News Release Biddeford Movie Project

September 25th, 2013

Project AWARE

empowering young people to lead

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 10, 2013

Contact: Carl Lakari, Project AWARE Coordinator

Tel. 207-282-5598

Cell: 207-671-9248

e-mail: projectaware@maine.rr.com

Web site: www.projectaware.net

YouTube: www.youtube.com/projectnaturalhighs

Biddeford Reel Life Movie Project

Project AWARE is partnering with the Biddeford School Department to engage over 130 teens and adults in the Biddeford Reel Life Project and create a of 30 minute dramatic movie that raises awareness about substance abuse, sexual health, family issues and stress amongst teens. The project is an initiative to start conversations and educate about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by providing education to younger children, peers, educators, parents and pre-parents about how ACEs create toxic stress and how that impacts brain development. It will also address the cultural heritage of Biddeford and the impact it had on recent generations as well as today.

The program includes teens who are at-risk and will result in the support of numerous teachers, parents and other community members; service learning opportunities and increase of the marketable skills of young people; improved climate for teens at school and in their community as they work on a project together with adults to make a difference; a special Premiere event at the Biddeford City Theater focused on celebrating youth; and a 30 minute movie on DVD covering the issues of substance abuse, sexual health, family issues including child abuse and neglect, and stress caused by family and school pressures. The DVD will also include educational special features with interviews by teens and adults discussing both their good and bad experiences as young children and how that has impacted them. Additional video features will focus on the cultural heritage of Biddeford from a teen perspective. Curriculums will be developed to complement the DVD.

The project offers life-changing opportunities for youth often struggling to find their place and realize their dreams amid economic and social hardships. We encourage you to watch a 5-minute testimonial at the following link to hear from one such young person involved in the 2010 project April’s Heart. http://goo.gl/rxugX

Project AWARE is thrilled to be offering Reel Life in the Biddeford community. Sponsors of the project include: City of Biddeford, Biddeford School Department, The Bingham Program, Maine Community Foundation, Biddeford Savings Bank, P & C Insurance, Peoples Choice Credit Union, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution and Kennebunk Savings Bank.

Project AWARE provides workshops, presentations, and the Reel Life program that includes the Summer Film Institute for youth as well as targeted filmmaking that produces high quality, dramatic educational short movies and PSAs created by young people. The organization has created 10 movies and over 20 PSAs. For more information visit: www.projectaware.net.

Teens Have a Voice on Substance Abuse

February 20th, 2013

Scarborough Teen Leaders

Project AWARE teams up with the Scarborough High School for an innovative student-driven educational program. The Reel Life Program simultaneously educates, empowers and builds a sense of worth in youth, while also providing up-to-date information to the

Movie Scene

broader community. While funds are still needed for the project, it is expected that students from Scarborough High School will work closely with Project AWARE to create a dramatic 30 – 45 minute movie highlighting substance abuse as an important issue that in some way touches the life of almost every teen. The movie will serve to bring this topic out of the shadows in an honest and real way.  The project provides a unique opportunity for students to employ their skills and interests in a variety of areas from writing to acting, filming and directing.  The film they create will be used as a teaching tool in classrooms to generate conversations that have a lasting impact on individuals and school climate as a whole. And the movie will play on TV for thousands more.

Untying the Knot of Substance Abuse

Substance use and abuse is a widespread issue that effects the life of every teen and making healthy choices can be challenging, given the daily pressures teens face. It is well documented among teens in Maine, with alcohol and marijuana use at the top of the list.  Results of the 2011 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) for high schools in Cumberland County reveal the following information about substance use among teens.  Among seniors, 41.6% indicated they drank alcohol in the past 30 days. With regard to marijuana use, 30.9% of seniors reported use in the past 30 days.  Additionally, there is an upward trend in teens’ perception that there is minimal health risk for marijuana usage.  These statistics do not include the many other ways students are affected by substance use, including use within their homes. There are many reasons teens choose to use substances and it can lead to addiction which can be painful and severe. Through this project, the perceptions of teens and the influence that parents, educators, and society have will send a powerful message, and have lasting impact.

