Made-in-Saginaw ‘Sunshine Circle’ is a little girl’s story of resilience and her trust in faith, hope, and love

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When a little girl is severely burned by her mother, a cloud of suspicion hangs over the family. Police are called, questions are asked. Little Shelly Hendricks begins to see a world she’s never seen. Frightened and confused, she relies on what she learned at the neighborhood park. “Sunshine Circle” is a story of a little girl’s resilience and her trust in faith, hope, love…and people.

“Sunshine Circle” was written and executive-produced by Marcia Michelle Reeves, and directed and edited by Tonia L. Carrier-Hicks. It stars , among others. This was Marcia’s recounting of when she was three years old. With third-degree burns over 40% of her body, she underwent a “grueling recovery.” with months in the hospital.

“I was burned with scalding hot water,” said Reeves, 61, who grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, and now lives in Saginaw. “The percentage of my body that got scarred would be, I would say, 40%.”

The name “Sunshine Circle” was drawn in part from Reeves’ memories of playing games and singing songs with nuns during her hospital stay. Reeves said those moments when she was able to be out of bed felt like a ray of sunshine and allowed her to “escape the pain of bandage changes and whirlpool baths and missing my mom.”

Reeves wrote the short screenplay 20 years ago and received an honorable mention from the Dreambuilders Scribe Award contest hosted by WNEM TV5, according to a news release announcing the film screening. After directing her original stage play, “No Place Like Home,” for the third time, she was inspired to turn her short film into a feature film.

Reeves credits Director Tonia Carrier-Hicks and Director of Photography Rick Moreau, for the degree of professionalism with which they handled her story. She also acknowledges Jaya Winn, 9, of Detroit, who plays Shelly Hendricks in the film as well as Lawanda Freeman and Moriah Welch, who play Shelly’s mother and sister.

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