ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

"The Martial Arts Kid" has been cleaning up at recent film festivals from Texas to Florida.

In the wake of the movie's recent recognition as "Best Florida Film" by the Sunscreen Film Festival earlier this month, many are wondering why this picture seems to be resonating so strongly with critics and audiences alike.

However, Lorraine Ziff - who plays the shopkeeper Peggy in "Kid"- says the film has many powerful messages that are appealing to most people who see it.

"'The Martial Arts Kid' is a family film that promotes anti-bullying. Everyone has encountered a bully at one point in their lives", says Lorraine Ziff. "The clear message that the film sends is one of believing in oneself, trusting oneself and having self respect. These are important messages at any age."

"Its not just a 'fight movie', although there are very real, amazing martial artists in this film from many disciplines", she continues.. "Its also about knowing what a person will and won't accept in their lives."

"The Martial Arts Kid" tells the story of a troubled teen named Robbie, played by Jansen Panettiere. He is mentored by his aunt and uncle, portrayed by martial arts/action-movie legends Cynthia Rothrock and Don "The Dragon" Wilson, respectively. Kathryn Newton brings Robbie's love interest Rina to life, while TJ Storm does the same for the adversarial martial arts instructor.

Matthew Ziff, Lorraine's son, brings the film's bully, Bo Whitlaw, to life in a performance that netted him a Best Supporting Actor award at Sunscreen.

"The Martial Arts Kid" is scheduled to hit theaters later this year.


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