NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To kick off a new national effort to raise awareness for the issue of cyberbullying, AT&T* and Fullscreen** will harness the talent of more than 250 high school student filmmakers. Students from all over the country participated in the first ever Cyberbullying Film Invitational.
"An astounding 8-in-10 teenagers admit to being cyberbullied, or know someone who has been bullied through social media or text. We know this issue is very real for students, schools and families," said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T. "And AT&T wants to help.
"AT&T congratulates the student participants of our first Cyberbullying Film Invitational. We look forward to incorporating their powerful short films into our national film. This is a concentrated effort to help educate their peers and end this crisis," Shorenstein said.
Nearly 30 schools and student organizations from across the U.S. participated in the Cyberbullying Film Invitational. The festival is part of this year's All American High School Film Festival.
The winning films, which will appear in the AT&T film for high schools, were announced last evening at the Teen Indie Awards in New York City. All of films can be viewed in full here.
In February 2017, schools and youth organizations across the country can see the 20-minute cyberbullying film – free. AT&T is already collaborating with the New York City Department of Education to show this film in NYC schools. This film will also include excerpts from a winning film produced by an NYC-based team.
The following teams' schools or organizations were selected as the winners of the Cyberbullying Film Invitational:
- Steilacoom High School (Steilacoom, WA) received the award for Best In Contest and a cash prize of $5,000
- Mythic Bridge (Brooklyn, NY) received the award for Runner-Up and a cash prize of $3,500
- Canyon Crest Academy (San Diego, CA) received the award for Second Runner-Up and a cash prize of $2,500
The following five teams' schools or organizations were selected as additional finalists and will each receive a cash prize of $1,000 awarded by the All American High School Film Festival:
- Cedar Crest High School (Lebanon, PA)
- Rye Country Day School (Rye, NY)
- Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School (Brooklyn, NY)
- Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Science and Leadership Academy (Philadelphia, PA)
Three teams' schools or organizations were also selected as Superlative Award winners, and won a cash prize of $2,500:
- Grace Church School (New York, NY) received the Made In New York Award, given to a New York City-based filmmaking team
- Communications High School (Wall, NJ) received the Maverick Award for a film with the most "outside the box" creative direction and execution
- Nature Coast Technical High School (Brooksville, FL) received the Heart Award for creating a film embodying the most heartfelt story
Public voters will determine the winner of the Public Choice Award starting October 11. They will have until October 28 to vote. The winning team receives an additional $5,000 for its school or organization. Head here to vote for your favorite film.
"The All American High School Film Festival is thrilled with the momentum created through the 2016 Film Invitational and the powerful and diverse films submitted by participating teams. When students use their collective voice to address important issues, change is possible. We hope that this will be the first step toward ending the epidemic of cyberbullying," said Andrew Jenks, Founder of the All American High School Film Festival.
Judges also selected the team from Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to receive a $25,000 deal to create a series on cyberbullying exclusively for Fullscreen. All of the winning films will also be available on Fullscreen and AT&T Digital You.
Working with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, AT&T has made addressing the rise of cyberbullying a priority. This support of the All-American High School Film Festival follows a first-of-its-kind poll commissioned with the Tyler Clementi Foundation this past March on cyberbullying.
"This was an amazing weekend with lots of energy, interest and positive messaging around how we can all work together to amplify our voices to end all online and off line bullying. It was so difficult to choose our winners, as every film was terrific and produced with great skill, care and heart. Congratulations to everyone who participated!" said Jane Clementi, Founder and Board Member of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**Launched internationally on April 26, 2016, Fullscreen is an ad-free subscription service that speaks directly to the social-first generation. A division of Fullscreen Media, the service features a dynamic slate of programming that includes scripted and unscripted original shows, TV and film content licensed from studio partners, as well as exclusive content from today's top creators and personalities. The service is home to exclusive originals "Electra Woman & Dyna Girl," "Filthy Preppy Teen$," "Jack & Dean of All Trades," "Keeping Score," the daily sketch and pop culture series "Party in the Back," breakthrough talk formats like "Shane & Friends," "Zall Good with Alexis G. Zall," "Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig" as well as acquired movies and TV series.
About The Tyler Clementi Foundation
The Tyler Clementi Foundation, guided by the life and story of Tyler Clementi, works to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and faith communities. We promote safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT youth and their allies.
Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogues and awareness programs, the Tyler Clementi Foundation fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of society.
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