State Theatre Hosts Free Sneak Preview of Upcoming Documentary "Bully"

State Theatre Hosts Free Sneak Preview of Upcoming Documentary "Bully"

Kicks Off Bullying Awareness Week in Traverse City, In Partnership with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and a Group of Michigan Non Profits and Governmental Agencies

TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- On Monday, March 12, the State Theatre is hosting a free sneak preview of the documentary "Bully" at 6:30 pm, prior to its national release later this month. The film has been featured in recent national news stories about Michigan 17-year-old Katy Butler, who this past Wednesday delivered a petition with more than 200,000 signatures protesting the film's MPAA rating to the Motion Picture Association of America's office in Sherman Oaks, CA.

The film will kick of Bullying Awareness Week, March 11-17, which will feature several community events focusing on the problem of bullying and on getting involved in efforts to help make the City of Traverse City a bully-free community.

Monday evening will begin with an introduction by Melissa A. Claramunt, American Indian Specialist/Civil Rights Specialist, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and a reading of a Mayoral Proclamation declaring March 11-17, 2012 as "Bullying Awareness Week." After the film, director Lee Hirsch will participate in question and answer session via Skype, and the audience will hear thoughts from a community youth panel.

Only 400 tickets are available to this special sneak preview screening. Passes are available at 12 noon on Friday, March 9 by calling the State Theatre box office at 231-947-3446 or by visiting the box office downtown at 233 E Front Street.

Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, "Bully" is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. "Bully" follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals' offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.

The film's trailer can be viewed here:

Katy Butler asked that the MPAA change their rating of the film to PG-13 from R, which it received for "some language" -- specifically for the f-word, which is used several times in the film.

Other Bullying Awareness Week events include:

* On Tuesday, March 13 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the Traverse Area District Library, a Teen Book Talk program will feature an overview discussion featuring a variety of recommended books for teens that focus on stories of tolerance and acceptance, including "Arc of Justice" by Kevin Boyle.

* On Wednesday, March 14, at Traverse City East Middle School

* On Thursday, March 15 from 4 to 7 pm, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission will sponsor a FREE public forum at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City. The forum, featuring Invited speakers and comments the public, will focus on bullying's effects on victims, bystanders, families, workers and educators.

* On Friday, March 16 from 9 am to 2:30 pm, also at the Hagerty Center, youth and adults are invited to a free one day conference focused on raising awareness on bullying and changing behavior. Registration is required by Friday, March 9 by contacting Third Level at or by calling 231-922-4800. Michael Zelley, Michigan Civil Rights Commission Chair, stated, "As we've traveled the state and learned more about bullying and harassment and its life-changing long-term effects, the Commission has become even more committed to hearing people's stories and using what we learn to foster change in Michigan."

Bullying Awareness Week Events are Presented by:
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Michigan Civil Rights Commission
Northwestern Michigan College
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Michigan State Police
Third Level Crisis Center
Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund
State Theatre

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Topics : Entertainment_CultureSocial Issues
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Locations : MichiganTraverse City
People : Katy ButlerKevin BoyleLee HirschMelissa A. ClaramuntMichael Zelley

03/09/2012 9:09AM
State Theatre Hosts Free Sneak Preview of Upcoming Documentary "Bully"
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