Scene from Influenced

Through education and programming the project will reach over 150 youth and many adults during the course the year. And then with the resulting movie, thousands more through DVD and on TV. It will positively impact the school environment and produce healthier better-educated youth with real life, project-based, team-focused, movie-making experience!

Biddeford Movie Project

February 20th, 2013

Project AWARE will partner with the Biddeford School Department to engage over 130 teens and adults in the Biddeford Reel Life Project and create a of 30 minute dramatic movie that raises awareness about substance abuse, sexual health, family issues and stress amongst teens. The movie and accompanying features will also explore the cultural heritage of Biddeford from a youth perspective. The programs will be produced by teens, with the support of Project AWARE in 2013 and early 2014.

The program includes teens who are at-risk and will result in the support of numerous teachers, parents and other community members; service learning opportunities and increase of the marketable skills of young people; improved climate for teens at school and in their community as they work on a project together with adults to make a difference; a special Premiere event at the Biddeford City Theater focused on celebrating youth; and a 30 minute movie on DVD, with accompanying educational special features, which will be used as a learning tool for the City, it’s schools and beyond.

The Project AWARE Reel Life Program includes the Summer Film Institute for youth as well as targeted filmmaking that produces high quality, dramatic educational short movies and PSAs created by young people. The program supports teens in telling real life stories in a powerful way.Young people create impactful, high quality movies that address social issues and make a difference. Simply put, the process changes their lives. The Reel Life Program simultaneously empowers and builds sense of worth in the youth, while also providing up-to-date information to the broader community. The dialogue that follows plays a critical role in beginning to shift social norms resulting in healthier young people. It also increases marketable skills in students as they prepare themselves for the job market. As a result of this program, teens with the support of Project AWARE, have produced over 20 PSAs and 9 movies with 5 more in production about issues including prescription drug abuse, bullying, adult role modeling, teen sexual health, and more. Collaborators have included the Maine Department of Education, Acadia Hospital, City of Sanford, City of Biddeford, and Family Planning Association of Maine.

Project AWARE is thrilled to be offering Reel Life in the Biddeford community! We also want to thank our sponsors: City of Biddeford, Biddeford Savings Bank, P & C Insurance, Peoples Choice Credit Union, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution and Kennebunk Savings Bank.

TEEN CREATED MOVIE DIGS DEEP

January 29th, 2013

SMOKE RINGS

This short, dramatic film was written, directed, acted in, and filmed by teens from all over Maine in 2012 as part of Project AWARE’s Summer Film Institute. The creators wanted to share the story of one teen girl struggling with marijuana dependency as a coping mechanism for the things she is dealing with on a day-to-day basis. The movie is meant to start a conversation about marijuana and the effect it can have on a young person. Since it is hard to talk about , the creative team behind Smoke Rings hope the movie will create an opportunity for teens and adults to have a constructive discussion.

Note: Substance abuse education and prevention should be a year-long effort in schools. Smoke Rings is intended to complement existing education efforts and not stand alone for one-day or short term events or programs.

GO HERE FOR THE SMOKE RINGS FACILITATORS GUIDE !

SIGN UP NOW FOR PROJECT AWARE’S SUMMER FILM INSTITUTE 2013

SMOKE RINGS IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE BY CLICKING THE YOUTUBE LINKS BELOW.  FOR FULL SCREEN VIEWING OR PROJECTING IN A CLASSROOM IN HD ONCE YOU CLICK ON THE VIDEO THEN CLICK ON THE YOUTUBE SYMBOL IN THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER AND ADJUST SETTINGS (little wheel bottom right) AS NEEDED IN THE NEW SCREEN. FOR HD VIEWING YOU WILL NEED TO WAIT FOR THE VIDEO TO LOAD BEFORE PLAYING.

SMOKE RINGS   a short dramatic movie created by teens

SMOKE RINGS COMMENTARY

Teens creators talk about the movie and the issue.

THE MAKING OF SMOKE RINGS

Take a trip behind the scenes at the Project AWARE Summer Film Institute.

Project AWARE Like-A-Thon!

