‘Dumplin” Actor Luke Benward Makes Directorial Debut With Ariel Winter-Produced Short ‘Boys’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Luke Benward (“Dumplin'”) and Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) have pivoted behind the camera with a new project, “Boys,” Variety can exclusively reveal.

The short film marks a debut for both Benward and Winter, with Benward directing and Winter producing.

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“Boys,” which tackles the topics of children, parents and guns, tells the story of two young boys who are playing in the desert when their day takes a dark turn, leading to loss of innocence. The trailer opens with Cameron Crovetti (“Big Little Lies”) sitting in a bathtub streaked with blood.

Benward began his career at the age of 5 when cast opposite Mel Gibson in “We Were Soldiers” before going on to star in projects such as “Dumplin'” opposite Jennifer Aniston and “Dear John” alongside Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum. Winter, meanwhile, has been working in front of the camera since she starred in a commercial at 4 years old and is best known for her role as Alex Dunphy in “Modern Family.”

“Boys” stars Crovetti and August Maturo (“Girl Meets World”) in the lead roles alongside Jules Willcox (“Dirty John”), Bart Johnson (“Little Women”) and Scott Reeves (“The Young and The Restless”).

It is written by David Mandell (“The Bridge”) and produced by Winter, Sterling Beaumon (“The Killing”), Nicole Smolen (“Query”) and Aaron Benward (“Playing God”). Andrew Carlberg, who won an Academy Award in 2019 for Guy Nattiv’s live action short “Skin,” executive produces alongside Sy Huq (“Things That Fall”) and agent Mitchell Gossett (“The Big Talent Bee.”)

“Boys” has qualified to be considered for a 2022 Academy Award in the live action short category.

Check out the trailer below:

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