LOS ANGELES (KABC) --"Milton's Secret" tells the story a boy dealing with growing up.
His parents love him. But right now, they have their own issues. Milton himself has one big issue: He's being bullied at school.
Michelle Rodriguez plays his teacher.
"I was a kid who got picked on a lot, specifically because I was raised Jehovah's Witness and my grandmother used to force me to wear formal dresses to grammar school, public school, in Jersey City," said Rodriguez. "That's why I ended up getting into fights because people are making fun of me for wearing these Sunday dresses to school."
The film's director says we sometimes bully ourselves, thinking we're not good enough or strong enough. He hopes his movie makes a difference.
"You can never fully meet the inner needs of another person, no matter how loving," said Barnet Bain. "And so to be aware of that and to create awareness and build it into a story, I thought would be valuable to me as a storyteller and valuable to the people that I love around me and my community. And to my world, it would be a contribution."
Things get better for Milton when his grandfather, played by Donald Sutherland, comes to visit.
"We're talking about little kids hurting themselves in today's day and age," said Rodriguez. "Those are the punches today. The punches are humans being very, very ignorant of how powerful words are. 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' is not relevant today."
"Milton's Secret" is rated PG and is in limited release now. It's also available on VOD.