An opportunity for teens making movies about cyberbullying for a film festival is a first in the New York City area.

Soft SkillsOver 250 high school filmmakers from all over the nation have spent three days in New York City, filming Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station and other well known locations.  They are creating 8 minute movies about cyberbullying, which will be entered in the first ever student film competition on the subject.

October is cyberbullying prevention month. The contest is sponsored by the All American High School Film Festival, in collaboration with AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation.  The foundation honors the freshman Rutgers student who committed suicide when his roommate set up a secret webcam and live streamed him having sex with another man.

“I have great hope that by engaging teens in this film competition and allowing teens to talk to other teens in their language of film we can have an impact to create a safer electronic experience for more and more youth in the future,” said Tyler’s mother, Jane Clementi, who founded the foundation.

The teams are competing for a total of $26,000 in cash prizes.  The films are being screened at the AMC Theaters in Times Square. Five of the 25 teams are from New York City schools.

“This film festival will go a long way toward supporting our efforts to enable friendship and social growth among our young people, and stop cyberbullying in its tracks,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

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