at the young age of eight when she began doing commercial and print work. Since then, she has been in a number of projects with Growing Pains being her first lead in a feature film.
Catherine Argyrople – Catherine Argyrople (she/they) is the Writer, Director, and Producer of Growing Pains. Catherine is a childhood cancer survivor and is a differently-abled filmmaker. Catherine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University in Boston, where she studied Media & Screen Studies and Media Production. She has almost a decade of experience in the media space, from her work as a freelance photographer and videographer to her work as a video producer. Catherine is excited to be making her directorial debut with this project, as narrative work is where her passion lies.
Mariana Fabian – Mariana Fabian (she/they) is a film studies/media scholar at NC State and a student journalist. She is the Writer and Associate Producer for Growing Pains. She helped write this film because she wanted to see more characters like herself on screen.
Michelle Carr – Michelle (she/her) is the Producer for Growing Pains & a Professor at Northeastern University in the Communication Studies Department. Michelle teaches Television Studio Production, Television Field Production, and Sound Production for Digital Media courses within the department. Michelle additionally holds a graduate certificate in Business Administration and continues to work professionally in the Boston area on various educational research video projects as a freelance producer, editor and videographer. She just finished co-producing (with Bill Lancaster), directing, and editing her first dramatic short, “Moving On” (2022), starring veteran actor Tom Kemp.
Lynn Weissman – Lynn Weissman (she/her) is an award-winning DP/Cinematographer based in the Boston area. Her work has aired on major networks including PBS, HBO, Discovery+, and has screened and won awards in film festivals worldwide. Weissman’s narrative cinematography work includes Penny, Season 3 of the Unconditional Love web series, and The Secret We Hide Tiki Tok mini-series. More about Lynn Weissman at WeisswomanProductions.com and imdb.com/name/nm2363120/.
Lia Lucine Cary – Lia-Lucine Cary (she/her) is the Assistant Director & Associate Producer for Growing Pains. Lia-Lucine is a creative filmmaker whose central aim is to capture untold stories and to inspire people to rethink their relationship with each other and the natural world. She has pursued her love of storytelling through filmmaking, teaching, and advocacy. Lia has filmed and produced projects with the world’s leading media and brand outlets including USA, MTV, and Google.
Plans for Film
We are filming over 21 days from August 9 to September 10, 2022. We are filming at 9 different locations across Massachusetts. Debut dramatic feature films like The Novice, Pariah, and Eighth Grade have premiered at festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance Film Festival, and have landed on streaming services such as HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and ShowTime. We see Growing Pains aligning with these films.
Incentives for Contributing
Incentives will begin to be distributed following our Production in September 2022
$25 – Receive a social media shout-out on our Growing Pains Instagram & Facebook accounts, plus a “Special Thanks” mention in the film credits!
$50 – A Behind-the-Scenes digital photo book & a digital thank you note from Catherine Argyrople. And, all of the perks above!
$75 – A Growing Pains-inspired playlist on Spotify. And, all of the perks above!
$150 – A digital copy of Catherine Argyrople’s annotated Growing Pains director script. And, all of the perks above!
$300 – A digital download of the film. And, all of the perks above!
$500 – A digital download of a signed Growing Pains poster. And, all of the perks above!
$1,000 – A Headshot Photography Session with Catherine Argyrople (applicable to MA residents only, redeemable in September 2022), as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). And, all of the perks above!
$3,000 – A Associate Producer Credit on the film & IMDb, as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). Plus, an exclusive Zoom Q & A with Writer/Director/Producer Catherine Argyrople to answer any of your burning questions about Growing Pains. And, all of the perks above!
$5,000 – A Producer Credit on the film & IMDb, as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). Plus, an exclusive Zoom Q & A with Writer/Director/Producer Catherine Argyrople to answer any of your burning questions about Growing Pains. And, all of the perks above!
Set in Washington, DC, The Dream and The Come Up tells the story of Rob Johnson, an up-and-coming comedian as he fights to save a struggling comedy career and a failing relationship in the midst of a pandemic.
A college dropout, Rob’s life-long dream is to make it big as a comedian and leave the city where “nothing seems to be happening for him.” Against all odds, he embarks on a journey to record his first comedy special during the COVID-19 pandemic – a move he believes will take him out the city and launch him into the spotlight. But when his mother’s health begins to wane and his relationship begins to crumble, Rob finds himself striving to stay focused on his dream.
In the final moment of the story, Rob finally gets the opportunity to record his special and make his dream a reality. He is even invited to open for an internationally-renowned comedian at a sold-out show, but just before he is set to leave the city, he finds out his girlfriend’s life is hanging on a thread. In the end, Rob’s perception and priorities are changed forever as he realizes that a life of success and superstardom is worthless without someone with whom to share it. It is The Big Sick meets About Last Night and Think Like A Man.
UNLOCKING RNA tells the amazing story of Nobel Laureate Dr. Philip Sharp and the events that led to the birth of the biotech revolution, set in Kendall Square, the most innovative square mile on the planet.
Some say the US has fallen behind, with great scientific discoveries happening abroad and Asia on the cutting edge. But we cannot overlook the incredible innovation and discoveries made possible by the US biotech industry, driving economies worldwide.
In this story, we unearth the humble Kentucky roots of Nobel Laureate Dr. Phillip A. Sharp and his discovery of RNA splicing that led to the biotech revolution as we know it today.
UNLOCKING RNA will take you on an journey through the birth and proliferation of a movement that has saved millions of lives and whose headquarters remain in Kendall Square in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts – known as the most innovative square mile on the planet.
As the world has now been introduced to mRNA technology through the lifesaving vaccines developed to combat COVID-19, the time is ripe to share the full story of the groundbreaking work and key players that paved the way for this revolution.
