By Kate Quesada

Many people in the Brandon area know the story of Queena, the 2008 Bloomingdale Library victim, but Derrick Ball Perez with Indomitable Productions, a senior at Bloomingdale High School, is looking for help from the community to introduce Queena to a much larger audience.

Perez, who met Queena through his mother who performs essential oil aroma touches on her, has raised more than $1,500 towards his $25,000 goal to fund a movie in the style of the popular Dolphin Tale, based on Queena’s story.

“I knew about the events that took place eight years ago, but I was extremely unaware of Queena’s current condition,” said Perez. “A lot of people I know weren’t even sure if she survived.”

Queena suffered a brain injury during an attack at the Bloomingdale Regional Library when she was an 18-year-old senior in high school, and is now wheel chair bound and was unable to take the spot she had previously earned at the University of Florida.

“We want to make this film so we can use Queena’s story to inspire others,” said Perez who is currently working on the budget for the film and putting the final touches on the second draft of the screen play. “The target audience for the film is pretty much anyone who has been told they aren’t capable of doing something. This film will not only prove them otherwise, but will also humble audiences to show them that they haven’t lost everything and that life is precious and worth fighting for.”

Perez is hoping to raise money from the community to purchase equipment, cover the cost of production and have funds to distribute the film to audiences all over the world.

“We need the community’s help to tell Queena’s story,” said Perez. “She has lost a lot, especially a lot of things most of us take for granted. But the one big thing she hasn’t lost is that amazing, beautiful smile and that laugh that fills the room and brightens your day.”

According to Perez, all of the funds made from the sales of the film will go to Queena’s medical costs.
For more information on Queena, visit Contact Perez at 304-7984.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.