Students highlight bullying in film

HUNTER Sports High students plan to take a movie they are making about cyber bullying to international film festivals.

The 10 students started writing the script for the film last year through their participation in the Career Links Narrative Film Group Partnership.

Career Links partnership broker Stephen McLauchlan said the program was designed as a way to keep students interested in continuing their education and to complement the traditional curriculum.

The students are the writers, producers, directors and actors in On The Rocks, which follows the story of a girl who sends threatening text messages to a female peer and pressures her to drink alcohol.

The students travelled yesterday with award-winning Chinese documentary maker and University of Newcastle student Tianci Yang to interview senior clinical psychologist Dr Robert Redpath.

"It's about going as a film crew to a formal setting and having a job to do - interviewing someone they don't know and seeing how they work as a group," Mr McLauchlan said.

"It lifts their game - it encourages them to be professional and raises their expectations of themselves."

Year 9 student Demmi Gordon, 14, said working on the film had been fun.

"Hopefully it will show the effects of bullying and how it can ruin lives - and teach people not to bully at all."

The students are also making a film about growing up in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, with input from Whitebridge, Belmont and Lake Macquarie high schools.

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