Junie & Frank
"Junie & Frank" is a short, comedic film about connecting with family before it's too late. It's fun, quirky, and heartwarming, with a real-life grandfather and granddaughter pair as lead actors. We hope that it will inspire others to reach out to loved ones and make life-changing actions.
100 Days of Optimism
Inclusion Statement"Junie & Frank" is female-driven: It is written by and starring a woman. It is being co-produced by two women, and three out of the five roles are being played by women. The other two roles are being played by senior actors. For crew, we will be hiring with diversity as a key goal.
About The Project
Led by a female writer, actress, and two female producers, "Junie & Frank" pushes women to the forefront of the film industry and highlights age diversity by rounding out its cast with two senior actors.
About the Project
"Junie & Frank" is a sentimental comedy about the relationship between Junie, a young woman who is afraid to return home after her mother's death, and Frank, her mischievous grandfather. Desperate to get Junie to return his calls, Frank tells a lie which prompts Junie to visit. It's a story of connection and adventure with a ragtag group of hometown friends.
Why Make This Movie?
Kimberly DiPersia wrote, is co-producing, and will be playing the role of Junie in "Junie and Frank." As a child growing up in Florida, she watched her grandfather, Frank C. Hills, act in the local community theater. She vividly remembers him gracefully slipping into charming, energetic, debonair characters, and how proud she felt watching him light up the stage. His vigor and passion for acting inspired Kimberly to grow up and become an actress herself.
Kimberly has always dreamt of acting in a film with her grandfather, and vice versa, so this will be a dream come true for both of them!
"Junie & Frank" was inspired by Kimberly's bittersweet observation that quite often, we can take our loved ones for granted, and it is only when we are met with illness or death that we take the initiative to reach out and connect. No doubt many of us have regrets about not spending enough time with someone or resolving a dispute with them while that person was still alive. So why wait? Reach out now, and make new memories that will be cherished for lifetimes. It is truly a Case for Optimism.
Since Frank lives in Florida, it made the most sense to create the film around where he lives. We will be flying the production team from New York to make this possible. Joining our cast and crew will be talented and skilled local Floridians, and we will highlight multiple local businesses and locations in Cocoa Beach and Wildwood, Florida.
What We Hope
"Junie & Frank"touches on loss, family, the bizzare reality of returning home as an adult, connection, and the elderly, all in an honest, humorous light. And it reminds us to return our grandfather's calls!
We look forward to sharing "Junie & Frank" with all of you!
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About This Team
Kimberly DiPersia (Writer, Co-Producer, "Junie"): is an NYC-based actress, producer, and screenwriter. Graduating from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama, she has performed in regional theatre, understudied Off-Broadway, and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. In 2013, Kimberly began self-producing independent films with Hanging Charlie Productions, and has since produced web series, commercials, and short films (including her directorial debut, "Coffee Shop Conversations.") She is a series regular and staff writer for the sketch comedy group, "The Egos," which can be seen on Amazon Prime. www.KimberlyDiPersia.com
Matthew Van Vorst (Director) is a filmmaker based in Astoria, NY. Through companies such as Missive Behavior Productions, Hanging Charlie Productions, and UptownWorksNYC, he has been able to film, direct, produce, write (or any combination, thereof!) a slew of series, shorts, and short films. Currently, he is in post-production for his short film "Zombied" (co-written by Juliana Forsberg-Lary and co-produced by KimberlyDiPersia). Other projects include series such as: "How To: Not Be A Jackass...," "Tri-State," and "Find Love, NYC;" and the shorts: "TheSimsGo," "Tiny For Two," and "The Epilogue of Gregory Archambault." He is extremely excited to be working on "Junie and Frank" and is looking forward to getting down to Florida and shooting!
Frank C. Hills ("Frank"): is a Florida-based actor who has appeared on stage in many shows over five decades, in Drama (Night Watch, Inherit the Wind and other), Comedy (The Cemetery Club, Arsenic & Old Lace, Miracle on 34th Street), Musicals (Showboat, The Music Man, Fiddler On The Roof, Man of La Mancha, The Sound of Music). He has enjoyed every show he has appeared in and hopes he has brought some enjoyment to every audience he played before. Why has he come back one more time? Simple! Junie (Kim) IS his granddaughter.
Thomas Noel Smith ("Randy"): is a Florida-based actor who graduated with an M.A. from Chicago College of Performing Arts. In the past he has traveled with the circus, performing as a professional clown. He has recently worked with Burt Reynolds in the series “In Sanity, Florida” which may be seen on Amazon Prime. He is a published poet and is currently working on his fourth book of poetry and his first book of short stories.
Teresa Castillo ("Bartender"): is a Florida-based actress who is very excited to be making her acting come back! As a teenager, she was an active thespian and participated in plays and musicals. In recent years, Teresa has been active in her community as an education advocate, a learning and training specialist and a mom. Teresa is looking forward to using her acting skills once again in this production.
Juliana Forsberg-Lary (Co-Producer, "Adrian") : Jules is a New York-based actress, proudest of her short film “Zombied” which she created, cowrote, starred in, and collaborated with Kim and Matt on earlier this year. Zombied is in post-production now. This past year she also devised and originated the role of Peg in multiple New York productions of the play “False Stars,” which was a life changing experience. Jules is also currently producing her own sketch “Bathtub Pizza Party.”