Watch the Trailer
"Jada" was largely born out of a fascination with my neighborhood at the time, Venice Beach, California. Well known for its eclectic boardwalk and beautiful beach, Venice also happens to be a magnet for outsiders who live on the fringes of society – a theme that drives most of my writing.
Hundreds of untold stories traverse the boardwalk every day in the form of runaways and drifters of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Initially an image flashed through my mind of a small girl, far younger than the average Venice Boardwalk inhabitant, fending for herself, and I followed that impulse until it turned into this short film, "Jada."
My interest in a child left to her own devices led to some research on the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, which, coincidentally at that time, was under heavy scrutiny, following an incident in 2013 when an 8 year old boy was beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend after numerous documented allegations of abuse. Castigated for their perceived negligence, the DCFS fired back that they were under-funded, widening the public focus to include a child care system sorely in need of fixing. While “Jada” is not specifically based on this incident and ensuing public discourse, these developments definitely influenced the second half of the film.
Viewed through the lenses of eclectic Venice and a woefully lacking child services system, mixing in equal parts hope and harsh reality, “Jada” is, ultimately, the story of someone striving to make the best of a tough situation and prevailing in her own way.
Festivals & News
Newport Beach Film Festival
Dances With Films
Woods Hole Film Festival (WINNER: Best Actress)
Athens International FIlm + Video Festival
Napa Valley Film Festival
Savannah Film Festival
Wisconsin Film Festival
Santa Cruz Film Festival
DC Shorts Film Festival
Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival
Big Apple Film Festival
Beloit International Film Festival
Indie Street Film Festival
Atlanta Underground Film Festival
Drive-In Film Festival
International Crime And Punishment Film Festival (Istanbul)
Irvine International Film Festival
Brownsville International Film Festival (SEMI-FINALIST)
What People Are Saying
"JADA enthralled us thanks to a remarkably complex and emotionally nuanced performance from young Kaycie Bowens."
- Wisconsin Film Festival: Golden Badger Jury
"Bowens’ performance as Jada demands respect and understanding, the high-water mark in a short film that’s keen on treating humans like humans."
- Lake Front Row