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Orlando Film Festival: ‘Do Not Reply’ a Cautionary Tale on Teen Social Media Abductions

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – With the Orlando Film Festival in full swing, many filmmakers have descended on Cobb Plaza Cinema Cafe 12, showcasing their movies to the people of Orlando. On Sunday, directors Daniel and Walt Woltosz spoke with Florida National News about their timely drama Do Not Reply.

Do Not Reply depicts a child abduction that happens with contacts through social media and the Internet. The idea and script originated a while before social media became such a huge part of people’s lives. Director Daniel Woltosz said, “about 20 years ago, I wrote the original script and it had to do with the dangers of meeting someone online in AOL chat rooms.” Then a couple of years ago, Walt and Daniel Woltosz wanted to make the original script into a movie, but the script was dated. After researching how most social media abductions happen today, they found out that the growth of cell phones among teens and partially teen girls has led to more predators finding people on the internet. Daniel Woltosz said, “we then basically started from page one and rewrote the story, but around the same concept, and even some of the same character names.”

The film had been in production from December 2016 when the Woltoszes started to update the script to fit more with modern technology. Once updated, Daniel Woltosz shared that filming began in January 2018 and it was a five-week shoot. This was Daniel and Walt’s first time as directors, but the cast and crew were great about that. The cast also features some big names in film and television such as Amanda Arcuri (Degrassi: Next Class), Kerri Medders (SEAL Team), and Jackson Rathbone from (The Twilight Saga).

Since the film depicts the dangers of social media, particularly for children and teens, the directors want the film to watch by children and teens. “We do not want this film to be a horror film. There is an element of horror, but we wanted to make it believable,” Walt clarified. Daniel added, “We do want to reach teens, particularly teenage girls since they are the most targeted by predators on social media, and we want to reach the parents of teens to know the dangers of this.” In the end Walt Woltosz said, “The goal here is to have a social message out there and not just make a movie.”

Do Not Reply will screen twice at the Orlando Film Festival: The first screening happens on October 22, 2019 at 4:15pm and the second on October 24, 2019 at 2:30pm.

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Leyton Blackwell is a Florida National News contributor. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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