In sync with October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, “How to Beat a Bully” (Comedy) was just released on Google Play. To take you behind-the-scenes, we interviewed one of the film’s Writers and Producers Marilyn Anderson (“The Facts of Life”, “Fame” and “Murphy Brown”).
Anderson described this new release and why it is so important, “’How to Beat a Bully’ is a ‘Home Alone’ type comedy with an anti-bullying theme. So many stories of bullying are distressing, upsetting or sad, we wanted to create a story that is fun and entertaining, and in a positive way share the message to help stop bullying.”
The story is about a 12-year-old boy named Cory who moves to a new town and is picked on by classmates. To protect himself, he comes up with a brilliant idea that turns these bullies into his best friends. When his ideas get his dad in trouble with some “bad guys”, Cory works with his new friends to save the day and his dad!
This comedy was produced by Dream Factory Entertainment and stars a cast of tweens and teens including Grant McLellan, Bryan Yoshi Brown, Kade Pait, Ian Tucker, Pearce Joza and Griffen Beebe. Eric Lauritzen and Elise Angell are the mom and dad, with Vince Donvito and Micah Lyons co-starring as comic bad guys.
“How to Beat a Bully” was awarded the Dove Seal of Approval for families, ages 12 and up, although it also appeals to younger children and adults. Educators and psychologists agree that humor can be a positive and effective way to connect with both children and adults on this serious subject.
Directed by Douglas Bilitch (“Dude, Where’s my Dog?”), the Producers team includes Marilyn Anderson, Sofia L. Monroe, Paul Rocha,Jackeline Olivier, Stephen Langford, Robert Dudelson, Wes Underwood. The movie was co-written by Marilyn Anderson and Richard Rossner.
In addition to this film, we recommend watching the 2015 Sundance Film Festival hit, “The Mask You Live In” that is now being screened at private screenings (anyone can host a screening). We watched this documentary last night at the Conscious Capitalism Los Angeles screening in Westwood, California. The film follows boys and young men as they struggle to deal with America’s narrow definition of masculinity and stay true to themselves. It’s not a comedy at all, but has powerful messages that everyone should see.
Based on Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, it’s alarming to read these bullying statistics:
• One out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015).
• 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010).
• The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%) (Davis and Nixon, 2010).
• More than half of bullying situations (57 percent) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied (Hawkins, Pepler, and Craig, 2001).
What is great about “How to Beat a Bully” is that it is written as a comedy that still gets the important messages across and serious challenges faced every day by many young men. Don’t forget to wear your blue on October 1st for Blue Shirt Day™to kick off National Bullying Prevention Month, and Buy or Rent “How to Beat a Bully” on Google Play.