Khaled Ridgeway, a regular follower of S&A, is a filmmaker, currently pursuing his MFA in filmmaking at the University of Southern California. His latest project, the short film “Bullied,” was made as his graduate production project at the school.
Filmed last October, which also happens to be National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Ridgeway says that he wanted to make this film because the subject of bullying “is still a hot topic that resonates with a lot of people.”
But beyond that, the film has a personal meaning for the filmmaker: “I’ve been bullied myself in the past and I wanted to, not only show the harrowing effects of bullying and racism in this social commentary/thriller, but to create a three-dimensional character that the audience could both root for and be terrified of simultaneously.”
But Ridgeway, who counts director Brian De Plama as one of his favorite filmmakers and major influences, adds that there is also a social and racial dimension to his film since the main character, Clifford, who is an African-American custodian in a high school, is “considered to be on the lower end of the totem pole in society,” the filmmaker said, adding, “He has allowed his former mistreatment to shape his world and make him somewhat of an introvert. The film also shows the duality of Clifford and how he has the propensity to lean toward good and evil in the second half.”
Take a look: