New Film Highlights Veterans and Gambling Addiction

As the longest war in American history draws to a close, the psychological fallout among returning Veterans is only now just beginning to be felt.  Suffering with PTSD, many Vets turn to alcohol, drugs - and, yes, even gambling to cope. The New York Council on Problem Gambling have responded to this growing crisis of Vet-centered gambling addiction with the new OutreachArts drama, ‘He’s Not The Same’. The short film tells the story of a young Vet returning home from Afghanistan whose life is turned upside down by gambling addiction, tearing both him and his family apart.
“Gambling addiction is a serious health problem that affects veterans and active-duty service members,” says the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Executive Director, Keith S. Whyte. “It is highly co-occurring with other serious conditions and complicates the treatment of these disorders. In addition, gambling addiction has disastrous consequences for the veteran and his or her family.”
Whyte, who helped on the film, also makes clear that though 1 percent to 3 percent of the American public experience gambling problems in any given year,  “studies consistently find rates among age-matched veterans are significantly higher, and highest among minorities. Rates are even higher among veterans seeking treatment for some other disorder.”
‘He’s Not The Same’ is the third film OutreachArts has created for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, and Emmy® Award-Winning writer-director, Richard Wilson’s personal favorite.
“I’ve wanted to reach out to returning Vets for some time now and was thrilled when the Council presented this opportunity. I felt an enormous responsibility to get this right, so the Vets I interviewed were going to be key to the project’s success...”
Among the Veterans Wilson interviewed for the film, 27 year old, Glenside, PA resident, Zachary Ziegler would prove a critical resource - and also become the film’s star.
“Zach is an excellent actor; he’d done work for us before enlisting. Once this project was entrusted to OutreachArts, it was a no-brainer to give him a call - his insights into the character were invaluable”, Wilson recalled, noting that Ziegler, also a singer-songwriter, contributed some original music to the film as well. 
In fact, ‘He’s Not The Same’ marks the 13th problem gambling-themed film the Emmy® Award-Winning OutreachArts has created in as many years and, according to Wilson, there’s more to follow...
“As the gaming industry expands, we find we’re adding more and more problem gambling projects. Our production slate for 2015 is already filling up - clearly, there’s still a lot of work to do...”
For information on how OutreachArts can create a film for your organization, please contact us today at 856-719-8380 or info@outreacharts.com.

 

 

New Problem Gambling Films in Production!

Emmy® Award-Winning, production company, OutreachArts is excited to announce production of two new problem gambling awareness films for 2014. The first of these new dramas will be created for the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and will explore the devastating impact problem gambling has on the family. Disrupting life through financial hardships, the emotional damage done to families will be highlighted in this searing new drama, slated for a late Spring release. Also, on tap for 2014 is our third film for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, a drama about returning Veterans getting caught up in problem gambling as they struggle to make the transition back into civilian life. Seeking to substitute the adrenaline rush of combat by risking their money on gambling and treating other gamblers as the enemy, this self-destructive coping mechanism some Vets choose to employ will be explored in this incredibly timely, new drama. The addition of these latest projects marks 13 films OutreachArts will have produced on the subject of problem gambling since 2001. The most recent dramas created for the NY Council were 'Bet the House' (focusing on adult problem gamblers) and 'Odds and Ends' (focusing on teens); both films contianed three stories that reflected the different faces of problem gambling. Over the years, related OutreachArts offerings have included six films for the New Jersey Council on Problem Gambling, two for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the Award-Winning, SAMHSA/Voice Award Nominated, 'Promise Me': Parents With Addictions (an episode from the company's Emmy® Award-Winning teen drama series,'Maple Ave'). All of the aforementioned films were written and directed by OutreachArts' Richard Wilson. "It's really an honor to be continually called upon by the various problem gambling Councils to help with the extremely important work they're doing. We're happy to work with any of the Councils across the country looking to add a film to their educational arsenal..."
As of this writing, OutreachArts has one production slot still open for late 2014. For information on how OutreachArts can create a film for your organization, please contact us today at 856-719-8380 or info@outreacharts.com.

 

Problem Gambling Dramas: Making A Difference!

In 2013, OutreachArts was honored to create two problem gambling dramas (see above picture) for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, making a total of 11 films the NJ-based company has produced on the subject since 2001. The dramas created for the NY Council were 'Bet the House' (focusing on adult problem gamblers) and 'Odds and Ends' (focusing on teens); both films contianed three stories that reflected the different faces of problem gambling. Over the years, related OutreachArts offerings have included six films for the New Jersey Council on Problem Gambling, two for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the Award-Winning, SAMHSA/Voice Award Nominated, 'Promise Me': Parents With Addictions (an episode from the company's Emmy® Award-Winning teen drama series,'Maple Ave'). All of the aforementioned films were written and directed by OutreachArts' Richard Wilson. "It's really an honor to have been called on by the various problem gambling Councils over the years. Obviously, they're doing extremely important work and for us to continually be included in that is a real privilege," Wilson said. For its part, the New York Council on Problem Gambling recently had this to say about the work OutreachArts recently created for them...

"Bet the House" and "Odds and Ends" tell compelling stories of the experience of those that are adversely impacted by problem gambling. OutreachArts did an excellent job of bringing into focus the blurred lines of problem gambling. We look forward to working with OutreachArts on similar future projects. - New York Council on Problem Gambling (2013)

For information on how OutreachArts can create a film for your organization, please contact us today at 856-719-8380 or info@outreacharts.com.

 

EDGE ST.: New MAPLE AVE Special!

In the all-new MAPLE AVE series special, EDGE ST.: 'Turn in the Road', teen ghost Christine Dawn has her hands full when the spirit of a student recently killed by a distracted driver needs her help to find closure for his embittered, grieving sister. When Christine discovers that the distracted driver was a fellow student, she knows she has her work cut out for her in a High School turned upside down by tragedy.
Early Acclaim for EDGE ST.: 'Turn in the Road' -
"Wow what a powerful story. As a paramedic I know that nothing I tell teens will be as convincing as what teens tell one another. Great job!" - Josh Stuart, Paramedic/Risky Teen Behavior Educator/Certified School Resource Officer - Medical Rescue Team South Authority (PA)
"Please watch this amazing video... "Turn In The Road" addresses Distracted Driving and the results of what can happen when drivers engage in this deadly action. The video goes much deeper than just Distracted Driving, it also addresses the emotions that Teens experience from a tragedy like the death of a classmate. The Video is powerful and chilling... GREAT JOB." - Scott Shepard / Distracted Driving Is Deadly (TN advocacy group)
"Cell phones and driving are a dangerous combination. The technological and social phenomenon of using hand-held electronic devices behind the wheel is now one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury on our nation's highways. The story told by EDGE ST. - Turn in the road is profound, insightful, and deeply moving. As we begin Global Youth Traffic Safety Month on May 1st, this short film should be required viewing for all of our young student drivers, and is worthy of its current EMMY Nomination." -Paul L. Odendahl / DigitalDefensiveDriving.Com, "Saving Lives One Class At A Time"
For DVD Alert info., please E-mail info@mapleavefilms.com with 'Edge St. DVD' in the Subject line.

 

New Teen Gambling Drama Debuts!

Created for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, 'Odds and Ends' marks the 11th problem gambling awareness film Emmy Award-Winning educational film company, OutreachArts has produced in almost as many years. Related OutreachArts offerings have included six films for the New Jersey Council on Problem Gambling, two for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the Award-Winning, SAMHSA/Voice Award Nominated, 'Promise Me': Parents With Addictions (an episode from the company's Emmy® Award-Winning teen drama series,'Maple Ave'). All of the aforementioned films were written and directed by OutreachArts' Richard Wilson. "Like all our films, the content in 'Odds and Ends' was guided by the group we were making the film for, in this case the New York Council on Problem Gambling. As with our first film for the NY Council ('Bet the House'), a vignette approach was once again employed to tell three powerful stories that reflected the different faces of teen problem gambling," Wilson explained, "Once again, the Council was there with us every step of the way, providing valuable input and inspiration. It goes without saying that we're all very proud of this incredibly moving film..." In the meantime, please click here to view a clip from 'Odds and Ends' ~ and let us know what you think! For information on how OutreachArts can create a film for your organization, please contact us today at 856-719-8380 or info@outreacharts.com.

 

 

 

New Problem Gambling Drama Debuts!

