A daring memoir of acceptance, soul-searching & friendship. Based on Michael Brennan's published memoir, Theo's Friend tells the story of a daring boy's desire to become what he's always wanted.
Ready for the repercussions, a defiant Theo wears makeup to his college football team’s training. Mayhem ensues, testing Theo’s resolve and courage to persevere and embrace who he is.
The latest short films by J Black Films - https://www.jblackmedia.com/jblackfilms
This is our biggest production to date; a longer script, more shooting days, and locations. We’re pushing the boat out and we need some financial help!
Wayward teen Theo is sitting in the changing room, his knuckles and face bleeding. He’s facing expulsion from his football team and potential assault charges. With encouragement from best friend Ashley, Theo had shown up at football training beautifully painted in makeup, determined to shrink convention and be true to himself. But the world around him wasn’t going to let him be; his PE teacher and football coach Mr. Kingsley adamantly preaches the essential guide to masculinity and preparing for manhood, his football team pounce on anything slightly outside the footballing lad stereotype, his mother Vanessa is reaching breaking point unsure how to talk to or even approach him, and even his best friend Ashley doesn’t seem that sympathetic anymore. On the verge of a panic attack, Theo is faced with the biggest challenge so far, choosing what he stands for.
This story follows a young and impressionable Theo in a defining moment as he faces the challenge of being able to express himself honestly and experiment freely, without the
unrelenting pressure of society's cultural norms, values and stereotypes. As well as being in conflict with an unaccepting and stifling environment, Theo is on a tempestuous journey to accepting his identity. He feels out of place and fears being distinctive which is leaving him at risk of losing a special part of himself.
Theo’s Friend is a relevant and relatable coming of age queer film that explores what it means to be different in modern Britain today and the difficulties one faces in a culture that can often fail to be open and accepting. It empathises with the struggle that can be encountered on the path of self expression and aims to empower people to speak their own truth. It’s a story about mental health and the importance of a safe environment and support system for young adults who are experimenting and exploring queerness. It’s a story of misfits for people that, at some point in their life, felt like they didn’t or don’t belong.
The dream set
What your money will go towards
- Paying the cast and crew
- Transport for the cast, crew and equipment
- Location fees
- Renting film equipment
- Props, set design and costumes
- Post-production - sound design & mix, colour grading, music
- Festival submission fees
Isaac's film debut came at the age of 12 in the award-winning short, The Billabong. While living in Australia, he also worked on Son of a Gun and Pinch, as well as television productions Prank Patrol, Cloud Street, and The War That Changed Us. Recognised for his extremely physical performance in FRMTN's music video for A Friend, Isaac also starred in award-winning feature film Cat Skin in 2017. He has since appeared in short, Mortal, worked with Sarah Maple for a Sky TV comedy, starred in The Passenger, and plays James in the upcoming Amazon series The Devil's Hour.
This project has been in talks for a long time and I’m absolutely thrilled it’s finally getting made. This story is so powerful and important and if I can make even a single person feel seen and not alone through my portrayal of Theo then this film will be a success in my eyes.
Juliette Alexandra is a performer and artist with experience working with companies including NYT and The Pappy Show, and in plays at iconic festivals such as Edinburgh Fringe and The Vaults. In 2021 I made my screen debut in BBC’s EastEnders, and most recently have been self-producing acts and performing in alternative cabaret shows around London, as well as writing scripts for future projects.
Being on board with Theo’s Friend is important as someone who resonates with the story it tells, one of self-discovery and friendship - it’s an authentic take on such a familiar queer experience and I'm excited to bring my truth to the role of the unapologetic Ashley!
Giulia is a versatile producer with eight years of experience within the genres of drama, doc and commercial. She has a strong track record for successfully seeing her projects through all the stages, from development to delivery. There’s really nothing in production she doesn’t like to be involved in.
Having worked on Theo’s Friend development for a couple of years now, it feels like a dream to finally step into production. I am so very proud to be attached to such an empowering story and an even more amazing, strong group of people. With just a little help from you, we can make this a reality.
Junny Yap is a passionate producer and 1st assistant director from Singapore. She has worked on several short films and web series. Short films she has worked on have been accepted into several film festivals such as Kino London, Exit 6, and the Oniros Film Awards, with one music video winning bronze in the Global Music Awards. She is really excited to take on this challenge and to bring success to this short!
As someone who has always been afraid to be ‘herself’ growing up due to the pressures of society, I believe many have fallen into a similar feeling. Theo’s Friend warms my heart because I wish I was brave enough to just be who I wanted to be and ignore the rumours and hallway chatter. And the more we tell stories like this, the more people will be exposed to the possibilities and confidence of just being themselves. Especially at such crucial ages where your experiences shape yourself.
Writer / Director
Josh is an award-winning writer, director and director of photography working in the film and commercial industry. He’s shot TV and online commercials for a variety of brands including Samsung, the Marriott hotel and Wagamama and short films he’s worked on have been screened and won awards at festivals around the world.
When I first read Mikey’s original short story there was something so raw, discomforting and close to home about the strife and frictions the lead character Theo was navigating through. My heart ached, it moved me to tears and I knew this was a story I had to share and a film I had to make.
Mikey is an energetic art teacher from Merseyside who loves writing, movies and face paint. I am so excited to see my story evolve from page to screen. I want nothing more than for this film to warm the hearts of everyone and remind them that bravery and self-acceptance brightens our lives. Help spread the message you once listened for. This film is it, and today’s youth is still listening.
Your support will uphold the power of film, the magic of youth and the joys of being what we want.
Tom is a freelance script writer whose previous clients include Rusty Quill, Azhur Saleem and Black Bull Films. Winner of the David Nobbs Memorial Trust competition and winner of Best Comedy at the Portobello Film Festival.
Projects like ‘Theo’s Friend’ don’t come along very often, and I’m hugely excited to see what Josh, Giulia and the rest of the gang can do with such a beautifully told story. Mikey’s text is a highwire act of ferocity and fragility, told through the prism of a young man struggling to find himself, and I’m deeply honoured to get to be involved.
Alex started his career in advertising over a decade ago but we don't hold that against him. Over the years he has honed a keen eye for detail combined with a meticulous workflow which makes him an asset in post production. With a unique perspective on life, he finds a great balance between the creative side and the technical of editing, often finding solutions which fix or enhance a story.
It is a pleasure to be working on Theo's Friend with such a great crew. This film speaks to me about friendship and what makes us the individuals that we are. It truly is a wonderful story, beautifully told and I can’t wait to cut it together.
We are still looking for a few crew members. So if you are a Makeup Artist, Production Designer or a Gaffer, we’d love to hear from you!
You can follow updates on the film at www.instagram.com/jblackfilms
Much love x
Josh Black & J Black Films