This 2013 short film (18 minutes) is currently available on HBO Go, and it the College thesis film of Kimberly Townes, a 2012 graduate of the UCLA theater department’s graduate directing program. The story follows the story follows a young high school girl, Morgan (Megan Sousa) who struggling with bullying issues from some girls with whom she used to be friends. The issues culminate when the bullying girls learn of her crush on her math teacher, Mr. Govan (Amrahu Ibraheem).
After an impromptu lesson in how to defend herself and with the encouragement and mentorship from Mr. Govan, Morgan becomes something of a minor heroine as an unexpected hero. Prior to the actual encounter where she stands up to her tormentor, Shelly (Mariah Goolsby), we learn that Morgan, a shy teen, is still struggling to get past the death of her father. Throughout the film, Morgan is emotionally supported by her friend, Troof (Nick Ryan, who clearly likes her quite a bit
Townes’ film was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant that she won in 2009. She also received the 2009 Edie and Lew Wassermann Film Production Fellowship. Townes’ work has now made it to the small screen as a finalist submission in the 2012 HBO Short Film Award competition that was part of the American Black Film Festival. The well-made film plays until March 31st on HBO Go. With bullying becoming something of a national epidemic, perhaps Zero and films like it will help draw more attention to this national disgrace.
Robert J. Sodaro has been writing professionally for some 30+ years. He came of age not only watching TV, but reading comicbooks and going to the movies. Subscribe to receive regular articles and reviews about TV programs.