OutreachArts film for NYCPG targets Adults, Friends and Family

Created for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, 'Bet the House' marks the 10th problem gambling awareness film OutreachArts has produced in almost as many years. Related OutreachArts offerings have included six films for the New Jersey Council on Problem Gambling, two for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling and the Award-Winning, SAMHSA/Voice Award Nominated, ''Promise Me': Parents With Addictions (an episode from the company's Emmy Nominated teen drama series,'Maple Ave'). All of the aforementioned films were written and directed by OutreachArts' Richard Wilson. "Like all our films, the content in 'Bet the House' was guided by the group we were making the film for, in this case the New York Council on Problem Gambling. They had asked us for a vignette approach so we ultimately decided on three stories that reflected the different faces of problem gambling," Wilson explained, "During the script development phase, the Council was there with us every step of the way, providing valuable input and inspiration. All in, I really think 'Bet the House' has turned out to one of the best films we've made to date..." In addition to 'Bet the House', OutreachArts is also in production on a second film for the NYCPG, this one focusing on teen problem gambling. The teen gambling film will employ the same three vignette approach as 'Bet the House' and should be completed by the summer. In the meantime, please click here to view a clip from 'Bet the House'~ and let us know what you think! For information on how OutreachArts can create a film for your organization, please contact us today at 856-719-8380 or info@outreacharts.com.

 

Suicide Awareness Program Designated 'Best Practice'!

OutreachArts created film for Shield of Care program, targeting Juvenile Justice

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health's Shield of Care, a ground breaking suicide prevention curriculum designed specifically for staff in juvenile justice facilities has been accepted for inclusion in a Best Practice Registry which is a collaboration between the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAMHSA. The multi-pronged training, called Shield of Care: Protecting Juvenile Justice Youth from Suicide, also features a video component, the compelling drama,*‘Second Glances’. "The film is essentially made up of three vignettes, illustrating youth at various stages of suicidal ideation, " says the film's writer-director, Richard Wilson, "The whole OutreachArts team really threw themselves into the making of this for the TDMH. It's clear that taking a 'second glance' really can make all the difference here. It goes without saying that we're all deeply honored by the Best Practice recognition - it was a wonderful project to work on!" The Shield of Care training was based upon available research in a collaborative process that included Tennessee's child serving departments and agencies. This ground-breaking training was also greatly informed by frontline staff working in the juvenile justice system. The funding for the development of this curriculum is from a federal youth suicide prevention and intervention grant, funded via the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act awarded to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. For more information on the Shied of Care curriculum, please contact, Lygia Williams at Lygia.Williams@tn.gov.

*The Tennessee Department of Mental Health (TDMH) is the author/owner of the Shield of Care: Protecting Juvenile Justice Youth from Suicide and the ‘Second Glances’ video developed as part of the Tennessee Lives Count Juvenile Justice (TLC/JJ) project funded via a grant (#2U79SM057400-04) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.  TLC/JJ is collaboratively implemented with the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee, the Centerstone Research Institute, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, and the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

 

MPT-PBS Self-Injury Call-In Special a Big Hit!

Program Built Around 'The Hurting' called an 'incredible hour of education'

The Award-Winning self-injury drama 'The Hurting' from the Emmy Nominated 'Maple Ave' teen drama series proved to be a big hit during it's recent airing on MPT-PBS (Maryland Public Television, MD) as part of their 'Your Health' series . Read on...

"I had a chance to watch the Maryland Public Television (MPT) Special on Self-Injury and Cutting and I have to say it was an incredible hour of education and attention to a very serious topic. I think the directors of the drama did a great job and MPT really did their job bring quality programming to the public regarding a topic that is very sensitive and typically never discussed." - Kevin Strauss, President - www.familyejournal.com

 

"Maple Ave. Films “The Hurting: Cutting for Relief” was well received!!!! This show reached the public in ways in which we may never know. I do know that we helped someone that night, and for that I’m grateful. Thank you so much for producing a program such as this. We did receive several calls. ... We had great interviews and everything was flawless. .... On behalf of MPT I thank you deeply from my heart. I’ve learned so much. Keep in touch. You’re an amazing producer." - Genaye Channel-Robinson, Assistant Producer, Maryland Public Television.

 

To purchase 'The Hurting' DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

 

MPT-PBS Premieres Self-Injury Call-In Special

Program Built Around Award-Winning MAPLE AVE Film, 'The Hurting'

The Award-Winning self-injury drama 'The Hurting' from the Emmy Nominated 'Maple Ave' teen drama series is scheduled to air on MPT-PBS (Maryland Public Television, MD) on January 16 as part of their 'Your Health' series and will feature area mental health experts answering live call-ins from viewers." 'Maple Ave' creator, Richard Wilson recently commented, "We're incredibly excited to see the film used in this way; it really opens the door to expanding the the film's outreach potential. We think this approach will go a long way in reaching out to those suffering in silence with self-injury...' In fact, it's not the first time this powerful drama has been the centerpiece of a Public Television special; in 2007, AETN (Conway, AR) used the film in its entirety for its own self-injury special, 'Hidden Wounds'. That same year, popular cable channel IFC also featured the film's climactic scene as part of its MediaLab series (showcasing acclaimed short films). Wilson strongly encourages the use of the MAPLE AVE films as community event programming, "The entire series has the potential to be used in this way to great effect, and we certainly welcome similar proposals from other PBS affiliates." (For more information please contact us at mapleave@outreacharts.com.)

 

PBS Stations To Build Live Call-In Events

Around MAPLE AVE Films

WNED & MPT Planning Suicide & Self-Injury Awareness Specials for Winter 2013

Two Award-Winning installments from the Emmy Nominated MAPLE AVE teen drama series are slated to be the focus of two PBS educational call-in specials in 2013. “We were first contacted by WNED (Buffalo, NY) this summer about the idea of building a suicide awareness special around ‘After I’m Gone’, featuring area mental health experts answering live call-ins from viewers," MAPLE AVE creator, Richard Wilson recently recounted, "Then, just recently, MPT (Owings Mills, MD) called and proposed a similar special centered around our self-injury episode, ‘The Hurting’. Naturally, we’re very honored to play a part in both of these important initiatives.” Regarding ‘The Hurting’, it’s not the first time this powerful drama has been the centerpiece of a Public Television special; in 2007, AETN (Conway, AR) used the film in its entirety for its own self-injury special, ‘Hidden Wounds’. That same year, popular cable channel IFC also featured the film’s climactic scene as part of its MediaLab series (showcasing acclaimed short films). Wilson strongly encourages the use of the MAPLE AVE films as community event programming, “The entire series has the potential to be used in this way to great effect, and we certainly welcome similar proposals from other PBS affiliates.” (For more information please contact us at mapleave@outreacharts.com.)

 

'After I'm Gone' Wins Accolade Award!

MAPLE AVE suicide awareness drama honored at prestigious film competition

OutreachArts has just won a prestigious Accolade Award in the Contemporary Issues/Awareness Raising category for their teen suicide awareness drama,'After I'm Gone'! The 9th episode in the Award-Winning MAPLE AVE Series, 'After I'm Gone' takes a haunting look at teen suicide from the perspective of Cari (see 'Loves Me Not'), a young girl who appears to have taken her life due to relentless abuse from her parents and peers. As Cari observes life from the other side, she meets Christine, an older more rebellious spirit, who reluctantly acts as her guide and confidante. Together they observe Michael, an artist friend of Cari’s, who has also been the victim of bullying and abusive parents. As a desperate Michael begins to contemplate suicide, a helpless Cari is suddenly forced to revisit her own nightmares,...and find a way home. 'After I'm Gone' Filmmaker, Richard T. Wilson recently commented, "Essentially, we're reaching out to at-risk youth here who have next to no resources. We're trying to let students know that, even in the worst of circumstances, there's still Help & Hope. It's a very different POV, I know, but one I felt wasn't being addressed in the current outreach model. Having said that, we're all thrilled the Accolades have recognized us ~ it's quite an honor!" The Accolade recognizes film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. In winning an Accolade, OutreachArts joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. As with all our MAPLE AVE films, a Leader's Guide is included with the 'After I'm Gone' DVD, featuring teen suicide statistics, classroom discussion questions and creative follow-up activities to help students deepen their connection to the issue. To purchase the DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

 

 

'After I'm Gone' DVD Released!