November 14th, 2012

The Like-A-Thon contest features a $100 cash prize! Project AWARE is at 951 Likes (as of 11/14/12). We think a magic number is 1,000! If we reach 1,000 or more by 10 PM on November 25th we will send $100 to the person who gets us the most Likes.

The steps are:

1. Sign up for the contest by posting on Project AWARE’s wall by Saturday November 17th at midnight. Use these key words: “Youth Voice Now!” and anything else inspiring you want to add ☺. WE LOVE INSPIRATION.

2. Look for a Like-A-Thon status update on Sunday November 18th. It will give you the final IMPORTANT details about how it will work. Contest will officially start at 3 PM that day.

3. Once you know what has to happen – starting on the 18th, start talking to your friends and sharing the page, and ask them to Like Project AWARE!

4. During the contest – once they Like Project AWARE – they will have a way to identify you as being the person who encouraged them to do so. (How? announced on Sunday Nov. 18 in the status update)

5. Contest ends on November 25th at 10 PM. Winner announced November 26th. Everyone except 2 adult administrators of the Project AWARE Page are eligible!

Clearly this is not a perfect science … but if you put lots of energy in and get lots of likes you have a great chance to win! Good luck and have fun! THIS WILL HELP PROJECT AWARE A LOT! THANK YOU.

More info:

We must have at least 10 contestants signed up for the contest to begin.

Contestants must be identified as getting at least 7 Likes to be eligible to win.

Please note this is a first time we are running this contest – please forgive us in advance for any confusion or errors. Ask questions by sending us a message on Facebook or e-mailing us at projectawarenow@gmail.com

Project AWARE Info and Links

November 1st, 2012

Project AWARE provides workshops, presentations, and the Reel Life program that includes the Summer Film Institute for youth as well as targeted filmmaking that produces high quality, dramatic educational short movies and PSAs created by young people. The mission of the organization is to “empower young people to lead”.

For detailed information about Project AWARE programs please go here: http://projectaware.net/wordpress/youthprograms or to the “Programs” page on our website at www.projectaware.net See trailers and PSAS at youtube.com/projectnaturalhighs. Our channel receives up to three thousand views per day.

For the promo go here: http://goo.gl/GyBLZ

Project AWARE is about real life teens telling real life stories in a powerful way. Young people in the program create impactful, high quality movies that address social issues and make a difference. Simply put, the process changes their lives. It also provides a learning environment for marketable skills – not only the technical aspects of movie making but also public speaking, creative thinking, writing, and much more.

Programs and videos, along with more information, are available by contacting the Coordinator at projectaware@maine.rr.com or 207-282-5598.

This past year over 500 young people were directly involved as writers, directors, cast and crew in creating 4 high quality video products on teen health including nutrition, physical activity, bullying prevention, tobacco prevention, substance abuse prevention, mental health, and teen sexual health. Partners included the Maine Dept. of Education, Family Planning Assoc. and Acadia Hospital. Overall, Project AWARE youth have created 20 PSAs and 8 movies with 4 more in production. In addition, thousands more attended premieres, presentations and workshops. And tens of thousands viewed Project AWARE videos on YouTube and TV including WPXT in Portland and WABI in Bangor.

A recent film, April’s Heart, received the young filmmakers award at the Litchfield Hills Film Festival and Iowa Film Festival. April’s Heart tears the mask off of youth so we can see inside. It’s a story set in a time when life can be hard; a story that gives us an intimate look at the challenges, hopes and dreams of teenagers.

To see the April’s Heart trailer please go to this blog post:

http://projectaware.net/wordpress/aprils-heart-trailer-released

To see a testimony from a participant of this project please go to a YouTube video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oMpU9MtMbI

The following additional links showcase the incredible work of young people:

The blog on the website has information about recent projects: http://projectaware.net/wordpress/

A story about a teen who did some powerful work at the Summer Film Institute:

http://projectaware.net/wordpress/maine-youth-reaches-thousands-with-a-powerful-story

Summer Film Institute:

http://projectaware.net/wordpress/summer-film-institute

Facebook, YouTube, Website

www.facebook.com/projectnaturalhighs

www.youtube.com/projectnaturalhighs

www.projectaware.net

Movies:

