Sarasota, FL – June 13, 2022 — Code Red is Ringling College of Art and Design’s whimsical, coming-of-age short film that confronts the prevalent issue of ‘period poverty’ – the lack of access to menstrual products many girls and young women face in school that results in educational inequality, lost opportunities, and confidence. Jada Wing Hang Poon, who graduated from the Film program at Ringling College in 2020, wrote Code Red as a senior and came back post-graduation and post-COVID to produce the film with a team of cast, crew, and financial backers who shared her passion in telling this important story.
“We’re so proud of the creative work that went into producing Code Red,” said Executive Producer and Faculty Advisor Vivian Owen. “For the film to win at all three levels of the American Advertising Awards is an incredible achievement. This recognition is especially meaningful because it brings attention to the issue at the heart of the film-period poverty and the lack of free period products in schools across the world. We’re so grateful for these ADDY wins and look forward to spreading the message of the film further in our upcoming festival screenings.”
Code Red has been selected to six film festivals, including the:
· Venezia Shorts Italy Film Festival
· Through Women’s Eye’s International Film Festival
· Concordia Film Festival
· Vero Beach Film Festival
· Seoul International Children’s Film Festival
· Sang Gêne Film Festival in Paris (sponsored by Regles Elementaires, the first French association to fight against menstrual poverty and associated taboos).
Following is the public trailer link, and a private film screener link is available to qualified media upon request. High resolution film stills, posters, and behind-the-scenes images are available to download.
Code Red Film Info, Background, Cast, and Crew
Code Red is a whimsical, coming-of-age short film that confronts the lack of easy access to period products that girls face in school. When sixth grader, Karman, gets her period for the first time at school she skips class with her best friend, Tiffany, to go on a quest in search of a menstrual pad. Throughout the film, Karman’s experience is intercut with metaphorical imagery that illustrates the feelings girls experience during that “time of the month.” It’s a fun and bold way to show the bittersweetness of growing up and bring awareness to the issue of period poverty.
Ringling College of Art and Design Film graduate Jada Wing Hang Poon initially wrote the short film for her screenwriting class and had no clue it would become the full-fledged professional film it is today. Poon wrote Code Red as a senior as an act of spite while feeling unwell in a predominantly male class due to her own period and began writing about the trials and tribulations of being a woman and experiencing her period.
The idea took hold and Jada began preproduction, but COVID-19 shut it down in March 2020. Poon thought her senior thesis short film about the struggles of being a young woman getting her period for the first time would never come to life after she graduated from Ringling College in 2020 with a BFA in Film.
With the help of a host of generous donors, the Ringling College Film Department, and the Office of Advancement, Jada was able to return to Sarasota, FL from her new home in Toronto in August 2021 to resume production on Code Red.
She hired on Ringling College alumni as her crew and auditioned middle school actors from around Florida until she found her perfect cast of seven talented kids. The film was shot in five days under COVID-19 protocols, including regular cast and crew testing and mask-wearing, at Girls, Inc. in Sarasota County and in the Ringling College Studio Labs.
80 percent of the cast and 60 percent of the crew were female, Poon says, a conscious choice, but one that she feels offered great insight to the film. “Ultimately, I want people to be able to casually mention they are on their period, without everyone feeling grossed out or feeling ashamed,” says Poon. “Periods are a natural thing and I want to normalize them. I believe this film could help start some conversations toward that change. I wanted to write something fun, something coming-of-age,” Poon adds. “I hope that whoever watches Code Red can find something they can relate to.”
“Period poverty involves lack of access to feminine products in underprivileged areas of the country and world,” Poon said. “There are many public schools where young women do not have access to pads, tampons, and other educational resources that inform and empower them about their own bodies. I wanted to create something that highlights these issues.”
Code Red also has a Facebook and Instagram page that highlights some of the national organizations Poon and other crew members are getting involved with that support women’s rights and help to eliminate period poverty. This ranges from providing pads and tampons in school and community center restrooms to going to Congress and fighting for the elimination of the “pink tax”—that is, taxation of feminine products sold in stores.
ABOUT RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. For more information visit www.ringling.edu and follow the College on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
CODE RED CAST AND CREW
Karman (13) – Madison Paige Baranoski
She always wants to prove she’s as good as the boys. Having to face the most drastic change in her life, she’s mortified, but also determined to get through it. She’s mature, observant, articulated, and competitive.
Tiffany (13) – Jaida Leigh Miller
Karman’s best friend, there for her through thick and thin. Her mother didn’t sign the consent form for her to attend the sex education class and therefore, she’s helping Karman without knowing exactly what she’s doing. She’s naive, innocent, and oblivious.
Tommy (13) – Maxwell Haman
The popular kid. Karman’s rival. His bluntness towards Karman’s predicament causes her a great deal of stress. It’s obvious he doesn’t know how to handle sensitive topics. He’s mischievous and competitive, but good hearted.