The 9th & final MAPLE AVE installment focuses on Teen Suicide Prevention

 

OutreachArts is proud to announce the DVD release of its 9th MAPLE AVE offering, the suicide awareness-themed, 'After I'm Gone'. The 9th installment in the Award-Winning MAPLE AVE Series, 'After I'm Gone' takes a haunting look at teen suicide from the perspective of Cari (see 'Loves Me Not'), a young girl who appears to have taken her life due to relentless abuse from her parents and peers. As Cari observes life from the other side, she meets Christine, an older more rebellious spirit, who reluctantly acts as her guide and confidante. Together they observe Michael, an artist friend of Cari’s, who has also been the victim of bullying and abusive parents. As a desperate Michael begins to contemplate suicide, a helpless Cari is suddenly forced to revisit her own nightmares,...and find a way home. 'After I'm Gone' Filmmaker, Richard T. Wilson recently commented, "Essentially, we're reaching out to at-risk youth here who have next to no resources. We're trying to let students know that, even in the worst of circumstances, there's still Help & Hope. It's a very different POV, I know, but one I felt wasn't being addressed in the current outreach model (which I've contributed to in the past). Basically, these are the kids I see/interact with year in and year out, and I really felt compelled to give them a greater voice on this issue." As with all our MAPLE AVE films, a Leader's Guide is included with the 'After I'm Gone' DVD, featuring teen suicide statistics, classroom discussion questions and creative follow-up activities to help students deepen their connection to the issue. To purchase the DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

'Loves Me Not' Wins Platinum Remi Award!

MAPLE AVE series honored for 7th year at prestigious WorldFest-Houston Int'l Film Festival

 

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festiva l, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world, recently announced that the MAPLE AVE episode, 'Loves Me Not' has won a prestigious Platinum Remi Award at its 45th annual film festival in Houston, TX. The eighth installment in the Emmy Nominated, Award-Winning teen drama series, 'Loves Me Not' focuses on teen dating violence from the POV of a 17 year old deceased victim named Cari. This latest honor marks the seventh year WorldFest has chosen to recognize the award-winning teen drama series; in 2006 the bullying/Columbine-themed 'Ghosts in the Hall' won a Gold Remi, in 2007 the self-injury/domestic violence drama 'The Hurting' won a coveted Special Jury Award, in 2008 the suicide awareness episode, 'P.S. I Miss You' was honored with a Silver Remi Award, in 2009 the cyberbullying drama, 'Hating Tami' won a Special Jury Award, in 2010 the eating disorder-body image themed, 'More Than This' won the highly prized Platinum Remi Award and in 2010 our drama focusing on parents struggling w/ addictions, 'Promise Me' won the Gold Remi. "Fiercely Independent" WorldFest is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Past WorldFest honorees have also included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, The Cohen Brothers, Ang Lee, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Bryan De Palma & Oliver Stone, among many others. With more than 4,500 entries in all categories, only 10-15 percent are winners in WorldFest, so this is certainly quite the honor! To purchase the 'Loves Me Not' DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

OutreachArts' Richard Wilson Honored as Hometown Hero!

 

OutreachArts ’ own Richard Wilson (pictured above) was recently honored by students at Lindenwold High School (in Lindenwold, NJ) as their “Hometown Hero” for his ‘inspirational and informational videos for teens’. Each year, the school’s Freshman Seminar classes honor local citizens whom they deem “Hometown Heroes”, interviewing them to learn how caring and citizenship can translate into positive community action. In speaking with the students, Wilson shared his journey from ‘at-risk’ teen to an Award-Winning, Emmy Nominated filmmaker who makes films to help today’s at-risk youth. “We’ve received some wonderful honors over the years,” Wilson told the Lindenwold students and staff at a special awards ceremony, “but nothing means more to me than this - because it comes from all of you!” OutreachArts has been working with Lindenwold High School since 2001, introducing students to the art & business of filmmaking while receiving inspiration from the students’ everyday lives for their award-winning films. For more information on how OutreachArts can create an awareness film for your organization, please drop us a line at info@outreacharts.com today!

 

OutreachArts Adds New HD & Blu-ray Options

That's right - OutreachArts has made the leap to HD Blu-ray, now offering clients even more options to showcase their films! OutreachArts' CEO, Richard Wilson highlights the improved 'big screen' capabilities now available, "Not only are we offering our clients an overall visually superior product, we're now able to ensure that even their large screen projections will look equally stunning." (Blu-ray discs are also available to future clients upon request.) For more information on how OutreachArts can create an awareness film for your organization, please drop us a line at info@outreacharts.com today!

 

'Loves Me Not' Embraced By National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

 

We're very proud to report that our Accolade Award-Winning film,'Loves Me Not' is fast becoming a recommended dating violence awareness resource. Whether it's as a featured component of The Runaway and Homeess Youth & Relationship Toolkit or as a reource in the National Online Resource Ctr. on Violence Against Women, 'Loves Me Not' appears to be off to quite an impactful start! To purchase the DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

 

'Loves Me Not' Wins Accolade Award!

MAPLE AVE dating violence drama honored at prestigious film competition

OutreachArts has just won a prestigious Accolade Award in the Contemporary Issues/Awareness Raising category for their latest 'Maple Ave' series offering,'Loves Me Not'! The 8th installment in the Award-Winning 'Maple Ave' series, 'Loves Me Not' focuses on dating/domestic violence from the POV of a 17 year old deceased victim named Cari. Cari was relentlessly beaten by her boyfriend, Marcos and so viciously bullied by his friends after leaving him that she, ultimately, took her own life. Now Cari finds herself helplessly watching the same thing happen all over again to another girl, Sharon (Marcos' new girlfriend). Between her manipulative and violent boyfriend and her self-absorbed parents, Sharon would appear to have the deck stacked against her - but her best friend, Tina refuses to give up on her. Even as Sharon pushes her away, Tina desperately searches for a way to save her friend from meeting the same fate as Cari. As with all our 'Maple Ave' films, a Leader's Guide is included with the 'Loves Me Not' DVD, featuring dating violence statistics, classroom discussion questions and creative follow-up activities to help students deepen their connection to the issue. The Accolade recognizes film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. In winning an Accolade, OutreachArts joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Bakers, Ph.D., who chairs The Accolade had this to say about the latest winners, “The Accolade is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world. The Accolade helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of The Accolade is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

To purchase the 'Loves Me Not' DVD for your school or organization, please click here for more info.!

 

Suicide Awareness Film Targets Juvenile Justice

OutreachArts creates 'Second Glances' film for Tennessee Department of Mental Health

Tragically overlooked, the alarming rate of youth suicide/suicide attempts in juvenile justice facilities is a growing problem nationwide. In fact, research has shown that the suicide risk among youth in detention is estimated to be more than four times greater than for youth in the general population. Spurred on by such grim statistics, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health (TDMH ) recently began developing a training for juvenile justice staff to help better recognize and aid suicidal youth in their care. The multi-pronged training, called Shield of Care: Protecting Juvenile Justice Youth from Suicide, also features a video component, the compelling drama, *‘Second Glances’. “The film is essentially made up of three vignettes, illustrating youth at various stages of suicidal ideation, " says the film’s writer-director, Richard Wilson, “The whole OutreachArts team really threw themselves into the making of this for the TDMH. It’s clear that taking a ‘second glance’ really can make all the difference here....” The Shield of Care training was based upon available research in a collaborative process that included Tennessee's child serving departments and agencies. This ground-breaking training was also greatly informed by frontline staff working in the juvenile justice system. The funding for the development of this curriculum is from a federal youth suicide prevention and intervention grant, funded via the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act awarded to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. For more information on the debut of the Shied of Care curriculum, please contact, Lygia Williams at Lygia.Williams@tn.gov.

*The Tennessee Department of Mental Health (TDMH) is the author/owner of the Shield of Care: Protecting Juvenile Justice Youth from Suicide and the ‘Second Glances’ video developed as part of the Tennessee Lives Count Juvenile Justice (TLC/JJ) project funded via a grant (#2U79SM057400-04) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.  TLC/JJ is collaboratively implemented with the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee, the Centerstone Research Institute, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, and the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

 

'Loves Me Not' DVD Released!

