Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt’s BRAVE LITTLE ARMY is an enigmatic tale of a group of preteen girls who are brought together when a mysterious, new student joins their class.

Dee (Faith Vanderwerf), K (Rosali Annikie), and Lu (Amanda Cheung) are navigating middle school circa 1984. They are shaken out of their routine-laden school day when a bold, seemingly fearless, new student walks into the classroom and promptly puts a would-be bully in his place. Impressed and inspired by their new classmate, Em (Lyla Elliott), the girls join forces and form a fiercely close bond. Together, they develop their sense of self-worth and blossom into their authentic selves.

One night, during a sleepover at Em’s house, they learn about a dark secret that opens their eyes and draws them closer together.

BRAVE LITTLE ARMY is rife with gorgeous visuals and mystical symbolism, while also dealing with very real issues faced by young girls and women such as conformity, misogyny, and abuse. Made by an all-female crew and starring an all-female principal cast, BRAVE LITTLE ARMY breaks through the glass ceiling that limited films centred on preteen and teen girls that came before it like THE CRAFT (1995). It handles the stories and experiences of young girls and women with a compassionate and feminist perspective. Indeed, while watching the film, I thought to myself “I wish this film existed when I was a preteen.” However, I am thoroughly happy that it exists now. Indeed, it is just as relevant and essential now as it would have been had it been released when I was a preteen, or in the decade in which it is set.


BRAVE LITTLE ARMY is actor Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt’s directorial debut. In recent interviews, D’Alessandro Hatt has revealed that the film is part of a trilogy wherein we revisit the girls 10 years later, and again 20 years after that when the friends are full-fledged adults. They reunite for a weekend getaway that turns into the perfect crime. After witnessing the stunning finale of BRAVE LITTLE ARMY, I am eager to reconnect with the group as adults. I am excited to see how their lives have shaped them as individuals and as friends.

BRAVE LITTLE ARMY has been receiving accolades during its run on the festival circuit. It was named Best Short at the Voce Spettacolo Film Festival. It received the Jury Award at the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival, and was named ‘Best of KCFF’ at the Kansas International Film Fest. Most recently, the short film has been selected by the Oxford International Short Film Festival as part of their International Drama block, featuring short films from around the world. BRAVE LITTLE ARMY is now available to rent on VUCAVU! Watch the film here.

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