ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Writer/director Michael Baumgarten, likely best known for his work on the movie "Smitty", says it "feels great" that the producers of his current film, "The Martial Arts Kid" have already exceeded the $150,000 goal of their Kickstarter - which stops taking pledges June 4.

"It feels great to finally have the resources to make our movie with the production values it deserves", says Baumgarten of "Martial Arts Kid", which is co-headlined by martial arts/action-movie legends Cynthia Rothrock and Don Wilson.

Rothrock and Wilson, who have starred in over 75 action/martial-arts films combined, will play the aunt and uncle of a troubled teen named Robbie, who will be played by Jansen Panettiere.("Tiger Cruise"), who moves to a beach town in Florida after the death of his mother. They both teach him martial arts as a way to heal and to protect those he cares about and himself.

The film is co-produced by James Wilson (Don"s brother) and Cheryl Wheeler-Duncan.

Major roles that have been cast include: TJ Storm ("Black Cobra") as the opposing instructor to the "Kid",Matthew Ziff ("Six Gun Savior") as the bully and tormentor of the "Kid" and Kathryn Newton ("Bad Teacher"), who plays Rina, the object of Robbie's affections.

Other roles already confirmed are Natasha Blasick ("Meet The Spartans", Sasha on "Days of our Lives") and Tara Cardinal ("Legend of the Red Reaper"), Inga Van Ardenn ("Crossing Shadows"), comic Graham Elwood ("Cram"), Jeff Behar, Adrienne Camille ("The Devil's Dozen"), Daniel Moncada ("Sabotage"), Sofya Skya ("Assassins Run") and, Vicki Vodar ("Cross Threads") .

"A big thanks to our producing team, the martial arts community, social media, friends, family, the press who got behind our indie movie, the anti-bullying group Bullying..We're Kickin' It and Kickstarter for making this possible", says Baumgarten. "Now the fun begins!"


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