Independent film “Free Lunch” coming soon


Alex Linares

It is one of the main characters in the film, Sam who is played by Connor Willliam Barrett, where he plays a detective in this film noir style. Photo credit: Alex Linares

“Free Lunch” is a film that plans to be released in 2024 as an independent film, with the support of crowdfunding and money to create the film.

The 2024 movie is a kids movie while bringing back that old school noir style and currently the movie is in post-production.

The first viewing of “Free Lunch” will be at festivals and will be released later on streaming services, which are still in the works.

The film is set in 6th grade where the plot is that the honor kids rob the school.

On the left side you have “Free Lunch” director Christina Nava and on her right you have Connor William Barrett (who plays the main character Sam in the film). (Alex Linares)

Cristina Nava and Forrest Hartl, two of the film’s three producers, spoke about the film’s inspiration from films like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “The Sand Ground”.

“I have ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ on my wall,” Nava said, happily pointing to her wall.

The ‘Free Lunch’ director said, “I wanted to write a script that my kids could watch, my family could watch.”

The two producers talked about community and the importance of a strong team when creating a film.

“Somebody can show up and make the sandwiches for lunch…you’ll need them when you start,” Nava said with a smile, “it’s going to take a whole village to make a movie.”

The movie “Free Lunch” was Nava’s first time as the director and the process of making the movie started around December last year.

Nava and Hartl are Cerritos College alumni who met while at Cerritos College; both also began to love filmmaking at Cerritos.

The director opened up about how she got her start in acting doing a musical at Cerritos College while Harl talked about being indecisive at Cerritos and then falling in love with filmmaking while taking an acting class.

“Cerritos introduced me to many artists that I’ve worked with since we all left college,” Hartl said, “Cerritos provided this network of people that we all continue to work with.”

Nava explained how she teaches drama students to middle school students and how she would do an annual musical theater at school.

Writer/producer Forrest Hartl said he was extremely motivated while working on “Crazy and stupid love.”

Nava loved the crowdfunding aspect of creating this independent film, “It was just amazing when our teachers [and alumni] were able to support us in this way.

As for advice, Nava said to understand your passion and you will make money from that passion once you find what you love.

Hartl’s advice was to always say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible; Hartl also stressed the importance of getting out there and gaining experience.

For future plans, Hartl didn’t mention any future projects while Nava said she was working on a romantic comedy movie called “The Answer to My Prayer.”

If you are interested in the film and are willing to donate, it is hyperlinked in the text and the Instagram is called free_lunch_the_movie.

Additionally, they will be doing a tour of performances at local high schools and if anyone wants to volunteer contact [email protected]


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