The 8th MAPLE AVE installment focuses on Teen Dating Violence


OutreachArts is proud to announce the DVD release of its latest MAPLE AVE offering, the dating violence-themed, 'Loves Me Not'. The 8th installment in the Award-Winning MAPLE AVE Series, 'Loves Me Not' focuses on dating/domestic violence from the POV of a 17 year old deceased victim named Cari. Cari was relentlessly beaten by her boyfriend, Marcos and so viciously bullied by his friends after leaving him that she, ultimately, took her own life. Now Cari finds herself helplessly watching the same thing happen all over again to another girl, Sharon (Marcos' new girlfriend). Between her manipulative and violent boyfriend and her self-absorbed parents, Sharon would appear to have the deck stacked against her - but her best friend, Tina refuses to give up on her. Even as Sharon pushes her away, Tina desperately searches for a way to save her friend from meeting the same fate as Cari. As with all our MAPLE AVE films, a Leader's Guide is included with the 'Loves Me Not' DVD, featuring dating violence statistics, classroom discussion questions and creative follow-up activities to help students deepen their connection to the issue. To purchase the DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

 

'Promise Me' Wins Communicator Award!

MAPLE AVE Drama Honored with Award of Distinction at 17th Annual Communicator Awards

'Maple Ave' parental addictions awareness episode,'Promise Me' has been honored yet again; this time with a 2011 Communicator Award! The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded by communication professionals over a decade ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio. The 2011 Communicator Awards received over 6000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms, and public relations firms. The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA). The IAVA is an invitation-only member-based organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: Condè Nast, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, HBO, Keller Crescent, Monster.com, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Tribal DDB, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, Yahoo!, and many others. To purchase the 'Promise Me' DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

 

'Promise Me' Nominated for Voice Award!

SAMHSA Voice Awards ceremony takes place August 24 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA

'Maple Ave' parental addictions awareness episode, 'Promise Me'. has been nominated for a 2011 Voice Award! Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Voice Awards honor consumer/peer leaders who have done exemplary work promoting the social inclusion of individuals with behavioral health problems. The awards also recognize TV and film writers and producers that incorporate dignified, respectful, and accurate portrayals of individuals with behavioral health problems into their scripts, programs, and productions. In 2011, SAMHSA is putting special emphasis on the impact of trauma and the significant effects it can have on individuals, families and friends, communities, and our Nation. Consideration is being given to consumer/peer leaders who have successfully advocated for the rights of trauma survivors and promoted the importance of trauma-informed care. Additional consideration is also being given to TV and film productions that accurately and respectfully portray the experience of trauma, healing, and recovery. All nominated Voice Award productions will be judged in May-June and winners will be announced in late June. The 2011 Voice Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 24 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. The event brings together people from the entertainment industry and behavioral health consumer/peer leader and advocacy communities for a night that celebrates increased awareness of behavioral health (mental health and/or addiction issues) and the power of recovery. For more information about the Voice Awards, please visit http://www.whatadifference.samhsa.gov/voiceawards/.

 

'Promise Me' Wins Gold Remi Award!

MAPLE AVE series honored for 6th year at prestigious WorldFest-Houston Int'l Film Festival

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world, recently announced that the MAPLE AVE parental addictions awareness episode, 'Promise Me'. has won a prestigious Gold Remi Award at its 44th film festival in Houston, TX. The seventh installment in the Emmy Nominated, Award-Winning teen drama series, 'Promise Me' focuses on parents with addictions and the devastating impact they have on their children's lives. This latest honor marks the sixth year WorldFest has chosen to recognize the award-winning teen drama series; in 2006 the bullying/Columbine-themed 'Ghosts in the Hall' won a Gold Remi, in 2007 the self-injury/domestic violence drama 'The Hurting' won a coveted Special Jury Award, in 2008 the suicide awareness episode, 'P.S. I Miss You' was honored with a Silver Remi Award, in 2009 the cyberbullying drama, 'Hating Tami' won a Special Jury Award and in 2010 the eating disorder-body image themed, 'More Than This' won the highly prized Platinum Remi Award. "Fiercely Independent" WorldFest is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Past WorldFest honorees have also included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, The Cohen Brothers, Ang Lee, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Bryan De Palma & Oliver Stone, among many others. With more than 4,500 entries in all categories, only 10-15 percent are winners in WorldFest, so this is certainly quite the honor! To purchase the 'Promise Me' DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

Teen Dating Violence Film Begins Production

The Philadelphia Inquirer peeks at OutreachArts' pre-production of 'Loves Me Not'

Internet Safety Dramas Debut!

Created for AZ's notMYkid & FBI Citizen's Academy Alumni Association new OutreachArts films target Parents & Teens

OutreachArts is proud to announce the debut of its latest collaboration with Arizona’s notMYkid organization and the FBI Citizen's Academy Alumni Association, the internet safety dramas, ‘Hidden Strangers’ and ‘Follow You Home’. With the help of the Helios Foundation, the films are now being offered as part of a larger *presentation to schools nationwide *(known simply as The Internet Safety Program). Much like the successful substance abuse program that preceded it (see ‘Between the Lines’ & ‘Lindsay Says’), this latest notMYkid presentation is yet another powerful educational tool, highlighting the dangers of cyberbullying, sexting and online predators to parents and students alike. Both films follow the same storyline but from different points of view; 'Follow You Home' is designed for younger teens while 'Hidden Strangers' is focused on their parents.

Taken from the notMYkid site, the following statistics help highlight the reasons The Internet Safety Program is so very necessary -

* While 2:3 of teens are likely to be harassed or bullied off-line, nearly 1:3 have been harassed as a result of technology (Lenhart, 2007).

* 160,000 students skip school EACH DAY due to fear of being bullied (SADD, 2008).

* 64% of all teens say they do things online they don’t want their parents to know about (Lenhart, Madden and Rainie, 2006).

* 71% of teens receive messages online from strangers, 45% of teens have been asked for personal information online and 30% of teens contemplate meeting a person they met online (Teenage Research Unlimited, 2006).

* 42% of youths (age 10-17) have seen internet porn in the past year. Two-thirds of these exposures were unwanted (DeNoon, 2007).

For more information on how you can bring The Internet Safety Program to your school, please visit notMYkid today!

 

'Promise Me' Wins 2010 Accolade Award!

MAPLE AVE parental addictions drama honored at prestigious film competition

OutreachArts has just won a prestigious Accolade Award in the Contemporary Issues/Awareness Raising category for their latest 'Maple Ave' series offering,'Promise Me'! The seventh installment in the Emmy Nominated, Award-Winning teen drama series, 'Promise Me' focuses on parents with addictions and the devastating impact they have on their children's lives. The film's storyline centers around 17 year old Ann who is forced to face the grim reality that her parents‘ addictions (alcoholism and problem gambling) are slowly destroying her family. While her older brother Mike’s quiet stoicism is sorely tested by their alcoholic mother’s denial of reality, Ann’s own initial reluctance is also an issue. However, after Ann’s father gambles away her college fund, she can no longer avoid the truth ~ and soon grows deeply depressed. Though her brother and best friend, Tami sense something’s wrong, will they be in time to avert a potential tragedy...?

The Accolade recognizes film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. In winning an Accolade, OutreachArts joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Bakers, Ph.D., who chairs The Accolade had this to say about the latest winners, “The Accolade is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world. The Accolade helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of The Accolade is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

Like all OutreachArts' films, 'Promise Me' was greatly informed by the audience it's designed to reach. "I heard so many heartbreaking stories from the teens I interviewed for this film," said Writer-Director, Richard Wilson, "If we've only captured a thimbleful of the desperation they conveyed to me, it should be more than enough to make audiences sit up and take notice. Their stories were that disturbing - and powerful. This award then is as much a tribute to their inspiring endurance as it is our incredible creative team. Many thanks to the Accolades on behalf of all of us here at OutreachArts and the numerous teens who inspired 'Promise Me'!"

To purchase the 'Promise Me' DVD for your school or organization, please click here for more info.!

 

'More Than This' Wins 2010 Aegis Award!

MAPLE AVE eating disorders & steroid abuse awareness film honored as Drama Finalist

The Aegis Awards, one of the oldest and most respected video/film production contests in the United States has honored 'Maple Ave' body image awareness episode, 'More Than This' with its Drama Finalist Award in its most recent competition. The Aegis Awards are known for being the only competition that features true peer judging by fellow producers, directors, cameramen, editors, and other professionals who work in the video/film industry every day. To purchase the 'More Than This' DVD for your school or organization, please click here for more info.!

 

'More Than This' Wins Platinum Remi Award at 43rd WorldFest-Houston Int'l Fest!!

