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OU film festival to explore challenges, potential solutions to bullying

Monday, March 11, 2013
OU film festival to explore challenges, potential solutions to bullying
The Women and Gender Studies Program at Oakland University will screen the documentary film "Bully" as the feature presentation of its 29th Annual Film Festival on Saturday, March 16.

The critically acclaimed film, directed by Lee Hirsch, tells the stories of several children subjected to violence as a result of bullying and explores how American society should deal with the issue.

Described as a no-holds-barred examination of bullying victims' daily lives, the film addresses heartbreaking issues including suicide. These topics are presented in a frank, relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle school students if an adult is present to guide discussion.

Parents are advised that "Bully" earned an R rating from the MPAA for its realistic portrayal of strong language that many middle and high school students hear every day. This gives the film veracity and credibility with kids, and it will justifiably shock parents.

 Besides viewing the film, the audience will also be able to participate in an active discussion with a panel of experts who will share information and insights on the gender and sexuality dimensions of bullying.

Oakland University Health Sciences Professor Patricia Wren will moderate the panel discussion, which will include panelists:
  • Kevin Epling, an East Lansing parent activist who helps raise awareness about the attitudes and the culture surrounding bullying, hazing and harassment in local schools;
  • Miroslav Pavle Manovski, an independent scholar music educator and presenter at several sexual orientation and gender identity conferences;
  • Dr. Marlene Seltzer, director of Beaumont Children's Hospital's anti-bullying program NoBLE – No Bullying Live Empowered, and;
  • Beth Talbert, Rochester Community Schools School Board President and OU special instructor in group dynamics, gender communication, leadership, persuasion, professional communication and interpersonal conflict.
The film festival will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms on the campus of Oakland University. Interactive and printable maps are available at

The event is free and refreshments will be provided. Donations will gratefully be accepted from those interested in supporting the academic mission of the Women and Gender Studies Program.

For additional information on the film festival, contact Jo Reger at