Athena Film Festival

Director's statement

Director's statement

Early adolescence is brutal. Friendships fall apart, and sometimes we don't even know why. In these strange years when we start our search for identity, we may find ourselves tearing down those who are closest to us just so we can fit in with the rest of the crowd. As the youngest of three boys, I had no idea what early adolescence would be like for a young girl. As a father of a young daughter, that terrified me. I wrote and made CENTS to try to understand what my daughter may face as she enters adolescence, surrounded by smartphones and bombarded by social media. I'm not sure I found any answers, but I've come to a greater appreciation for how savvy twelve-year-old girls need to be to navigate their daily lives. I hope young audiences watch this film and recognize the changing roles they play when faced with the daily challenges of simply being themselves. I hope older audiences watch this film and realize how much young people communicate with each other in ways unseen by adults.

This is part of our Life(times) playlist.


...this is one of the most authentic movies I’ve seen regarding pre-teen and tween girls, as well as about their relationship with one another and with their moms.


In addition to its solid cast, cinematic storytelling, and genuinely positive message, the film also features an almost completely female cast.

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