MAPLE AVE series honored for 5th year at prestigious WorldFest-Houston Film Festival

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world awarded 'Maple Ave' body image awareness episode (touching on eating disorders & steroid abuse), 'More Than This' a prestigious Platinum Remi Award. This latest honor marks the fifth year WorldFest has chosen to recognize the award-winning teen drama series; in 2006, the bullying/Columbine-themed 'Ghosts in the Hall' won a Gold Remi, in 2007, the self-injury/domestic violence drama 'The Hurting' won a coveted Special Jury Award and, in 2008, the suicide awareness episode, 'P.S. I Miss You' was honored with a Silver Remi Award and in 2009 the cyberbullying awareness episode, 'Hating Tami won a Special Jury Award. "Fiercely Independent" WorldFest is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Past WorldFest honorees have also included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, The Cohen Brothers, Ang Lee, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Bryan De Palma & Oliver Stone, among many others. To purchase the 'More Than This' DVD for your school or organization, please click here for more info.!

 

New Substance Abuse Dramas for Teens & Parents

Preview the new films, 'Lindsay Says' & 'Between The Lines' created for notMYkid

Preview clips from the substance abuse awareness dramas, 'Lindsay Says'and 'Between The Lines' created for nationally recognized AZ-based organization, notMYkid. Both films tell the story of a 'good kid' who unwittingly gets caught up in the ugly spiral of substance abuse; 'Lindsay Says' is told from the teen's POV while 'Between The Lines' is told from the parent's. For more information, please contact notMYkid @ 602-652-0163 today!

 

'More Than This' DVD Released!

Living in the shadow of his older brother's past athletic glories, Donnie turns to steroid abuse to help him 'measure up' on the basketball court. Not long after, he finds his life slowly spinning out of control as his girlfriend, Angela tries in vain to help him kick his addiction. In the meantime, Angela is also struggling to convince her friends, Dara and Lucy, that, contrary to what they've read on the internet, anorexia and bulimia are not 'lifestyle choices' but, instead, serious medical disorders. Angela should know; she too once struggled with bulimia but now finds herself reluctant to share this potentially helpful fact with her two misguided friends. Donnie's Coach, Jack, is also struggling with intervening in what he suspects may be Donnie's steroid problem. However, once Jack's sister, Joy reminds him of her son's tragic loss to drugs, he is forced to reconsider his position. Focusing on body image issues via steroid abuse and eating disorders, 'More Than This' also strongly emphasizes the importance of doing right by others ~ even when it's personally difficult. (Click above picture to view the trailer). Click here for DVD purchase info.!

 

'Hating Tami' Wins Special Jury Award at 42nd WorldFest-Houston Int'l Fest!!

MAPLE AVE series honored for 4th year at prestigious WorldFest-Houston Film Festival

(Pictured above, from L to R;  Leah Pressman as 'Tami' & Devon Jordan as 'Angela' in a climactic scene from the cyber-bullying drama, 'Hating Tami'.)

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world awarded 'Maple Ave' cyber-bullying awareness episode, 'Hating Tami' a prestigious Special Jury Award at its April 25th 42nd Awards Gala in Houston, TX. This latest honor marks the fourth year WorldFest has chosen to recognize the award-winning teen drama series; in 2006, the bullying/Columbine-themed 'Ghosts in the Hall' won a Gold Remi, in 2007, the self-injury/domestic violence drama 'The Hurting' won a coveted Special Jury Award and, in 2008, the suicide awareness episode, 'P.S. I Miss You' was honored with a Silver Remi Award. "Fiercely Independent" WorldFest is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Past WorldFest honorees have also included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, The Cohen Brothers, Ang Lee, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Bryan De Palma & Oliver Stone, among many others.

To purchase the '
Hating Tami' DVD for your school or organization, please click here for more info.!


OutreachArts Continues Suicide Prevention Campaign

In '08 the company worked with MA's Education Development Ctr. & CO's Carson J. Spencer Foundation and Regis University on two very different suicide awareness films



OutreachArts
continued its ongoing participation in nationwide suicide prevention efforts with two very different projects in 2008. One project, created for MA-based Education Development Center, Inc., (EDC)., focused on suicide prevention in juvenile correctional facilities. OutreachArts was asked by the EDC to create a short documentary featuring the insights of several juvenile justice state agency directors to help compliment a set of ground-breaking, new suicide prevention training materials for directors nationwide. Due to the fact that no such materials had previously existed, either within the fields of suicide prevention or  juvenile justice, OutreachArts helped fill a significant 'training gap', while continuing its long tradition of reaching out to at-risk populations about suicide prevention. The second suicide awareness initiative the company began this year was for CO's Carson J Spencer Foundation and Regis University. The project, entitled 'Long Way Home', focuses on the issue of college-age suicide and its impact on students and their parents. Though suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, many might be shocked to discover that it ranks an alarming second place among 20 to 24 year olds. In fact, according to a 2006 American College Health Association Survey, 93% of students reported feeling "overwhelmed" at some point in the last year, with 48% admitting that they were so depressed at times that they found it difficult to function. "Everywhere you turn there is pressure to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect friends, join this, get involved with that. Keep your parents happy, keep your professors happy, keep your coaches happy," a student shares in a recent *BACCHUS Network publication *(BACCHUS is the largest student health organization in the world). Moved by such alarming information, OutreachArts set to work with Sally Spencer-Thomas, the Executive Director of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, on developing a short drama that focused on the issue of college-age suicide. To aid in script development, Spencer-Thomas invited OutreachArts Writer-Filmmaker, Richard Wilson to attend the Spencer Foundation's first "Bridging the Divide: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit" last May which brought together some of the best minds and most passionate advocates in the field of suicide prevention. While at the conference, Wilson filmed related interviews with students, parents and educators for the documentary component of the new film. Though slated for completion in 2009, the documentary portion of the film was recently completed and uploaded to YouTube (click above 'Long Way Home' clip to view). "Parents play a critical role in promoting their students' mental health during the often stressful transition from high school to college," Spencer-Thomas recently commented, " When students have a pre-existing mental health condition, this transition sometimes exacerbates what was before a well managed disorder. Regis University, the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and the BACCHUS Network have partnered with OutreachArts and funding from SAMHSA to create a brief documentary on the perspectives of suicide from students and their parents.  We hope that this film can increase dialogue among families who are coping with these issues."  Spencer-Thomas goes on to offer that additional resources for families, students and other campus stake-holders can be found at www.PeoplePreventSuicide.org. For more information on the 'Long Way Home' project, please contact us today @ info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

'Hating Tami' in the News!

 

'Hating Tami': New Film Explores Female Bullies

New MAPLE AVE Drama Addresses Relational Aggression Among Teen Girls

Exclusion, malicious gossiping, name-calling, withholding affection and friendship; these are the hallmarks of female relational aggression, and in our Internet/Technology age, sadly, such insidious bullying only appears to be growing. With recent studies showing that Cyber-Bullying has more devastating, long-term effects on its victims than traditional bullying, it's clear that relational aggression is rapidly expanding - particularly among young girls. In fact, a recent American Educational Research Association study shows that female bullies actually prefer the use of text messaging harassment versus face-to-face bullying 2 to 1. Armed with such alarming statistics and hours of related teen interviews, OutreachArts' Writer-Filmmaker, Richard Wilson of Berlin, NJ began developing 'Hating Tami' (pictured above), the fifth installment in his award-winning teen-family drama series, 'Maple Ave'. (The critically acclaimed television/video series focuses on the everyday issues/struggles of teens and their parents. Since 2003, the Emmy Nominated, Telly, Omni & Remi Award-Winning series has reached millions of North America viewers via PBS, The Independent Film Channel/IFC and the classroom.) The film also features the acting talents of Olivia Fitzmaurice-Shean, 17, "I feel honored to be part of a project that is tackling the important issue of bullying, specifically involving teenage girls. My character, Ann, is a strong girl, who doesn't depend on the others' opinions when it comes to her self-esteem," explains Olivia, "She believes in herself and isn't afraid to stand up for her friends, especially Tami. I hope that other girls can learn from Ann's strength, and not be worried about standing up to bullies in their own lives." For Amanda Dickinson, 19, who plays one of the bullies, 'Lucy', the project hits very close to home, "I suffered from being bullied when I was younger and deal with issues still to this day. I believe that bullying leads to personal problems at the moment it is happening and also down the road. There should be more actions taken to stop bullying in schools and work environments." "This project has been a real eye-opener for me," Wilson recently commented, "In many ways, it's the most challenging script I've ever written, in that I'm engaging the female perspective on a much deeper level. There are just so many more layers to explore than in 'Ghosts in the Hall' (the series' award-winning, male bullying-themed episode) - and that's really saying something!" In the film, Angela and her friends take every opportunity to make Tami's life miserable, even going so far as to pose as a boy interested in Tami on a social networking site. As the story unfolds, we are also introduced to Tami and Angela's respective parents, ultimately providing clues to their behavior and various life stressors. While Tami's hyper-competitive parents continually pressure their 'A' student daughter to be the best at everything, Angela's single Mom appears more interested in being her daughter's best friend than her parent. All the while, sympathetic teacher, Ms. Hutchinson has been attempting to reach out to Tami but finds her reluctant to open up. In a dramatic turn of events, Angela's cruel prank is uncovered - but is it too late...?

