Students and staff will work in front of and behind the scenes
By Kevin Woodhouse
Bullying in elementary and secondary schools has been a hot topic of late. For many students, going to school every day is an unpleasant experience and thanks to the digital age and social media, many children can be hounded online.
For 26-year-old Vaudreuil-Dorion resident Adam Tanguay, the abuse he endured during his high school years was so extreme that he quit in order to escape.
“I had trouble speaking properly, stuttering especially when I was nervous, and was badly teased about it,” said Tanguay. “It was so bad, I even quit high school.
“It was mostly verbal, not physical bullying,” added Tanguay. “But it was definitely not cool.”
But instead of retreating, Tanguay got help through speech therapy and channeled some of his negative school lessons into helping others with an anti-bullying film he made in French called Period Infernal. Now, Tanguay and his film making partners are preparing to shoot the English version called Silent Majority at Westwood Senior High School in Hudson.
The low budget project is an inclusive one, drawing on 200 students from Westwood to help out in front and behind the camera.
Period Infernal was distributed by Radio-Canada and distributed throughout Canadian schools and Tanguay will do the same with the 48 minute English version. The film is based on his experiences after returning to school following his corrected speech. “That’s when all the memories and emotions came flooding back,” Tanguay said. “And that’s when I decided to write about it, with the goal of making an anti-bullying film.”
“I’m excited to be part of something that’s bigger than the regular Westwood activities and events—something that branches out beyond the doors of our school,” explained student Matthew Davies who got a part in the shoot. “It has given me the chance to contribute to the school and leave my mark.”
Drama teacher Mark Smith thinks the upcoming film shoot, that will begin late October, said “this is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience filmmaking from both sides of the camera.”
Filming will take place on weekends with a premiere expected next September.
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