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Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253

 

WXXI AND THE LITTLE THEATRE PRESENT “BULLY” FOLLOWED BY A TALK BACK
 FRIDAY, APRIL 20 AT 6:30 PM

Rochester, New York (April 17, 2012) – This year more than 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, and through their cell phones, making it the most common form of violence young people experience. The new documentary film BULLY makes its debut at the Little Theatre on Friday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. The film, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. Immediately following the film, WXXI News reporter and All Things Considered host Hélène Biandudi will moderate a panel discussion with Kaitlin Monte, Miss New York 2011 and Executive Director of Operations for Project Empower; Dr. James Colt, Cyber Bullying expert; Aly Belknap, Rush-Henrietta student and co-founder of the school’s anti-bullying initiative; and parent Karrie Formicola. Tickets are $8, $5 for seniors and students.

BULLY follows five kids and their families over the course of a school year. Their stories include two families who have lost children to suicide, and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias, and principals' offices, BULLY offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children, and society as a whole.

WXXI and the Little will host a talk back immediately following the 94-minute film. WXXI’s Hélène Biandudi will moderate the discussion with a panel and the audience. Panelists include:

Kaitlin Monte, Miss New York 2011. Monte has traveled throughout the state as Miss New York, in an effort to help end bullying. She speaks with students of all ages to discuss the dangers and effects of bullying, abuse, and harassment, while teaching students how to change the game through leadership. In order to end bullying, Kaitlin believes it’s vital to broaden the scope of young people. In the fall, she helped launch the nonprofit, Project Empower, and she serves as Executive Director of Operations. The organization provides hands-on learning experiences in civic involvement, community leadership, business tactics, professional mentoring, university partnerships, and more.

 Dr. James Colt, Cyber Bullying expert. Dr. Colt is the Coordinator of School Safety and Security at Monroe 1 BOCES. He’s also an expert on Cyber Bullying and co-authored the book –Cyber Bullying: Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies. He also wrote the book Cyberpredators – it’s an educational guide for teens that shares the dangers of interacting with strangers online. Dr. Colt talks with students and parents throughout the region about how to protect children from online bullies and predators.

Aly Belknap, Rush-Henrietta student, co-founded school’s anti-bullying initiative. Earlier this year, Aly Belknap, a 14-year-old Ninth Grade Academy student, co-founded the school’s Take a Stand Against Bullying initiative. The student-led anti-bullying program was created in response to the death of a Spencerport Central School District teen, who killed herself last November.

 Karrie Formicola, a parent of a bullied 11-year-old. Her 11-year-old daughter was bullied for a year and a half at her school. Formicola reached out to school officials, and no progress was made. After two years of trying to work with the school, she transferred her daughter to a BOCES alternative school, where she is doing much better.


In addition to general screenings, the Little and WXXI will also host a FREE Teacher/Educator Only screening of BULLY on Tuesday April 24th at 4pm. RSVP by April 20th to bri@thelittle.org or by calling Bri Merkel at 258.0404. Seating is limited!

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