ELLENBURG — When Anna Lashway heard she was going to a “red carpet” event, she figured it might have some popcorn and little trophies.
“But there was a legit red carpet there,” she said.
The Northern Adirondack Central School student still sounded as surprised as she was the evening she had the chance to walk down that carpet for the third-annual “I Stand Against Bullying” student film festival.
Organized by the Task Force Against Bullying, a program under Champlain Valley Educational Services, the festival invited area students to produce short films with anti-bullying and positive-behavior messages.
The films were then screened for a packed theater of students, parents and educators at Cumberland 12 Cinemas in Plattsburgh.
TAKE A STAND
Lashway was one of a team of five digital media students responsible for producing the school’s entry in the festival. Also involved were Cameron Gero, Andrew Chase, Hunter Nantasaeng and Cheyenne Belrose.
The film features bullying of one girl by another in black and white, with scenes interspersed by closeup shots of hands with statistics written in black marker.
“56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school,” says one.
In the video, another student who sees the mistreatment of the girl across the hall steps over to help her, and as that happens, the film morphs into color.
“Take a stand,” it says on two arms with clasped hands.
The production earned the group the Best Combined School Video award for its use of middle-school students as actors.
From first concept to final publishing, it took the students roughly four months to complete the video. Over that time, the students agreed, they learned as much about filmmaking as they did about bullying.
For senior Hunter Nantasaeng, the most fun yet most complicated part of the process was trying to organize the video’s younger actors.