To find out more about our movies and see trailers please go to the films page at www.projectaware.net

For more information about Two Seconds which premiered on October 23rd 2012 please go here:

www.maineteenhealth.org/resources/two-seconds-a-short-dramatic-film/

Spose, WCYY and Project AWARE Team Up for Bullying Awareness

September 24th, 2012

Hip-Hop Artist Spose Highlights
The First Annual Concert For Bullying Awareness in Maine

Project AWARE, in conjunction with 94.3 WCYY, will collaborate with Spose and other local artists to benefit Bullying Awareness in Maine

October 13, Asylum, 121 Center St. Portland Maine ALL AGES SHOW
Doors open at 1 PM. This show could sell out. Get your tickets early at www.portlandasylum.com or any Bull Moose location. Tickets on sale at the door – subject to availability.

All Proceeds help Project AWARE continue its efforts to support Maine teens.

Highlighting the event is Spose, a well-known Maine hip-hop artist known for his song I’m Awesome. He recently released a new album The Audacity.

His line up of songs will include Jimmy! from The Audacity. Jimmy! addresses the topic of bullying. Spose will collaborate later this year with Project AWARE to create a powerful new music video for the song. The project will engage over 100 young people in planning and production. This is a great example of how musicians and youth can collaborate to make a difference.

Local musicians will join Project AWARE, WCYY and Spose including Steiner Street, Beware of Pedestrians, Better Than, The Running Gags, God.Damn.Chan and Dean Ford.

Spose with PA Youth


Project AWARE is a non-profit organization with a mission to “empower young people to lead” and provides workshops, presentations, and the Reel Life Program. The Reel Life Program addresses bullying and other issues by working with teens to produce high-quality movies and PSAs. As a result of this program, teens with the support of Project AWARE have produced 16 PSAs and 7 movies. See PSAs and trailers on YouTube.

The First Annual Concert For Bullying Awareness in Maine
is sponsored by WCYY and the Asylum.

Please share this post! For more information contact Project AWARE at 207-282-5598 or projectaware@maine.rr.com

Summer Film Institute PSAs

September 10th, 2012

Created by teens at the Project AWARE Summer Film Institute these PSAs tell important stories about what young people are dealing with. Intended as conversation starters, the youth who created these powerful short videos hope they will raise awareness make a difference.

Self Harm

Self-injury is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration. This Public Service Announcement was created by Michaela Payne, Alli Jutras, Amanda Carey, Lillian Ashby, and Lina Caron, directed by Catrina Worcester and edited by Charles Mills II.

Self Image

Young people are bombarded by media and cultural influences about how they are supposed to look. The reality is we are all different and beautiful the way we are. This Public Service Announcement was created by Peyton Feener, Amy Houser, Adela McVicar, Katelyn Kribel, and Katie Radcliff. It was directed by Katelyn Kribel and edited by Daniel Greenleaf Bartholomew Smith.

Project AWARE Programs 2012

August 22nd, 2012

Project AWARE is a 5o1c3 non-profit corporation created in 2003 with a mission to “empower young people to lead”. An empowered young person is a leader and resource in their community, models healthy behavior and is of service to others. To date, thousands of youth and adults have participated in Project AWARE programs. Currently, Project AWARE primarily serves youth grades 6 – 12 in the State of Maine.

Project AWARE provides workshops, presentations, and the Reel Life program. Reel Life includes the Summer Film Institute for youth as well as targeted filmmaking that produces high quality, dramatic educational short movies and PSAs created by young people.

The Reel Life Program reduces risk and promotes health by working with teens to produce high-quality film products that target a specific prevention health issue of concern for the local community. Paired with a showcase premiere event that typically includes stakeholders from all community sectors (e.g. parents, youth, business, faith community), the process simultaneously empowers and builds sense of worth in the youth, while also providing up-to-date prevention information to the broader community. The dialogue that follows plays a critical role in beginning to shift social norms resulting in healthier young people. It also increases marketable skills in students as they prepare themselves for the job market. As a result of this program, teens with the support of Project AWARE have produced 16 PSAs and 7 movies with 5 more in production about issues including prescription drug abuse, bullying, adult role modeling, teen sexual health, and more. The Summer Film Institute is held in August of each year for youth ages 13 – 18. The goal for the Institute (s) is to create a film product about a social issue to be determined by a group of young people. The film institute attendees produce high quality video, which will be marketed to make a difference and raise awareness about the issue that is identified.

