Karen Hamilton Interview on Radio 2SER.
Cyber-bullying – it’s one of the biggest issues facing youth today all around the world. Here in Australia, one in five teens are cyber-bullied every year. And today’s weapon of choice? – the mobile phone in our pockets that is, ironically, supposed to make us feel connected!
This irony wasn’t lost on the organisation REElise – that’s why they’ve decided to turn the tables on cyber-bullies’ negative use of mobiles and instead use them as a positive tool of change.
They are running a REElise Film festival competition for 12-18 years old, which involves students making a short film on their mobile to the theme of “Unspoken Feelings.” The film Festival will take place in March 2014, when prizes will be awarded for the best entries in various categories. REElise Festival Director, Karen Hamilton, explained what REElise was about and how it was working to help young people to overcome cyber-bullying.
Eastside Radio feature 8 August 2013
REELise is a new not-for-profit youth empowerment program. Supported by some of Australia’s leading filmmakers, REELiseis designed to turn the tables on cyberbullying.
One of the biggest issues facing youth today is cyberbullying. One in five Australian teens are cyberbullied every year. Cyberbullying is a significant contributor to teen depression, and one in five adolescents are likely to experience depression by the age of 18. Many try to deal with the problem alone feeling ashamed or embarrassed and powerless to change their situation. Today’s weapon of choice for the bullies is the mobile phone. This program turns that weapon into a tool for building. It is possible these days to produce video material of remarkable sophistication, using an ordinary mobile phone as camera, sound recorder, and even editing system. Students working with REELise will learn to get the most out of the technology they carry in their pockets, and through this, to find a space for their creativity to grow. Instead of being isolated, they can find connections, instead of being silenced, they can find their own voice, and even an audience to hear it.
Eastside Radio 4 September 2013
The Reelise Film Festival is a new youth mental health and anti – cyberbulling initiative. The aim of the festival is to turn what is often the cyberbully’s instrument of choice – the mobile phone, into a device of empowerment, through which young people are able to share their stories, inform the community about the issues affecting them and inspire positive change. This is certainly a creative solution to a problem affecting one in five teenagers. In essence, it’s a free mobile phone filmmaking program for young people who reside in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, culminating in a youth film festival. The project is sponsored by the NSW Police Force, Woollahra Municipal Council, Community Creators, Holdsworth Community and the Black Dog Institute.
There are three components to the Reelise project.