A new film and survey from filmmakers at the Clare Youth Service has revealed some startling findings, with over one-third of teens reporting being bullied on Facebook. The film will be premiered in Ennis next week and has already made it to the Limerick heats of the Fresh Film Festival.
Keep Calm and End Bullying digs deep into young people’s experiences of cyberbullying and will be premiered next Wednesday at 7pm in The Hub on Chapel Lane in Ennis.
In a survey carried out for the film by three young people from the Ennis Youth Project, 36% of young people reported they had experienced bullying on Facebook. For one in three of the young people, the bullying continued for more than a month.
The online survey of 100 people aged between 13 and 18 and living in Ireland, was designed by the young people to support a film they were making about cyberbullying.
“I was surprised at the amount of people that reported bullying on Facebook, it feels like our generation are getting out of control with cyberbullying,” said Toheeb Tolulope Marx, aged 16, who directed the film Keep Calm and End Bullying.
Sixty-eight per cent were bullied about their physical appearance. “The results of the survey really were shocking,” said Emma Sams, youth worker with Clare Youth Service and filmmaker who was working with the three young people and teaching filmmaking skills. “The most upsetting result was to learn how the bullying had affected the young people,” she added.
Three-quarters reported they had become less confident as a result of the bullying and 40% that they had become depressed. The young people were pleased, however, to discover through the survey that many people had reacted by blocking the bully and had told a friend, family member or teacher.
Tom Middleton (16), who starred as JJ, the victim of bullying in the film, concluded that “having been through the whole process of making the film and doing the survey, I’ve realised that the best way to deal with bullying is to talk to someone about it rather than trying to deal with it on your own”.
The young people picked up plenty of filmmaking skills during the project. “I learnt how to plan a movie, storyboarding, camera skills and editing,” said Teerachet Sanitchon, 18, who not only played the part of a bully in the film but also did a lot of the camera work and most of the editing.