Youth Empowerment Workshops offer young people grades six through twelve, and adults, a unique opportunity to understand the risks associated with unhealthy choices such as substance abuse, bullying, and more, in an open, participatory and safe environment. Youth are engaged directly in meaningful dialogue, problem solving, the expression of complex emotions and an exploration of how to raise awareness and encourage prevention of unhealthy actions. A key component is creating a safe venue that can serve as a springboard for further community- or school-based youth action.

Project AWARE Presentations are available for a wide range of audiences (ranging from young people to the prevention / health communities to legislators) Youth share their own personal stories about teen health issues, facilitate activities that engage the audience, and provide education about the health topic. Facilitators often use Project AWARE movies and PSAs as educational tools.

Health education videos and education materials are distributed by DVD, broadcast TV, online (YouTube, Facebook, and website) and at events. Each of the video products addresses a specific health topic and is intended to start conversations amongst viewers and their communities.

The program goals for youth include increased:

  • Knowledge around specific prevention topic (e.g., bullying, underage drinking, suicide)
  • Empowerment and sense of being able to positively influence others
  • Sense of support from adults
  • Positive identify, sense of purpose, confidence
  • Constructive use of time and engagement in creative pursuits
  • Positive values, including sense of caring for others, social justice, honesty and personal responsibility
  • Marketable skills including technical aspects, public speaking, creative thinking, writing, and much more

Summer Film and Fun!

July 9th, 2012
Scholarships may be available – please do not hesitate to inquire! If a teen wants to go we will do everything in our power to help him or her be there.

Project AWARE Summer Film Institute for Teens

Do you think teens could benefit from creating high quality film that makes a difference while guided by experienced movie-making professionals?

If so, there is still space in Project AWARE 5th annual Summer Film Institute to be held in August. Click here for the flyer. Spread the word and act now before it fills up! For more info and to register call Project AWARE at 207-282-5598 or write to projectaware@maine.rr.com .

Thumbs Up!

This institute is hands-on. Attendees of this summer day camp, located in Biddeford Maine, learn new movie making skills, build their resumes, process their own experiences, and bond with peers while making a difference. The content is created by the youth, very high quality and about issues we hear about every day on the news.
It has been life-changing for many attendees (use active links below for more information) :
  • SFI Attendees produces the movie Listen (available on DVD) was produced along with powerful PSAs on cyberbullyingracism and distracted driving.
  • two (13 and 14 years old) attendees created a PSA on parenting that ultimately served as the basis for Project AWARE’s 3rd movie Influenced. This award-winning movie was created at the 2009 institute and is available on DVD.
  • 10 Sanford kids who attended the Institute went back to school, got involved in their film club, and created the award-winning movie April’s Heart
  • a young women returned to her school and created a PSA with her new skills; it received rave reviews and the commercial was picked up, re-produced professionally and aired nationally.
  • PSA created on teen pregnancy has received over 200,000 views on You Tube and has sparked deep conversation about this contentious issue.
  • Recently an 8th grader used his PSA and story on bullying in his hometown; it now airs on broadcast TV in Maine and he was nominated and chosen as a top 10 finalist for a $10,000Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award from thousands of applicants nationwide.
  • 4 young women created a powerful video about sexual assault as they processed their own childhood experiences. Sexual Assault Response Services is planning to use the PSA for education in schools.
  • finally, a 14 year old teen was able to write, direct, and lead in her own movie about the healthy passions of youth. A Shoestring for Mackenzie is planned for a 2012 release.
Once there, kids are engaged and excited about this work. Help us with outreach – change a young person’s life!
Spread the word! List-servs, schools, parents, kids and many other venues are possible choices for networking.