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High School Students Got to Direct Seth Rogen and James Franco for Hilarious Short About Bullying

When they first started drafting the script for their short film about bullying called Dumpster Diving, students from John C. Fremont high school in L.A. had no idea they’ll end up directing big Hollywood talents Seth Rogen, James Franco, Michael Peña, Nick Kroll and Hannah Simone!

Product of the joint project between the new program And Action! co-created by screenwriter Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) and WE Schools destined to give youth a chance to create socially conscious short films with the help of professionals from the cinema industry, Dumpster Diving offered a group of gifted teens the opportunity of a lifetime to break into the movie business.

Students selected for the program had to pick a social issue that had personal relevance and develop a story around it. By the first round, they still had no clue how close they’ll get to work alongside so many famous actors. The fruit of their labor (which you can watch below), full of humor and irresistible kitschiness, stars Seth Rogen and Michael Peña as 2 bullied young men who will try to impress gang members played by Nick Kroll, Hannah Simone and James Franco (as their leader).

The idea of And Action! came out of conversations between Evan Goldberg and his teacher friend Adrienne Slover about opening new doors for younger generations to start careers in the creative industry. “I was obsessed with the number of people I know who didn’t stumble into filmmaking until they were older,” says Goldberg in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought it would be cool to show these kids that there are opportunities.”

Goldberg also drew inspiration from his own experience of writing Superbad at the age of 13 with Rogen while studying at Point Grey Secondary School in British Columbia. The comedy, as we all know, eventually got produced in 2007 and made a healthy $170 million profit worldwide.

Surprisingly, the 13 students behind Dumpster Diving, although not told until the day of filming who they’d be directing, were not the only ones feeling the pressure. “Of all the shit I’ve performed in a long time, this made me really nervous,” laughed Rogen.

L.A. premiere of Dumpster Diving at Cinemark Playa Vista/Getty Image