May 25-June 1 — VIRTUAL — “The Upstanders” is unsettling and uplifting, causing us all to examine our behavior, inspiring us to do better, be better, and stand up against victimization and cyberbullying. On May 25 to June 1, the Ottauquechee Health Foundation in partnership with the Woodstock Union High School, will hold a special screening of “The Upstanders” to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders and experts.
“The Upstanders,” created by the same film company that offered “Angst,” delves deep into cyberbullying, showing the perspectives of those who bully, their victims, and the trauma of the bystander. Woven through this film is the very personal, firsthand account of a family’s tragic loss that inspired new legislation to turn the tide against this very real epidemic. As with all of iNDIEFLIX films, true stories are featured alongside the latest scientific and medical research, along with strategies to empower all communities to stand up against bullying.
The 56-minute film features in-depth interviews with kids, families who have lost their children to cyberbullying-related suicide and the very best experts in the world from prestigious institutions including Stanford University and Child Mind Institute in NYC. “The Upstanders” also includes two members of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour: Jesse Israel of “The Big Quiet,” and Radha Agrawal of “Daybreaker.”
Covid-19 has only exacerbated this problem of cyberabuse, by providing a bully-ripe environment of isolation, anxiety and increased time on screens. Most often driven by pain, bullies are searching for that jolt of power when putting someone else down – and there is plenty of pain going around now.
“As I child, I was spat on, kicked and pushed into lockers,” says iNDIEFLIX filmmaker & CEO SciIla Andreen. “As painful as that was, the meanness stopped at my front door, and I was safe when I got inside my home. But today, with the quick push of a few buttons, the bullies have the ability to persistently harass, humiliate and degrade their peers 24/7. We are eternally grateful to the Molak family who let us document their journey, as they channeled their grief into tangible change: the creation of David’s Law.”
Through its experts, the film explores:
- The science behind cyberbullying
- Why kids are afraid to admit they are cyberbullied and signs to watch for
- Best ways to support your cyberbullied child
- How to realize if you are harboring a cyberbully
- How the community can show resilience and power to end bullying
iNDIEFLIX continues its documentary presentation via community screenings, that fosters a connected and nurturing environment. Prior to the pandemic, these films were exclusively shown in auditoriums or community centers, followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A. Covid-19 has recreated this live ‘watching together’ experience online.
“The Upstanders” and its mental health trilogy companions Angst and “LIKE” are staples in social & emotional learning programs in schools all over the world. Knowing that successful change depends on continuing the conversation beyond the screening date, each film comes with a discussion guide, tip sheets and further resources, with dedicated curricula for each film launching in 2021.
To watch “The Upstanders”, use link bit.ly/indieflixupstanders. All viewers will need to enter their email address and create a password to access the film.
To watch a trailer, learn more or book a screening of “The Upstanders” for your community, visittheupstanders.com.