Tania (15) – Samantha Minton
The Queen Bee of 8th grade. She operates a feminine product black market within the school. She only takes chapsticks, lipsticks or lip gloss as trade. She’s intimidating,
Jada Wing Hang Poon, Writer/Director
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jada Poon is interested in using comedy to tell stories that are fun, yet reflective of our world. She graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2020 with a BFA in Film. Soon after, she moved to Toronto, Canada where she has been working as a freelance filmmaker. Her work includes production coordinating for Just For Laughs productions on TV shows such as Comedy Night with Rick Mercer and Roast Battle Canada, COVID Monitoring for Season 3 of Warner Bros. Titans, production assisting for a motion capture scene in Far Cry 6 with Ubisoft, and first assistant directing for local independent short film Little by Lily Gao. With the help of the Ringling College Film Department, Office of Advancement, and a host of generous donors, she was able to return to Sarasota, FL in August 2021 to complete her senior thesis film entitled, Code Red, that was originally canceled due to COVID-19.
Katerina Mullen, Producer
Katerina Mullen is a versatile producer with an extensive range of filmmaking experience. She worked as the second assistant director on Beau Bridges’ passion project, Acting: The First Six Lessons, a feature-length film starring Bridges and his daughter who work through the fundamentals of acting. Katerina also has experience as associate producer on Kevin Smith’s episodic-style horror film, Killroy Was Here. Being one of two nominees from the film program for the Trustee Scholar award at Ringling College of Art and Design, Katerina is distinguished as the top of her class. Katerina graduated in 2020 with a BFA in Film from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Zifeng Zhuo, Producer
Zifeng has experience working on a wide variety of productions ranging from features and shorts to commercials. Most notably, she was the producer and production manager for the award-winning film, Acting: The First Six Lessons, starring Beau and Emily Bridges. She also was the second assistant director for Kevin Smith’s Kilroy was Here. Recently, she worked as the production coordinator for Playing Through, an indie feature about the first female African-American golfing champion. She currently works at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL as the Soundstage and Post-Production Facilities Coordinator. In addition, she also continues to work as a freelance filmmaker, taking on jobs as a producer, assistant director, camera assistant, and editor. Her knowledge in all aspects of production has made her a skillful and valuable crewmember in the industry. Zifeng graduated in 2019 with a BFA in Film from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Vivian Owen, Executive Producer
Vivian Owen is an educator, screenwriter and filmmaker residing in Richmond, VA. After earning a BA in Communications from Xavier University and an MA in Advertising from Michigan State University, Vivian worked as a Copywriter penning ads for national clients such as The Ritz-Carlton, Aflac, Expedia and Sherwin Williams. From there, Vivian spent ten years teaching at Ringling College of Art and Design, starting in Advertising Design, then transitioning to the Film Dept as author and lead facilitator of the Branded Entertainment track. Student work produced in her classes has received National ADDY Awards, Creativity International Awards, First Place honors in the Champion a Cause, Collegiate Effies and National Student Advertising Competitions, as well as film screenings at the Orlando International, Fort Myers Beach International, and Sedona International Film Festivals. She spent the past year writing the feature length screenplay, Occult Detective, with filmmaker, Patrick Alexander, while also executive producing Code Red.
Natasha Thornton, Director of Photography
Natasha Thornton graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2014 with her BFA in film. Coming from a background in illustration, drawing storyboards is what introduced her to the film industry. She currently works full time at the University of South Florida as Sr. Cinematographer and Editor for Innovative Education, creating cinematic content for students and marketing materials for the university. She also does freelance work on feature films, shorts, TV series, music videos, documentaries and commercials in the camera and lighting department, ranging in scale from large union to small indie productions in FL, NY and LA. Her work as a DP has been distributed on Amazon Prime and has earned her numerous film festival awards and regional Emmys.
Michael Boomer, Production Designer
Born in rural Michigan, Michael began working within the smaller art communities of southwest Michigan. After working mainly through installation and multimedia art, he transitioned into filmmaking. Michael infuses experimental film motifs with narrative structure while remaining heavily influenced by visual design. As a director, he recently finished a piece entitled, Human | Nature, an experimental dance film that explores society’s relationship with endangered species. The film was produced in collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance and the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art with additional funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Michael graduated in 2020 with a BFA in Film from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Troy Logan, Sound Designer
Troy Logan is a post audio and location sound engineer currently based out of Sarasota, FL. Born in a house of musicians back home in Jupiter, FL, settling into film sound was the perfect home. Never caught without an H4n in his bag, his motto is: “Sound is free, so why not roll on it?” He’s worked on a few feature films, such as running utility on the upcoming film Playing Through, an indie feature about the first female African-American golfing champion, as well as sound mixing an upcoming indie feature entitled Sugarhead, which is currently in post-production. Troy will graduate in May 2022 with a BFA in Film from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Rich Schineller | 941.780.8100 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Changing the Way the World Thinks About Art and Design…
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