Aiken teens make anti-bullying film



Over the past four months, more than 60 teen and adult actors and technical assistants from the Aiken Community Playhouse Youth Wing, Mead Hall Episcopal School and Aiken residents have volunteered to make a bullying and suicide-prevention short film titled “Intercepted,” which was released on YouTube in January.

Producer and director Sarah Massey said she would like everyone in Aiken to help stop bullying by viewing “Intercepted” on YouTube and sharing it on Facebook and other social media sites.

“I wanted to make a film that could touch people’s lives,” Massey said. “By making this film, I want to take part in the movement to bring an end to bullying and to inspire others to bring hope and life to victims of bullying through simple acts of kindness and friendship. We have the potential of making this film go viral, which will make an enormous impact on bullying and suicide-prevention efforts throughout our community, nation and world.”

“Intercepted” was filmed at eight Aiken locations and will be entered into 2015 national film competitions.

okIt tells the story of a bullied teen named Jason who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts until a simple act of kindness turns his life around forever. Through the encouragement of a newfound friend, Jason rises to become a popular leader at school and the valedictorian. He uses his graduation speech to tell his story, inspiring everyone with the power of kindness that saved his life.

After viewing “Intercepted,” Aiken resident Betty Ryberg wrote, “… I am moved that these students created this very worthwhile film … When adults are asked about a very difficult time in their youth, they often credit a coach, teacher, neighbor, classmate with a simple gesture that pulled them through. Never underestimating the positive influence you can have on an adolescent is a wonderful approach to community living. If parents instill kindness in children, those same children will become natural helpers for the rest of their lives. Think of the agony that can be spared by simple acts of kindness.”

Jim Anderson, the former director of the Aiken Community Playhouse Youth Wing said, “This short film is critical for people in our community to see on two primary levels. First and foremost, bullying and teen suicide continue to be a scourge on our youth, and we must continue to raise awareness and shine a bright light on this dark and tragic problem we face as a society and as an Aiken community. … Second, the fact that youth in our community have taken the initiative to tackle this subject matter through one of the most powerful influencers of our time, film and media, is an incredible validation of the need to support the development of theater, performing and film arts in our community.”

Mead Hall Episcopal School’s Middle/Upper School Director Joanne Morton said, “Mead Hall was pleased to participate with Sarah Massey in this excellent project. ‘Intercepted’ provides a positive message of kindness that students can apply at school.”

“Intercepted” can be seen on YouTube at

SUBMITTED ARTICLE – Jan 10 2015 12:29 pm

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