REACH is a drama about bullying from the perspective of the bully, the bullied, and the bystanders. 

In REACH a socially awkward band geek, Steven Turano (Garrett Clayton), divulges to an online pro-suicide support group that he plans to kill himself. Although his first attempt is unsuccessful, he is determined to find a way to escape his suffering. Steven harbours a deep resentment towards his widowed father, Steve Turano (Bojesse Christopher), and he is constantly picked-on by former childhood best friend and the high school bully, Nick Perkins (Jordan Doww). However, when Clarence West (Johnny James Fiore), the new quirky kid in school, befriends him, Steven’s plans are side-tracked, and he begins to REACH out beyond his comfort zone to form stronger relationships with his father, friends (Joey Bragg, Steven Capp, Rio Mangini) and teacher, Mr. Tony (Grant Harling).

Steven and Nick form an inseparable bond as Clarence finds creative ways to pull Steven out of his depression. With his newfound sense of purpose and confidence, Steven learns that he’s capable of standing up to his father, and others, while Nick is still dealing with the loss of both his parents in a motorcycle accident. With a shared love of the arts, Steven and Clarence organize an original school play and crusade beyond self-imposed limits.

This film has several sub-plots beyond the main storyline, and each of the characters within these individual tales all has a chance to develop and contribute to the overall piece. While Steven and Clarence garner the most screentime over the others, it’s the secondary cast that carries through on the underlining themes of alienation, bullying, death, loss, relationships, insecurities, sexual questioning, addictions, and more. Steven is picked on by school bully Nick, and as the story continues it becomes evident that Nick and Steven have more than a few things in common, mainly being both raised in a father only household. Overall, Clarence is the most well developed and well-acted character of the lot. Kudos to Johnny James Fiore for not only taking on this lead role wonderfully, but also co-writing the script. All in all, it’s a relevant high school drama with an important message for kids growing up in today’s often confusing and confrontational society.

“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,” said co-writer/producer Maria Capp.

“Music is such an integral part of being a teenager, and as such, it plays an extremely important role in REACH. The music and songs beautifully mesh with the film and its message. We hired an accomplished teen composer, and have songs from some young, up-and-coming recording artists who really speak to today’s teens and young adults,” said Maria Capp. The score was composed by 15-year old actor and composer Rio Mangini, who also has a cameo in the film, in collaboration with award-winning sound designer and film composer Jeffery Alan Jones (Bitch, Most Beautiful Island), with additional music provided by Academy-award winning sound designer (Mad Max) Mark Mangini, and Marty Attridge.

Songs in REACH include the single “COMPASS” from the Boy Band, Forever In Your Mind/FIYM (Emery Kelly, Ricky Garcia, and Liam Attridge of Emmy Nominated Alexa and Katie), and the original songs “Breathin’” and “Hello Darlin,” by indie rock band, Still Rebel. REACH also features songs from several InRage Entertainment artists, including “I Love Me” and “Enemy” by RAFFAELA, “Cherry Bomb” performed by James Barmore,
and “Elephant in The Room” from SOTO AND THE KRASH.

Watch Behind The Scenes Footage

REACH plays a limited theatre run in the following – Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Long Island –Holtsville NY, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, NYC, Raleigh – Durham, and San Francisco.

REACH also debuts on VOD and is available to rent and own on digital HD across North American cable, internet, and satellite platforms through Frestyle Digital Media.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.