Advocacy, Community

Teen’s screen anti-bullying message

Tyler Redmond is using his talents to help both bullies and their victims. Photo: Supplied.

They once bullied him, now their victim has included his tormentors in a film to help stop others suffering the same fate.

Blenheim filmmaker and director Tyler Redmond, 16, has been bullied since he was 5 years old.

Making films helped take his mind off the trauma, now his latest film, Rise Up, is set to help others going through similar situations.

But it’s not been an easy path to follow, he says.

“Instead of helping just one person in a schoolyard, I’m trying to help others on a national level.”

The young director credits his dad, Christchurch motorsport driver Stan Redmond, 65, as the force behind his drive to succeed.

Stan died in 2013 following a crash at Invercargill’s Teretonga Park.

“I think I’m so driven because of him. I was nine years old when my dad passed away.

“He was very driven and knew what he wanted, what he wanted to achieve.

“My mum’s also been very supportive and has been with me every step of the way,” he says.

It includes two characters played by two boys who once bullied Tyler. He says while he was “hesitant” at first to include them, he made an unbiased decision.

“I’d put a call out for cast, and they showed up. I was a bit wary, a bit hesitant at first. They remembered me but didn’t realise I was making the film. They were a bit embarrassed.

“I got talking to one of them and he apologised for what he’d done.” Tyler says.

Bullying affects nearly one-half of primary-aged children in New Zealand schools and a third of secondary students.

Tyler hopes his film will help both bullies and victims.

“What makes me sick to the stomach is when you see on the news about young people who are taking their own lives.

“Social media and commenting can cause constant hurt and upset and I want people to know it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Rise-Up will premiere at the Clubs of Marlborough for free on 29 November at 6.30pm.

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