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Based on a true story, a young couple, against all odds, must fight to save a marriage overpowered by addiction. Read more

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Based on a true story, a young couple, against all odds, must fight to save a marriage overpowered by addiction.

About this project

THE JUNKIE - Short Film

Written & Directed by FELICIA MANNING

THE JUNKIE is an emotional drama powerfully exploring the impact of one decision. Based on a true story, a young couple, against all odds, must fight to save a marriage overpowered by heroin addiction in hopes of rebuilding their broken lives.


On January 1, 2011, my Grandmother, Pauline, shared her story with me in full detail. I was fascinated by her past. Fifty years later, she could clearly recall the moments that made her laugh, made her cry, feelings of excitement and deep regret.

This story is honest, raw, and inspiring. When I wrote the script, I held nothing back, we are dealing with real people in real situations. The film begs the questions: How far would you go for the one you love? How desperate would you become? 

Along with a deep study of the times, story, and characters, I am absolutely committed to bringing this story from script to screen. My rooted passion and personal connection to this story make me the choice director for this film. 

At heart, THE JUNKIE is a love story, not a drug story. This film serves as an inspirational drama and I know it will change lives.


Director: Felicia Manning

Felicia was born and raised in Pasadena. Her passion for film began as a young girl with a love for reading and writing. Her creative juices deepened with an internship at KTLA studios. She also developed and pitched original cartoon series, Fe Bandana, to Executives at Nickelodeon Animation in 2013. This led to the creation of independent production company, Fe Bandana Pictures.

She wrote and directed short film, Rite of Passage, last year with no budget, a crew of 15, and cast of five. Felicia is a fan of true stories, character driven films, and cinematic aesthetics. She believes the foundation for all impactful stories begins with the writing.

Producer: Sandra Varona

Sandra E. Varona is a Los Angeles-based Film, Music Video & New Media producer with over 11 years of experience in the industry.

In October 2010, Varona began her participation in Film Independent's Project: Involve as one of only 33 filmmakers selected for a year-long mentorship program. A year later, she served as the Unit Production Manager for the most anticipated Sundance feature film, Filly Brown, starring Gina Rodriguez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward J. Olmos and Jenni Rivera.

In addition to producing, Sandra was Film Festival Director in 2012 for the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Festival. Sandra brought 3 powerful films directed by Eva Longoria, Eva Mendez and Zoe Saldana. Currently, Sandra is employed as the Production & Crew Manager of Maker Studios, overseeing the day-to-day of production.

Director of Photography: Marcello Altieri

Marcello was born in Cerrito Sannita, Benevento, an old town in Southern Italy. Since an early age, he expressed an enthusiasm for the arts, and in particular he had a talent and passion for photography. The world of art and creativity is now his vision and nothing can stop him form living his dreams!

Production Designer: Alec Contestabile

Prior to serving as production designer on numerous film, television, music video and web series, Alec began his career in the art department of The Amazing Spider-Man for Sony, G.I. Joe: Retaliation for Paramount Pictures, and the independent feature Imagine before joining the AMC hit series Mad Men in its 5th season. His work focuses on natural realism with a strong attention to detail which quickly led him to work as a Production Designer.

Prop Master: Ellen Freund

We're excited to have Ellen join our team! Her attention to detail and eye for authenticity will add a huge amount of production value to our short. She has been so supportive of this project from day one and a great friend. It is my privilege to finally work with her on this short and, I trust, the feature.

Colorist: Brodie Alexander

We're focused on story backed by strong production value. Post-production is key and Brodie is a seasoned colorist whom will add tremendous realism to the project.

Wardrobe: Mariah Harrison

A native of Virginia, Mariah Elise Harrison graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014 with a BFA in design. Her dramatic and theatrical style echos a surrealistic element and her background in fashion design has given her a strong working knowledge of garment construction. 

Currently, she is working under the prestigious costume designer Ami Goodheart at the couture costume design company SOTU Productions.

Sound Recordist: Mark Richards

Mark worked with me on my last short film and has become not only a huge advocate of my work, but a great friend. He owns state of the art recording gear and is willing to do whatever it takes to bring a project to life. One thing you can expect from Mark is an honest opinion and a sincere passion for film. It's my pleasure to work with him once more.


We are proud to welcome actor Darren Barnet to this project as Nick! 


We are recreating East Los Angeles in the early 1960's and we want to remain as true to the times as possible. Due to a laser tight budget, we've been searching for a ton of creative avenues to replicate the locations needed for this particular scene. Thankfully, we found some great location options and cannot wait to recreate the world of Punky and Nick.


While this is a story of overcoming addiction, it is also living proof that anyone can surpass the most difficult of challenges with enough courage and faith! We believe this story and the path of Nick and Punky will truly change lives.

At the end of the day, we are going to make this film. With your help, we can reach that point much faster. THE JUNKIE is a story that will inspire, impact, and resonate with audiences around the world. Your donations will help us cover production, permit, and crew costs!

We realize not everyone is in the position to contribute financially and we don't want to leave you hanging. We'd love for you to spread the word about this project with your friends and family, every voice helps.

Our cast and crew are so passionate about film. Each individual has done everything in their power to either work at-cost or lower their rates to keep this budget as tight as possible. We are shooting with the Red Dragon camera and focused on high production value, as always.


With Kickstarter we only get funding if we reach our goal! That means if we raise one penny less than $5600 we won't receive any of the donations toward our campaign. No pressure, I know we can do this.


$25 / $150

11x24" Film Poster for The Junkie
11x24" Film Poster for The Junkie


Get your hands on the hard copy of the script.
Get your hands on the hard copy of the script.


Hear the story from our two main characters, Nick and Punky.
Hear the story from our two main characters, Nick and Punky.


Book created especially for the feature length film!
Book created especially for the feature length film!

$1500 - Share your story on camera!


Follow Us

Twitter @TheJunkieFilm
Twitter @FeliciaBurns

Facebook The Junkie Film

Website Fe Bandana Pictures

Instagram @FeBandana or #TheJunkieFilm

Risks and challenges

There's no risk in filmmaking... said no one ever. Backing this project will lead to a finished short film and potentially the feature. We promise to deliver each of the perks listed. The funds being raised are solely for production costs and every dollar will be utilized for the screen. Our limited budget means all of the great film artists working on this film are joining us for little or no pay. They believe in this film and in ensuring that every dollar we raise ends up on the screen.

Just know that I've built a team of tenacious, focused, and talented crew members and we value your hard earned money. Thank you so much for supporting the vision behind this film!

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