×

Freestyle Digital Buys High School Bullying Drama ‘Reach’

Freestyle Digital Media has bought North American digital rights for “Reach,” a high-school drama about bullying from the perspective of the bully, the bullied, and the bystanders.

Reach” will debut theatrically through Christian Meoli’s Voltaire Media in 10 major markets on Oct. 19 along with a day and date VOD release.

“The serious topic of bullying resonates with so many children and families these days,” said Freestyle Digital Media acquisitions director Rachel Koehler. “With our acquisition of ‘Reach,’ we at Freestyle are proud to be able to contribute to the conversation by giving the topic the exposure it so richly deserves.”

“Reach” stars Garrett Clayton as a band geek who divulges to an online pro-suicide support group that he plans to kill himself. Although his first attempt is botched, he is determined to find a way to escape his suffering. He is constantly picked on by former childhood friend and school bully (Jordan Doww), but his plans are sidetracked when he’s befriended by quirky kid, portrayed by Johnny James Fiore, and begins to form stronger relationships with his father, friends and a teacher.

“October, being the National Bullying Prevention Month is the perfect opportunity to share the message of ‘Reach’: Kindness, even the smallest of gestures, may change someone’s life forever,” said producer Maria Capp. “’Reach’ is about a bullied teen boy reaching for what is possible because of the kindness, friendship and affirmation of just one person. In making ‘Reach,’ our desire was to create awareness, conversation and empathy surrounding the consequences of our actions, or inactions, as they relate to bullying.”

“Reach” was produced by Capp, Charles Box, Cappricielli Productions, Autumn Bailey, Grant Harling, and Jeffrey Alan Jones. Leif Rokesh directed from a script by Capp, Fiore and Harling.

Clayton starred as Link Larkin in “Hairspray Live.” Other cast members include Harling, Joey Bragg, Bojesse Christopher, Kevin Sizemore, Concetta Tomei, Corbin Bernsen, Steven Thomas Capp, Raffaela Capp, Natasha Capp, Brent Tarnol, Michelle Danner, Chelsea Cook, Tiffany Phillips, Jully Lee, and Wren Barnes.

The score was composed by 15-year-old actor and composer Rio Mangini, who also has a cameo in the film, in collaboration with Jeffery Alan Jones. “Reach” premiered in June at the Dances With Film festival in Los Angeles.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

  • Spider-Man Could Leave the Marvel Cinematic

    Spider-Man Could Leave MCU if Disney, Sony Can't Reach Financing Deal

    Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have hit an impasse on new financing terms for upcoming Spider-Man movies, sources have told Variety. If a deal cannot be reached, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will not produce future Spider-Man films, effectively removing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reps for Disney, Marvel and Sony [...]

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski, during the ceremony award

    Pawel Pawlikowski on the Power of Making Movies With ‘Barbarians at the Gate’

    Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski says he’s watching “with horror” as political developments increasingly divide countries across the globe, and admits that he’s reluctant to take a stab at documenting modern life after the success of his two critically acclaimed period dramas, foreign-language Oscar winner “Ida” and thrice-nominated “Cold War.” “I don’t have a hook [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content