For more information about 'Hating Tami', please contact us today @ info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

 

College Suicide Awareness Drama To Reach Students & Parents

OutreachArts working with CO's Carson J. Spencer Foundation on all-new suicide awareness film approach

(Pictured above, a scene from the OutreachArts-created suicide awareness film series, 'Never Enough', part of ColumbiaCare's acclaimed RESPONSE program. The new Spencer Foundation film, tentatively titled, 'Long Way Home' will explore similar themes in a college setting. )

Though suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, many might be shocked to discover that it ranks an alarming second place among 20 to 24 year olds. In fact, according to a 2006 American College Health Association Survey, 93% of students reported feeling "overwhelmed" at some point in the last year, with 48% admitting that they were so depressed at times that they found it difficult to function. "Everywhere you turn there is pressure to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect friends, join this, get involved with that. Keep your parents happy, keep your professors happy, keep your coaches happy," a student shares in a recent *BACCHUS Network publication *(BACCHUS is the largest student health organization in the world). Moved by such alarming information, OutreachArts has set to work with Sally Spencer-Thomas, the Executive Director of the Carson J Spencer Foundation (a Colorado non-profit committed to preventing suicide), on developing a short drama that focuses on the issue of college-age suicide and its impact on students and their parents. (Ms. Spencer-Thomas also serves as the Director of Leadership Development at Regis University in Denver.) The finished drama, featuring a short documentary component, will be made available as both an iPod-ready series of six 3 minute webisodes and a full-length 20 minute DVD that will then be offered for college/classroom use and to local PBS affiliates for air. OutreachArts Writer-Filmmaker, Richard Wilson recently attended the Spencer Foundation's first "Bridging the Divide: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit" which brought together some of the best minds and most passionate advocates in the field of suicide prevention. Wilson's presence at the conference was two-fold; to film related interviews with students, parents and educators for the documentary component of the new college-suicide awareness film (tentatively titled 'Long Way Home') and to present the award winning suicide-themed 'Maple Ave' films 'P.S. I Miss You' and 'The Hurting'. Wilson happily reported the positive response to both films as 'incredibly gratifying' and the interview-segments he filmed, 'both heartbreaking and inspiring'. "The conference was absolutely incredible ~ what a truly wonderful collection of people and resources! Without a doubt, these unforgettable encounters will go a long way in informing our film...," Wilson said. Right now, the Spencer Foundation has approximately 1/3 of the funding needed to produce the film and, with OutreachArts, is currently in search of additional partners to make this much-needed project a reality before the end of 2008. So, if you're interested in finding out how your organization can become involved in the 'Long Way Home' project, please don't hesitate to contact us today @ info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

'P.S. I Miss You' Wins the Silver at Int'l Film Fest!

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world, recently wrapped its' 41st film festival in Houston, TX with OutreachArts own 'Maple Ave' suicide awareness episode, 'P.S. I Miss You' winning the festival's prestigious Silver Remi Award (in the 'Family Matters' category). Having given first honors to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Lynch, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, The Coen Brothers, Brian De Palma and many more, this latest honor marks the third year WorldFest has chosen to recognize OutreachArts award-winning teen drama series. In 2006, the bullying/Columbine-themed 'Ghosts in the Hall' won a Gold Remi Award and in 2007, the self-injury/domestic violence-themed 'The Hurting' won a coveted Special Jury Award. In late 2007, P.S. I Miss You was also honored with an Omni Intermedia Award, which recognizes outstanding entries in Film, Television, and Interactive productions. Alongside 'The Hurting', the film is also currently listed as one the Top 10 Dramas on The Independent Film Channel/IFC's Media Lab website. (Click here to view a special clip from the film on IFC's Media Lab site.) Over the last year, the film has even begun reaching an international audience with its inclusion in places as far away as the National Taiwan University Library. "With the film continuing to grow a really wonderful, diverse audience, it's a thrill to be honored by WorldFest in this way," the film's Writer-Director, Richard T. Wilson recently said, "Out of their 4,500 entries only 10-15 percent are winners, so this award really means alot to the whole 'Maple Ave' family!"

To purchase a DVD copy of 'P.S. I Miss You' for your school or organization, please click here.

Female Bullying Drama Workshop & Film Hit Home

With almost 30% of youth in the United States currently estimated to be involved in bullying either as a bully, a target, or both, OutreachArts latest initiative with The Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ, Inc.would seem very timely indeed. No stranger to anti-bullying initiatives (see the award winning 'Ghosts in the Hall'), OutreachArts was asked by the Girl Scouts' Outreach Specialist, Rona Whitehead to put together a bullying-themed drama workshop and a companion documentary for the girls at the Youth Empowerment System (YES) treatment facility located in Camden County, NJ. The YES Facility is a community-based treatment program offering a safe haven to troubled Camden County youth, ages 11-17. (The facility offers both short-term emergency shelter care and long-term, residential treatment.) Also proudly known as Girl Scout Troop 30681, the YES girls were given professional insights into the respective crafts/disciplines of film and theatre by OutreachArts before splitting off into two groups to create their own bullying awareness dramas. "Naturally, we encouraged the two groups to pull heavily from their own experiences in writing their scripts," said OutreachArts' Richard Wilson (pictured above left), "What they came up with were two brutally honest, powerful pieces. In the process, I think we learned as much from them as they did from us..." Leading the workshop were Wilson and Marge Triplo (pictured above right), while Director of Photography, Lauren Celinski captured the proceedings on film. In summing up the project for the Girl Scouts, Rona Whitehead recently said, "The Girl Scouts of Troop 30681, located at the YES treatment facility, enjoyed the ability to write, direct and perform in their own productions on bullying. They had discussions on how and when bullying occurs and how severe the consequences may be for the target. They were delighted to watch their final production."

For more information on this & other programs, please contact us today at info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

'P.S. I Miss You' Wins Omni Award!

Media Corp. Inc., recently announced the winners of the Omni Intermedia Awards which recognize outstanding entries in Film, Television, and Interactive productions. One of the top Omni Awards went to OutreachArts for our acclaimed suicide awareness drama, 'P.S. I Miss You' (part of our award winning 'Maple Ave' film series). According to the Omni Awards, our production received recognition due to 'its clear demonstration of highest quality in production and content'. Primarily focused in the converging fields of Film, Video, TV, Internet, Interactive Media, Animation and Audio production, the Omni Awards exist to recognize outstanding media productions that engage, empower and enlighten. As a nationally known award competition, they have developed their reputation by only awarding only those who exemplify the highest standards of quality. Omni Intermedia Awards have been presented to companies such as Dreamworks SKG, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Learning Channel, Arthur Andersen, Eastman Kodak, Ford, MTV, VH1, Telemundo, Warner Brothers, PBS, U.S. Army, Canon USA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art. Jim Owens, Senior Administrator of the Omni Awards said, "This award recognizes the most outstanding works in the field of media production and rewards those companies who can capture the imagination and effectively communicate their message."

To purchase a DVD copy of 'P.S. I Miss You' for your school or organization, please click here.

MAPLE AVE Airs Nationally On IFC!