DIRECTOR Bill Haney
PRODUCER Carina Chavda, Bill Haney
A young man is invited to embark on a precarious cross-country journey by his estranged father in a beat-up old car. Along the way he uncovers mysteries of friendship, family, love, and what secrets are enclosed in the sealed container in the trunk.
On the heels of Frederick’s 18th birthday, a strange man appears at his door on Cape Cod to give him an envelope from his deadbeat father with a single car key, the name of a mechanic, and a California address with a date and time on it just a few weeks into the future. Frederick’s curiosity gets the best of him as he sets out to uncover mysteries of his past, friendship and love – and the suspicious sealed container in the trunk of his 1968 Dodge Polara. Along the way he is guided by Billy, the neighborhood mechanic, Nick, his privileged best friend with overbearing parents, and Maeve, a young Irish woman on her own cross-country journey across the US. In this coming-of-age-story, Frederick gains the courage to step into the next phase of his life with the beauty of the open road as his back-drop.
DIRECTOR: Adam Moyer
PRODUCER, WRITER: Bill Haney
OUR TURN TO TALK features high school senior Anastasia Vlasova whose obsession with Instagram led to a full-blown eating disorder. Silence and shame followed. Anastasia discovered that once she started talking openly about her mental health, she started healing. That inspired her to launch a podcast and travel across the country to invite other teens to share their own stories about how depression, anxiety, racism, LGBTQ discrimination, and the COVID-19 pandemic are taking a toll – on them and on their whole generation. Driven by the evidence that storytelling saves lives, Anastasia and her peers show us the courage and power of something as simple as talking.
Directed and Produced by Beth Murphy& Patrice Howard
In 2013, filmmaker/educator Wade Wofford was teaching 10th grade English at an intimate charter school in Springfield. Frustrated by the teacher-centric portraits of urban education that Hollywood has attempted (white-savior stories about the fish-out-of-water teacher wearing pearls in act one…who ends up in black leather in act three, and lets students sleep at her house when the gang’s after them.) He wanted to tell a more earnest story, born of the actual schools. Then it happened: Wofford and his students found out their school was being closed mid-year…its students and faculty laid off or spread across the district.
URBAN ED was born…a gritty, micro-budget narrative drama inspired by those events.
Aryana is a sophomore who goes to Woodrow Wilson Charter School, a small-but-intimate struggling charter for grades 6-12. She gets herself up, wakes her 5th grade brother & kindergarten sister, cobbles together breakfast, then gets them on the bus. She doesn’t want to wake her mom, who worked a double and is not doing well since Aryana’s brother died in a club shooting.
Aryana’s greatest conflict at present is that her boyfriend D’Avante’s strict mother thinks she’s a bad influence. Aryana comes around with lots of cut lips and black eyes, so D’Avante’s mom assumes she’s catfighting in the streets. Not the case, unfortunately; Aryana’s mom has quite a temper…
When the school Principal announces that Wilson will be closing in January, things get intense. Aryana and her ensemble of four friends reel, struggling to cope with what it means for their future. Beans, D’Avante’s best friend, reacts with anger. He’s always hated this fucking school; they’re always riding his case when he shows up three hours late because he has no way to charge his phone sleeping in his cousin’s car on the south side. Still, he can’t help feel “Even the shit we don’t want they got to take from us.”
The action of the film is split between four days – one from each season of a single academic year. Each day explores the education these students are exposed to…not just in their classrooms, but in their homes, the world of the inner city, and the current U.S. around them.
What makes URBAN ED truly unique is the manner in which it will be filmed – in a style similar to Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-winning NOMADLAND…using real students cast from within the public schools that inspired the film. Our production already has partnerships with businesses, schools, governments and cultural councils in the region.
In a time of Donald Trump and the disgusting re-invigoration of racism, the world needs an authentic portrait that displays the complexity of the issues at play in these beautiful, diverse classrooms.
Click here to check out the pitch deck for more information about the project
Michelle, played by Emmy-nominated Marin Hinkle, is a highly respected, workaholic surgeon hell-bent on precision for both her pro bono pediatric cases and ageless rich women. Her warm and honest connection to her husband, Jacob, becomes fraught when the chemo treating Michelle’s aggressive lung cancer fails. Jacob insists that Michelle try another drug. But she’s depleted from managing devastating side effects and wants to stop chemo altogether so that she can feel better – even if temporarily – and complete the last of her series of surgeries on 12-year-old Isabella.
Michelle’s work is her life force, but Jacob can’t understand this. He also can’t understand why Michelle would ask, of all people, her old medical school boyfriend, Earl, now a hospice nurse, to help her decide whether or not to end chemo. But Michelle is the patient, so her wishes trump all.
As Michelle’s health declines, Earl becomes more of a presence in their lives, a presence that is sometimes soothing and instructive, occasionally funny and often a direct blow to Jacob’s guardrails against his terrible grief—the primacy of his connection to Michelle and his capacity to manage her care.
Illuminating and softening this triangular tension is perceptive, witty Drey, Isabella’s older sister, who is hired part-time to shop and cook for Michelle and Jacob. Then there’s Beatrice, the by-the-book and insanely talkative palliative care nurse whose annoying presence helps Jacob see clearly what Michelle needs: to be surrounded by her chosen loved ones. By the end of We’re All Here, Jacob and Earl have become unwilling allies in helping Michelle live the life she wants even as she plans her “good death.”
A Massachusetts teen finds himself stuck on an island off Cape Cod in a program for wayward youths with a handful of idealistic do-gooders. Designed as a Huck Finn world to help “castaway boys build better lives”, the Penikese Island School serves as a last resort purgatory between freedom and jail for teen delinquents, like him, who must decide to struggle for peace or repeat the habits they know.