A New Chapter For Ariana Jalia

9-year-old Entrepreneur Produces Groundbreaking Short Film During Covid Lockdown 

Ariana Jalia’s “Family and ME”, is a powerful short film that takes an honest look at a family of eight dealing with some of the most difficult outcomes a family can face when a child’s first cries for help aren’t recognized, including: depression, drug use, sexual assault, and suicide - all told through the eyes of a child. 

Ariana wrote, produced, directed, scored, wrote and performed original songs, and starred in this short film created in partnership with her mother, Dalli Simmons. 

Unfortunately, this young budding entrepreneur and actor found herself face to face with the lockdown world of Covid, where she had no ability to hire additional actors or crew. Faced with the reality of shutting down her own production, Ariana took on the challenge of playing all six sisters and shared the responsibilities of producing the film with her mother. “Not being able to share this story at a time when countless children were experiencing isolation and sadness, was not the answer. I knew I had to give them a voice and find a solution. Playing all the sister roles and producing the production ourselves was my only solution.”, said Ariana Jalia 

During the creative process, the film started out as a light-hearted family comedy, but as the script emerged it changed to reflect the current world we now live in.  The film chronicles the struggles of each family member during the aftermath of a family member's death.  "I wanted to tell the story children my own age and young teens were experiencing – such as loss of life, loss of joy, loss of security, loss of friends, and loss of family”, said Ariana Jalia. 

The darkest elements of this film are going to leave audiences with a new understanding and insights into conversations between adults and children. This story is going to answer many questions for parents and provide them with a real window into their children’s way of thinking. 

“I’m grateful that I was able to use the art of filmmaking to tell this story and share it with the world. But, this story is not a part of the social media hurricane or fancy filmmaking, tricks and hacks. Because this story is simple. Children let adults know they are in trouble, but adult miss the cues. When I realized that, I knew I must share this story. What I want adults to take away from this film is that there are no forgettable conversations. Even tossed out words in passing can have deadly consequences. But, for children, I hope they understand permanent solutions to temporary pain in not the answer.”, said Ariana Jalia.