Viewers call THE HURTING 'superb', 'a great depiction of the pain and truth of injury'

This December The Independent Film Channel (IFC) shares a dramatic clip from the award-winning self-injury drama, 'The Hurting' with its more than 41 million viewers - and the film's writer-director, Richard T. Wilson, couldn't be happier. "First of all, this is just a dream come true for all of us involved in the film," says the 43 filmmaker and founder of OutreachArts,"not to mention an incredible opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of self-injury among a national audience." Some of that same audience helped win the film a national airing by voting for it via IFC's online component, Media Lab. Online viewers rated the three minute clip with as many as five stars, calling it "superb" and a "great depiction of the pain and truth of injury". The same clip also received similarly enthusiastic reponses from the YouTube and My Space communities, and this past Spring the full film was awarded a prestigious Special Jury Award at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival. (One of the oldest and largest film & video competitions in the world, WorldFest has also given first honors to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Lynch, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, The Coen Brothers, Brian De Palma and many more.) 'The Hurting' was also the center-piece of the recent PBS Arkansas Educational Television Network's self-injury documentary, 'Hidden Wounds: What you don't know about Cutting'. Aired as part of the station's annual Back-To-School week programming, the premiere was a 'rousing success' in the words of AETN Producer, Bruce Rodtnick. Rodtnick also added that the typical viewer response was essentially, 'it was disturbing, but needed'.

Self-Injury: A Grave & Growing Problem

For an estimated 2 to 3 million Americans, self-injury, or 'cutting' as it is more commonly known, is a grave and growing problem - especially among teens. Disturbed by this alarming trend and compelled to investigate further, Wilson went directly to the source in late 2005, meeting with teen cutters who then proceeded to take him on a journey that ultimately led to 'The Hurting'. The short drama is part of the critically-acclaimed 'Maple Ave' series which Wilson began over three years ago to 'help families better connect in an increasingly disconnected world'. Since 2003, the Emmy Nominated, Telly, Omni and Remi Award-Winning series has reached millions of viewers nationwide, via PBS and the classroom, with its' unique take on the everyday issues/struggles of teens and their parents. Wilson commented that the research for 'The Hurting' was 'especially painful'. "The abusive backgrounds that a lot of these kids come from are absolutely heartbreaking. Whether it's psychological, physical or both, the abuse that's regularly inflicted upon these kids, usually by a family member, just deadens them inside. By self-injuring, they suddenly feel alive again and, more importantly, in control...it's essentially a coping mechanism, albeit a very destructive one." Wilson recollects one girl telling him that she cut herself because her parents were "too high to care." Another student told him, "The physical pain numbs the emotional pain." Another said they cut, "to prove I'm real." Upon learning of his daughter's cutting, one father's reaction was, "How can you insult me like this? You didn't get it from me." These and other heartbreaking stories found their way in to the film's final story-line. In 'The Hurting' main character, Ashley Sanchez (played by Corazon Rodriguez, pictured above) resorts to 'cutting' to cope with an abusive father, who's regularly victimized her family as far back as she can remember. Like a growing number of teens nationwide, Ashley regularly cuts her arms and legs, substituting her overwhelming inner pain and rage with an external pain that she is seemingly better able to manage.

Future Plans

Currently, Wilson has plans for a fifth 'Maple Ave' installment (focusing on female bullying), which is set to shoot in 2008. However, he is also actively looking to partner with a larger production company to help develop another 'Maple Ave'-like series that would reach an even wider audience. Wilson envisions, "kids regularly downloading five minute episodes of this show to their cell phones, ultimately influencing the storylines with their direct input". If the current response to 'The Hurting' is any indication, this new Wilson-created show may be just around the corner...

IFC AIR DATES & TIMES FOR 'THE HURTING'

Wed 12/05/07 @ 8:20AM (EST)

Wed 12/12/07 @ 1:00PM (EST)

Wed 12/19/07 @ 5:40PM (EST)

Fri 12/21/07 @ 9:25AM (EST)

Tue 12/25/07 @ 7:10AM (EST)

Fri 12/28/07 @ 2:20AM (EST)

For additional times, please check your local IFC listings under 'Media Lab Results'.

To purchase a DVD copy of 'The Hurting' for your school or organization, please click here.

Acclaimed Suicide Awareness Series Completed!

With the recent release of the 'Never Enough': Parent Component film (pictured above far left), the acclaimed 'Never Enough' suicide awareness video series, created for Eugene, Oregon's Looking Glass Youth & Family Services by OutreachArts, is now officially complete. As its title suggests, this final installment focuses on what parents can do to better recognize and help a troubled teen who may be considering suicide. Earlier this year, OutreachArts was proud to announce that the Looking Glass Youth & Family Services' program RESPONSE (a comprehensive high school based youth suicide awareness program), featuring the 'Never Enough' film series, had been designated a best practice and is now listed in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Best Practice Registry. (In order to be listed as a best practice, the program is reviewed by a panel of experts in the field of suicide prevention who determine whether the program adheres to set standards in the field.) Looking Glass Prevention Specialist and 'Never Enough' Executive Producer, Jill A. Hollingsworth recently commented, "It's such a pleasure to offer schools tools they actually look forward to using. The "Never Enough" film series developed for RESPONSE clearly reflects (writer-director) Richard Wilson's talent, revealing issues that are missed in other media productions addressing suicide prevention. At the series' core is an amazing cast capable of tackling a difficult topic. Well done! "

For more information about the RESPONSE program, please review the following fact sheet and visit the links below: http://www.sprc.org/featured_resources/bpr/PDF/RESPONSE_FactSheet.pdf

State of Oregon: http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ipe/ysp/response.shtml

Association of Suicidology (scroll down to 'Never Enough' for review of
student video): http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=25

*For more information on how OutreachArts can create a similar film series for your organization, please contact us at info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

New Problem Gambling Film A Big Hit!

'Damage Done' touches nerve among problem gamblers

'Damage Done' (pictured above), a film focusing on the unique set of challenges a problem gambler's family has to face daily, had its debut recently at a Nevada problem gambling treatment center ~ and found an extremely receptive audience. Naturally, the film's producer, the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, couldn't have been more pleased. "The gamblers in treatment loved it! They said it really helped them appreciate what their gambling had done to the family and helped them understand what was going on with their loved ones now that they are in treatment (fear, anger, resentment...!). This gives a whole new perspective to the value of the film for treatment purposes. It may become a vehicle for family therapy - to talk about the emotional healing that is needed," enthused the Council's Executive Director, Carol O'Hare. Upon hearing the news, the film's writer-director, OutreachArts' Richard Wilson commented, "This is what OutreachArts is all about ~ 'really wonderful news! We wish the Nevada Council continued success with the piece and are truly honored to have worked with them and their community."

If you'd like OutreachArts to *create something similar for your community, please contact us today at info@outreacharts.com or 856-719-8380.

'The Hurting' Featured In Acclaimed PBS Special!

AETN's self -injury special, 'Hidden Wounds' has successful debut

With the recent debut of PBS Arkansas Educational Television Network's self-injury documentary, 'Hidden Wounds: What you don't know about cutting', which prominently features OutreachArts' award-winning drama 'The Hurting' , the station's large viewing audience was made aware of a very serious problem affecting an estimated 2 to 3 million Americans. AETN Producer, Bruce Rodtnick called the premiere a 'rousing success' and said the typical viewer response was essentially, 'it was disturbing, but needed'. In the film, audiences learned that while the majority of people who self-injure are women between the ages of 13 and 30, "cutters" make up all age, gender, and economic groups. Aired as part of the station's annual Back-To-School week programming, 'Hidden Wounds' also features an array of healthcare professionals, psychiatrists/psychologists, counselors/school counselors providing insightful commentary. The film will soon be made available as a DVD (with added resources) to Arkansas educators throughout the state and added to the station's Professional Development Portal (www.ideas.aetn.org). OutreachArts', Writer-Filmmaker Richard Wilson commented, "We're always thrilled to work with our friends at PBS, and particularly proud to be part of this special project with AETN. We look forward to the film's continued success and any and all future collaborations..."

To purchase a DVD copy of 'The Hurting' for your school or organization, please click here.

Two Different Looks At Problem Gambling

New Films Explore Problem Gambler's Impact On Family & The Deadly Lure Of Internet Gambling

The National Council on Problem Gambling defines problem gambling as 'behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life; physical , social or vocational.' Together, OutreachArts' two latest problem gambling films ('Damage Done' & 'Better Deal'), dramatically illustrate these same disruptions from two very different points of view ...

