Bullying Film 'Contest' to Premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival
Contest, a new film about high school bullying written and directed by Anthony Joseph Giunta, will have its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 5. The following evening at 6 p.m. ET/PT, it will have its television debut on the Cartoon Network as part of the net’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative.
Giunta, producer Howard Alter and the movie’s stars Kat McNamara, Kenton Duty and Daniel Flaherty will be on hand for the Mill Valley screening. The film is set in a small town high school where an athlete and bully, played by Duty, pretends to befriend one of his victims, played by Flaherty, in order to avoid being expelled and to protect a swimming scholarship.
The film’s first television airing will be followed by a live online Q&A at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com with author and family expert Rosalind Wiseman (Masterminds & Wingmen, Queen Bees & Wannabes) discussing issues presented within the film and offering recommendations on how kids, parents and educators can effectively address bullying in their own schools and neighborhoods.
“Contest is our latest effort to help inspire more open discussion between kids, parents and educators about the issue of bullying,” Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Cartoon Network., said. “Along with our other on-going efforts and partnerships, this movie is a new, entertaining approach for us to continue spreading the message that bullying can be addressed effectively when someone has the courage to speak up.”
From Percolate Productions, a New Jersey-based independent production company which emphasizes family-friendly films with socially conscious themes, Contest was produced by Alter and Stephen N. Lerner. Martin Katz is co-producer and Nick Andrus is line producer. Giacomo Belletti is the director of photography, with casting by Michael Cassara. Original music for the film’s soundtrack, including 12 original songs, was written by Robert J. Cornejo.