Bullying is something most people can relate to, having either experienced it themselves or seen others subjected to it at school, in the workplace and in day-to-day life.
Local Mullumbimby actor Saya Minami is featuring in the film Rock Sugar. She plays the mother of a young Asian girl called Charlotte who has been experiencing bullying at the hands of the school bully Brenda.
The dark psychological thriller, for adults, explores the issue of bullying that 12-year-old Charlotte experiences.
When Brenda attacks her in a park late one night Charlotte fights back with all her might and pushes Brenda to the ground.
‘The bully falls, hits her head, and stops moving completely. Charlotte is suddenly in crisis mode – she must now hide the body, or face the consequences of her action,’ says writer, director and producer Angela How.
It is a theme that Angela personally relates to as she was born in Singapore but grew up partly in Australia.
‘As a child I was bullied. So I know firsthand the effects of bullying, and how they are felt into adulthood,’ said Angela.
‘I have, however, had enough time to consider this issue, and to use it as a story point to begin exploring the reasons and consequences of bullying in both Australian culture and globally’.
Reflecting on her role in the film, local actor Saya recognises that ‘bullying is a very complicated subject as there are many different types of bullying.’
‘Sometimes people are not even aware of their actions or attitudes or that they are participating in bullying. Even if they are aware of it, sometimes it’s easier for them to follow what others are doing and not stand up for someone who needs help.
‘The main character of this story is a child but I think there is bullying by adults and even in public. I think it’s important to have the morals to respect each other’s individuality.’
Rock Sugar is currently in post-production and has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, with the aim of raising $15,000 to finish the film and have it ready for distribution at festivals. You can support the campaign at https://igg.me/at/rocksugarthemovie.