'Damage Done'

Carol O'Hare, Executive Director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling thought it was time to shed light on how some of those same 'disruptions' impact the problem gambler's family. With this in mind, O'Hare and her team set to work with OutreachArts' Richard Wilson to create their second film together, 'Damage Done'. "Carol really wanted us to focus on the unique set of challenges a problem gambler's family has to face daily," Wilson commented recently, " So, a decision was made to focus more on the family instead of putting the gambler center stage this time out - in effect, isolating what the disease has wrought; the 'damage done'." The film, part of the Nevada Council's family outreach module, will address the impact of problem gambling on the family and will be made available to community agencies and mental health treatment programs throughout Nevada for use in client and community education. Upon viewing the finished film, O'Hare wrote Wilson the following - "I watched 'Damage Done' yesterday.....3 times. It is an amazing piece of work! At the end all I could think was, "He nailed it!" Your actors were awesome and the editing was brilliant. Most importantly, I felt the story every step of the way. I know this is going to reach people in a way we've never been able to with 'gambler films'. ...seeing our family issue come alive on this film was absolutely inspiring. I think 'Damage Done' will be a powerful resource to bring these families out of the shadow of the gambler and give them the respect (and hopefully the help) that they need and deserve. I would love to meet these actors someday and tell them personally how grateful I am for what they gave us in this film. Of course, I know even the best actors couldn't have done this without a Director who understood what the goal was. Thank you so much for investing yourself in this subject. I could see and hear so many of the things we discussed and little threads of the stories of the family members' that you talked to. Thanks for listening to us and really hearing what we were trying to say!" For more information on 'Damage Done', please contact The Nevada Council On Problem Gambling at (702) 369-9740 or via Email @ NevCouncil@aol.com.

'Better Deal'

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and The Council On Compulsive Gambling Of NJ chronicle their own problem gambling 'disruptions' - this time from the gambler's POV - in the new OutreachArts' internet gambling-themed film, 'Better Deal' . Often referred to as the 'crack cocaine' of gambling, internet gambling has skyrocketed in recent years, particularly among young people, even prompting the U.S. Congress to pass the prohibitive Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Since online games are generally played in isolation, a no-holds-barred atmosphere is quickly promoted where money can be spent (and lost) very rapidly. "Not only did we focus on the problem gambler in this one, both of the main characters in the film are struggling with an addiction to internet gambling. They also happen to be best friends," Wilson explained, "So when one of the two characters commits suicide as a direct result of his addiction, the impact on the remaining friend is obviously seismic, pushing him to ask for help in a way he might not have otherwise." 'Better Deal' also dramatically highlights the negative impact that problem gambling has on the character's family, friends and academic performance. Since its' successful premeire at a national conference on internet gambling earlier this year, The Division of Gaming Enforcement and The Council report that 'Better Deal' continues to receive 'praise' at the high schools and rehab centers where it's been shown. If you are a New Jersey teacher, student assistance counselor, or other school-based professional and would like more information about 'Better Deal', please contact the Council On Compulsive Gambling Of NJ's Education Coordinator, Terry Elman. You may contact Terry at (609) 588-5515 ext. 18 or Email him at terry@800gambler.org.

'Maple Ave' Awarded Prestigious Honor at Worldfest-Houston Int'l Film Festival!

'The Hurting' Receives Special Jury Award

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film & video competitions in the world, recently wrapped its' 40th Anniversary film festival in Houston, TX and OutreachArts' own 'Maple Ave' series was among its' top Remi Award winners. Having given first honors to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Lynch, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, The Coen Brothers, Brian De Palma and many more, WorldFest has honored 'Maple Ave' self-injury awareness installment 'The Hurting' with its' prestigious Special Jury Award (in the 'Family Matters' category). The Special Jury Awards (Grand Remi Nominees) are the highest awards for creative excellence in each major category. "'Maple Ave' has received a number of wonderful honors over the years (Emmy Nominations, Telly Award, etc.) but this, by far, is the biggest and the best!," enthused 'Maple Ave' creator, Richard Wilson, "We had a truly wonderful cast and crew in 'The Hurting' and I'm thrilled that their efforts are being recognized in such a major way."

Self-Injury: A Grave & Growing Problem

For an estimated 2 to 3 million Americans, self-injury, or 'cutting' as it is more commonly known, is a grave and growing problem - especially among teens. Disturbed by this alarming trend and compelled to investigate further, Wilson went directly to the source, meeting with teen cutters who then proceeded to take him on a journey that ultimately led to 'The Hurting'. The short drama, written and directed by Wilson, debuted on PBS last January and is part of the critically-acclaimed 'Maple Ave' series which the 43 year old filmmaker began over three years ago to 'help families better connect in an increasingly disconnected world'. Since 2003, the Emmy Nominated, Telly and Remi Award-Winning series has reached millions of viewers nationwide, via PBS and the classroom, with its' unique take on the everyday issues/struggles of teens and their parents. "I'm only reporting back on what kids are telling me - and, obviously, a lot of it isn't pretty," Wilson said. Recently, an especially powerful clip from 'The Hurting' was uploaded to the popular YouTube and blip.tv video-sharing sites with the hope that 'the clip will be shared and help provide a glimpse in to an often misunderstood disorder.' Wilson also commented that the research for 'The Hurting' was 'especially painful'. "The abusive backgrounds that a lot of these kids come from are absolutely heartbreaking. Whether it's psychological, physical or both, the abuse that's regularly inflicted upon these kids, usually by a family member, just deadens them inside. By self-injuring, they suddenly feel alive again and, more importantly, in control...it's essentially a coping mechanism, albeit a very destructive one." Wilson recollects one girl telling him that she cut herself because her parents were "too high to care." Another student told him, "The physical pain numbs the emotional pain." Another said they cut, "to prove I'm real." Upon learning of his daughter's cutting, one father's reaction was, "How can you insult me like this? You didn't get it from me." These and other heartbreaking stories found their way in to the film's final story-line. In 'The Hurting' main character, Ashley Sanchez (played by Corazon Rodriguez) resorts to 'cutting' to cope with an abusive father, who's regularly victimized her family as far back as she can remember. Like a growing number of teens nationwide, Ashley regularly cuts her arms and legs, substituting her overwhelming inner pain and rage with an external pain that she is seemingly better able to manage. This last illusion is finally dispelled in a heart-wrenching finale that finds a desperate Ashley reaching out to a sympathetic teacher for help.

'…a very, very powerful film.'

Buffalo, NY PBS affiliate WNED debuted 'The Hurting' back in January, along with the three other films that make up the acclaimed 'Maple Ave' series. The station's ThinkBright TV Program Manager, Goldie Gardner, called 'The Hurting', "a very, very powerful film. … another outstanding installment of 'Maple Ave'. ... I had no idea that this problem is so widespread...." Wilson is grateful for Gardner's and other PBS affiliates ongoing support of the series. "Naturally, our hope is raise as much awareness about the issue as possible and PBS and now YouTube and blip.tv are certainly helping us to do just that."

To purchase the DVD for your school or organization, please visit our Buy DVDs page today!

What PBS Is Saying About Our Award Winning TV Series, 'MAPLE AVE'...

 

"Other than the occasional 'After School Special', there are very few television programs that are devoted to the many challenges teens face in our fast-paced and often confusing world. So I was delighted to see that you are producing a series dealing with serious issues, such as depression and bullying that affect young adults. As I said when we spoke by phone, 'Jenny's Reasons' and 'Ghosts in the Hall', part of the MAPLE AVE series, were two of the finest shows for young people I've ever seen. They honestly address important issues from the teens' point of view without ever feeling contrived or preachy. Your shows are honest and compassionate and, above all, REAL! Kudos to your talented writers and actors! When I watched the preview, I believed in these people and cared about them. To me, that's one of the hallmarks of great programming. I can hardly wait to see the next episode of MAPLE AVE and I'm looking forward to GORDON TERRACE and CEDAR GROVE as well. Many thanks for allowing us to air 'Jenny's Reasons' and 'Ghosts in the Hall' on ThinkBright TV. I know our young viewers and their families will enjoy them as much as I did."

- Goldie Gardner, WNED ThinkBright, Program Manager, Buffalo, NY

To Read More PBS Quotes CLICK HERE.

For more information please contact us at (856)-719-8380 or mapleave@outreacharts.com.

'The Hurting' Airs Nationally On IFC (Courier-Post, 12/7/07)

'The Hurting' Debuts On PBS (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/18/07)

Interview: OutreachArts' Richard T. Wilson (Courier-Post, 9/11/05)

'Jenny's Reasons'/Teen's Perspective (Courier-Post, 8/5/03)

Profile: OutreachArts' Richard T. Wilson (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/27/03)

 

 

 

         

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