Wimbledon Premiers Cyber-Safe Film

Merton pupils raise awareness of cyber-safety

Local youngsters who have been helping raise the awareness of cyber-safety will see themselves on the big screen in Wimbledon for the first time on Thursday (November 29).

The Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust is presenting 'Cyber Savvy', a short film promoting safer internet use, at the Wimbledon Odeon.

It has involved a group of 40 GCSE/BTEC Drama and Media Relations students from St Mark's Academy, Mitcham, who collaborated with Seahorse Films and its team of industry professionals over a period of 10 weeks to research, create, film and edit the drama-documentary.

Cyber bullying is an area of significant concern within Merton schools and the WCTT is tackling this by providing a creative focus for a wide-ranging debate amongst students, teachers, parents and carers.

The project allowed the students to expand their film knowledge, acquiring skills in performing for the camera, improvisation, interview techniques, documentary making, pre and post production along with use of the camera, editing, sound and lighting equipment.

One of the Drama students at St Mark’s Academy said: "I am so excited to see the final edit of the film. This was my first time in front of the camera and I cannot wait to see myself on a big screen. Making the film was really interesting and I think it’s very important that the issue of cyber safety is addressed; especially to people my age who really do not understand the consequences. I hope people listen to the message we are trying to get across as any form of bullying is not acceptable."

Andrew Alty, creative learning manager at the WCTT added: "Many young people find it difficult to talk about their behaviour online with teachers, parents and carers. We hope that this thought provoking film will encourage a much needed discussion about this issue in our local community."

Mike Rappolt, chairman of WCTT said: "There are so many different ways in which people, not just children, can bully others online. Persecution via the web has already made national headlines with one very sad suicide as a result of cyber -bullying. Local figures showing that up to 34 per cent of 11-16 year olds have been victimised so we think it is essential to inform young people about the dangers of the internet and help them to avoid problems.

"We do not want to suggest that all online activity is dangerous, but we do want to educate people on how to use it safely. We are delighted that the students have become so involved in the making of this film and hope that it stimulates a debate across the wider Merton community."

Tickets for the CYBER-SAVVY premier on Thursday (November 29) at 5pm will be available from Andrew Alty, creative learning projects manager for WCTT, who can be contacted on either andrewalty@theambassadors.com or 020 8545 7909.

November 26, 2012