TWO films on bullying will be screened at Warrnambool’s Capitol Cinema tomorrow night as part of a plan to get people talking about the issue.
The confronting documentary Bully and a locally made short film featuring South West TAFE students will be shown through a partnership with Headspace.
The mental health organisation will have staff and volunteers on hand after the screening for concerned parents or young people to talk to and to provide information about getting help dealing with bullying.
The short film Bullying Is A Reality has been made in conjunction with ABC Open by about 10 students from TAFE’s VCAL foundation class, which is equivalent to year 10 and geared toward young people who have been unable to engage with mainstream schools for various reasons.
Teacher Sharna Westley said one of those reasons was bullying.
“When we started doing this as a topic in class, it came out that a lot of kids ended up here because they had been bullied,” she said.
In the course of the class’s research, they discovered the 2011 documentary Bully, which courted controversy after it initially attracted an R rating in the US due to its confronting nature. It’s rating was subsequently lowered in order to allow access for teens who might benefit from seeing the film, which demonstrates the disturbing effects bullying can have on young people.
In Australia, the film is rated M, which means it is recommended — but not restricted — for viewers aged 15 and over.
Learning about the documentary in turn inspired the students to create their own mini-documentary, Ms Westley said.
In Bullying Is A Reality, five students talk about their own experiences with bullying, including one student who is ashamed to admit that they were once a bully.
“The students are hoping to show that this really does happen and provide a bit more of an understanding as to why this happens,” Ms Westley said.
The short and the doco screen at Capitol Cinemas from 7pm. Money raised from the night will go towards Headspace. Tickets are available from the front office at South West TAFE or Kulcha Shift.