FILM PRODUCTION TEAM
Cassidy McMillan is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, writer and advocate. She received the United Nations UNA Impact Filmmaking Award, named "Change Maker in the Film Industry" by DyNAMC Magazine, and nominated for a SAMHSA Voice Award.
Cassidy took on making the film when she learned teens and children were committing suicide due to bullying, and wanted to make a film that provided solutions in order to prevent future tragedies.
Cassidy's an advocate, speaker, media guest expert on bullying prevention, relational aggression/girl bullying and has spoken to 20,000 students, teachers at schools/events across the U.S. including FIU College of Law, NYC's Dept. of Education, STN Convention. She works with government leaders on prevention initiatives and is an advocate for families who've lost children to bullying related suicide.
Cassidy's acting work was recently honored by the Los Angeles Times, who named her
2018's Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role at WCP Stage, for her
compelling performances portraying determined author Brooke Wyeth in the L.A. area production of the Tony Award-nominated, Pulitzer Finalist drama OTHER DESERT CITIES, in which her character contends with issues of depression and suicide.
The play is written by award-winning Jon Robin Baitz.
Cassidy's performances in the emotional drama received critical acclaim from the
Los Angeles Times, OC Tribune and praise from audiences.
Cassidy said of the role, "I'm glad audiences were moved by our cast's production and my portrayal of author Brooke Wyeth. I appreciate Jon Robin Baitz's script which deals with suicide prevention, depression and mental health awareness, which are subjects that need to be discussed in our society so we can work on solutions. Addressing these issues is why I made BULLIES AND FRIENDS, as I hope the film will help prevent youth tragedies."
Award-winning film producer Gary W. Goldstein has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest box-office hits, generating well over a billion dollars in worldwide revenue. He has received multiple Academy Award nominations, People’s Choice Award and Golden Globe nominations among other accolades and achievements.
Gary is the mega-hit Producer of box office hits that resonated with audiences and received critical acclaim including "PRETTY WOMAN" with Julia Roberts, Richard Gere;
"UNDER SIEGE", "UNDER SIEGE 2" and "MOTHMAN PROPHECIES featuring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Debra Messing.
Prior to becoming one of the top producers in Hollywood, he was an attorney in northern California. In addition to filmmaking, he is also a business strategist, consultant, TED Speaker and best-selling author.
His critically-acclaimed book, 'Conquering Hollywood', is called a "must read for anyone in the film and entertainment industry or anyone who wants to excel in business."
Diane is an Executive Producer, advocate and strongly believes in the cause of bullying prevention. She has said about the film, "I know BULLIES AND FRIENDS will be the education resource that communities, schools and families can utilize to stop bullying help prevent tragedies, and will let kids know help is available."
She has done artwork for LIONSGATE Films, attended USC in Los Angeles and is a passionate advocate for animal rights and animal protection in addition to the prevention of bullying and suicide.
She looks forward to BULLIES AND FRIENDS documentary's worldwide release to audiences, schools, colleges, and stated,
"I strongly feel BULLIES AND FRIENDS film will be beneficial to children, parents, teachers, and schools to help prevent the bullying culture, and will reach even further to teach our future generations to be more respectful and kinder towards one another."
Elisabeth Fies is the award-winning writer, director, producer of the feature film thriller,
THE COMMUNE, for which she was awarded the "Best Emerging B Movie Director" in 2010 and was the first female no-budget director to be invited to the distinguished 'Master of Horrors' Dinner.
She is an Adjunct Professor of Film at Los Angeles City College. Prior film work includes as an Associate Producer on the acclaimed triumph CONVENTIONEERS, a political Romeo & Juliet tale that claimed the 2006 Independent Spirit Award in the John Cassavettes Category.
Elisabeth Fies' to be developed screenplay she wrote, PISTOLERAS, won the Creative Screenwriting Magazine's Best Thriller Category. During her undergraduate studies at UCLA, Elisabeth Fies worked for Debra Hill Productions, was a cast member of THE MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS. After earning her first Masters Degree from New School University in Media Studies, Elisabeth returned to UCLA where she studied screenwriting in the renowned Professional Program, where UCLA co-chair Hal Ackerman declared her "a brilliant writer."
Elisabeth says her writing work is about rebels, underdogs and their champions, stating,
"I'm thrilled to work with the important documentary on bullying, BULLIES AND FRIENDS."
Associate Producer/Sound 2nd Unit
Brenda Fies is a producer of the feature film thriller THE COMMUNE which was awarded
Best International Picture at the Bram Stoker Festival.
Prior to film, she earned her medical degree and worked as a nurse at John Hopkins and renowned
Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Brenda Fies next earned her Masters Degree in Human Resources and Organizational Development and moved into supervisory positions; skills that translated seamlessly into the film world.
Her first short film "Distraught", won the Best Short Award at the Stiletto Film Festival.
Additional works have garnered her awards, and her political stories are forged from her medical work
observing real-life tragedy and drama in hospitals. Brenda is currently writing the feature drama "Attempt". Brenda and Elisabeth Fies are also the Co-Founders and Executive Directors of a film festival in Los Angeles which showcases powerful films made by female filmmakers.
Regarding coming on board to the documentary film BULLIES AND FRIENDS, Brenda stated, "Elisabeth and I resonated with the film during production with the film's suicide prevention cause. We applaud Cassidy for her vision and ongoing sacrifices in the production of this film to get it made and the film will provide help through insight into the bullying crisis globally to peers, educators and parents searching for answers."
Melissa is a dedicated advocate of bullying prevention. She is the creator of TheGrassGetsGreener.com, a site that helps adult survivors of childhood trauma, particularly childhood bullying, overcome the lasting effects of their trauma to become the person they desire to be.
Melissa is also the host/producer of The Grass Gets Greener podcast where she interviews survivors of childhood traumas who have gone on to not only survive, but thrive, in an effort to inspire and provide hope for those who are still struggling.
Melissa is herself a survivor of childhood bullying and child abuse. She uses her past experiences along with a background in psychology to guide her in the work she does today. Melissa's mission is to help those who feel stuck in life as a result of their past trauma get unstuck and live an amazing life.
She's glad to be a part of the documentary film team for BULLIES AND FRIENDS to help get its bullying prevention inspirational message to audiences globally.
Eugene cares strongly about the film's message of preventing bullying. As a dad, Eugene believes teaching empathy to kids is important in today's world, especially with the cyberbullying online and on social media. Eugene has a degree in Medical and Health Sciences. Other core studies and certifications include Film Production; Human Resources and Business Administration.
Eugene states about BULLIES AND FRIENDS film, "Many underestimate the effect that bullying has on kids' mental health. BULLIES AND FRIENDS addresses that component. This film will have a positive impact on helping kids know that if they're being bullied, it's not their fault - that the problem is with the teen committing the bullying. Kids will also know through this film help is out there. As a parent, I feel this film can make a difference in helping the kids being bullied and the kids who bully others, in that this film teaches compassion and empathy. I look forward to getting it released to schools."
When not working on the film, Eugene can be found spending time with his wife and young children.