“NATE” is a story both about Nate and utterly not about him at all. The titular character is the husband of Archelle and the reason she and her former best friend, Cassandra, are bitterly estranged. When Nate is out of the picture, the two women reconnect and can’t help but fall back into old rhythms. For better or for worse... NATE explores the depths of a female friendship that skirts the line between love and toxic codependency.

  • Earl Bolden Jr
  • Andrea Thornton Bolden
    L.A.'s Finest, Nancy Drew
  • Andrea Thornton Bolden
    Executive Producer
  • Kyle Webb
    Executive Producer
  • Matt Ryan
    Director of Photography
  • Earl Bolden Jr
  • Maritza Murillo Meadows
  • Taja V. Simpson
  • Taja V. Simpson
    Key Cast
    The Oval
  • Carly Turner Knight
    Key Cast
  • Tyler Dixon
  • Darnell Knight
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED 6K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Earl Bolden Jr

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Earl Bolden, Jr. studied Theatre Production Management at Hampton University and earned his Master’s Degree in Producing for Motion Pictures and Television from New York Film Academy.

After graduating in 2010, Earl produced his first short film titled “God and Vodka,” which toured the festival circuit for two years and garnered 41 awards from 26 acceptances. He went on to produce the speculative television pilot “Very Smart Brothas” after optioning the book of the same title. The pilot was featured in the 2013 New York Television Festival and competed against 60 independently produced pilots.

Earl transitioned to working on sets as a non-union First Assistant Director and Production Assistant, where he developed an affinity for directing. His television and feature film credits include “Scandal” (ABC), “Seal Team” (CBS), “Lucifer” (Netflix), “Captain Marvel,” and “Lucy in the Sky.” These experiences and mentorship from directors, combined with his love and understanding of cinema, gave Earl the confidence to develop and direct his own short film, “NATE.”

“NATE,” Earl’s directorial debut and the first project released under Bolden Pictures, highlights the toxic side of codependency in friendship. It is currently touring the festival circuit while he simultaneously develops his next short film titled “Preacher’s Kids,” a story of redemption centered around a troubled family.

When he is not working, Earl enjoys reading books on self-help and investing and is passionate about teaching children financial literacy at an early age. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Andrea Thornton Bolden, an accomplished screenwriter and visual artist.

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Director Statement

My wife and I have dreams of becoming a Hollywood power couple—she as the writer and I as a producer and director. “NATE” holds a special place in my heart because it marks our third time working together in a writer and producer capacity, and it also serves as my directorial debut. We love working together and plan to keep this train moving.

I chose to direct this film because I wanted to challenge myself to take on what I’ve felt passionate about for so long but never had the courage to do. My experiences working on sets, networking with and learning from other directors, equipped me with the tools and confidence to take a project from development through post as a director.

I want viewers to leave with an understanding of how codependency can keep us from leaving toxic relationships, especially friendships, as illustrated by two complex women. Because I am not a woman, I selflessly gave the actresses the agency to bring their authentic perspectives to the table without getting in the way. Working with them allowed me to discover the type of director (and friend) I want to be.

The most inspiring part of this process was collaborating with a common goal of making the film its best. Although the crew knew that this was my directorial debut, they supported me and offered space to communicate my vision. In return, I did my best to move efficiently and not over-cover scenes.

This labor of love came with its challenges, including delays in principal photography schedules due to the pandemic. Funding for the film was graciously provided by a high school friend; however, limitations required us to be resourceful and stick to the meat and potatoes to capture the story’s true essence. Despite the adversity, I am proud to have come out on the other side with a beautiful piece of work.

Experience is truly the best teacher, and I will apply the lessons I learned from “NATE” to future projects. First-time directors have only one direction to go—up—and I look forward to the journey.