A look at her actions, her motivations and the true meaning of compassion.

Confessions of a Former Bully A Project of Documentaries

Why people choose to bully others is essential to comprehensive bullying prevention.

SYNOPSIS

Natasha and Jane became fast friends as sixth grade started but within the first few weeks of middle school things started changing. Jane proved to be a good student and a talented actor, the only sixth grader to earn a major role in the school play. Natasha grew intensely jealous of Jane and increasingly insecure about her own abilities. The only area in which Natasha was more successful than Jane was in her social savvy. As Natasha climbed the social ladder, she decided to use her power against Jane in an effort to boost her own self-esteem. By the middle of sixth grade, Natasha had embarked on a three-year campaign to punish Jane socially, while basking in her own popularity. Natasha's coveted position in the popular group enabled her to ensure Jane's status as the class outcast for almost all of middle school. Until the end of eighth grade, when Jane bravely confronted the entire class about their cruelty, forcing Natasha to begin what would become years of examining her actions, her motivations and the true meaning of compassion.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

I've played every role in the bullying cycle – the target, the bystander, and for one regrettable summer I joined a group of girls in bullying a peer. When I started researching this film, I had forgotten that summer. But with some reflection, I came to terms with what I'd done and vowed to create a project that would help kids who bully others re-assess their behavior. I'm convinced that without giving kids who bully the space they need to understand, reflect on and change their behavior, we are neglecting a crucial part of the discussion.

Confessions of a Former Bully is the first film about bullying told solely from the perspective of the perpetrator. Most media portray those who bully as cruel, cold-hearted monsters. Have we forgotten that no one is born a bully? There are myriad reasons kids choose to bully, and the reasons are as varied and complex as the perpetrators themselves. In Confessions of a Former Bully I wanted to humanize a perpetrator to allow the audience to understand, and hopefully, empathize with her. I believe that understanding why people choose to bully others is essential to comprehensive bullying prevention and I hope this film reaches as many kids, and the adults who care about them, as possible.

CREATIVE TEAM

LISA COHEN DIRECTOR/PRODUCER

Lisa worked as a technical post producer for over 15 years, and has extensive expertise in shepherding film and video projects through the post-production process. During her seven years managing the digital-to-film department at Alpha Cine Seattle, Lisa oversaw the digital transfers of several award-winning films, including Oscar winners Taxi to the Darkside, Freeheld, The Blood of Yingzhou District and Born into Brothels. Lisa has won several awards for PSAs and other broadcast projects. Her first short documentary, B-BOY, won five festival awards. Confessions of a Former Bully is Lisa's second film.

DOUG HOSTETTER CINEMATOGRAPHER

Over the past two decades, Doug has shot hundreds of commercials across the globe for companies such as Toyota, McDonalds and the Ad Council's Americans for the Arts, as well as music videos for Alice in Chains, The Presidents of the USA and Beads. Doug's passion for independent filmmaking and has inspired him to lens several documentary and narrative shorts, including IFP winner, Dry Rain and award-winning B-BOY. He is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild and is represented by the Mack Agency in LA.

TRENT SIEGEL EDITOR

Trent has over 20 years experience as a cinematographer, director, editor, and still photographer. He has contributed his vast range of skills to several award-winning independent films such as Raftman's Razor, End of the Affair and Forced Entry. Trent is excited to be a part of Confessions of a Former Bully.

JACQUI JAMES STILL PHOTOGRAPHER

An Australian-born, longtime Seattleite, Jacqui and has worked all over the world as a commercial and fine art photographer. Her passion lies in studying adolescent girls both behind the camera and through audio interviews and surveys. Relevant exhibits include Milan Trianale Quanto ti Vuoi Bene? (Milan, 2012); It's All About Me (Seattle Children's Festival, 2008); and Beyond the Y Chromosome (Milan, 2002). Jacqui has won numerous awards including a 2006 Seattle City Artist Award for the project It's All About Me.

GABRIELLE ABBOTT ILLUSTRATOR/ARTIST

Gabrielle is a multi-media artist specializing in figurative illustration. Her numerous clients include The Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle Publics Schools and The Hague City Government (Netherlands). One of Gabrielle's unique specialties is her chalk pastel street painting of large masterpieces, which are regularly commissioned by festivals and public events worldwide. Gabrielle holds a Diploma in Portraiture form the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and an MFA from University of the Arts, London.

CATHERINE GREALISH COMPOSER

Originally from Tasmania, Catherine is an LA-based composer for film, games, media and live performance. She won the Independent Music Vox Pop Award for her soundtrack for the film All Things Hidden. Catherine's music has been featured in many award-winning films, including Pearl, which won Best Short at the Mexico and Madrid International Film Festivals. Catherine recently completed scoring the feature The Basement and the documentary Gold Balls.

ELENI LEDESMA EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

For the past 10 years Eleni has pursued philanthropic endeavors, providing strategic development planning, marketing and special event support. Her passion for filmmaking led to a production assistant role for the feature film My Last Year with the Nuns. She volunteers for the Seattle International Film Festival.


DONATION MENU **ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE**

VIRTUAL THANK YOU $100

You will receive a THANK YOU on our website and social media.

FILM THANK YOU $500

You will receive THANK YOU in the film credits as well as a VIRTUAL THANK YOU on our website and social media.

SPECIAL THANK YOU $1,000

You will receive a SPECIAL THANK YOU in the film credits as well as a VIRTUAL THANK YOU on our website and social media.

PRIVATE WRAP PARTY SCREENING $1,500

You will be invited to attend a private wrap party and special screening with the crew as well as a SPECIAL THANK YOU in the film credits and a VIRTUAL THANK YOU on our website and social media.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER $2,500

You will receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in the film as well as an invitation to attend a private wrap party and special screening with the crew, a SPECIAL THANK YOU in the film credits and a VIRTUAL THANK YOU on our website and social media.

PRODUCER $5,000

You will receive a PRODUCER credit in the film as well as an invitation to attend a private wrap party and special screening with the crew, a SPECIAL THANK YOU in the film credits and a VIRTUAL THANK YOU on our website and social media.


FILM FESTIVALS Our film has been accepted to the Children's Film Festival Seattle 2017


PARTNERS

$5,919 Raised
47% towards $12,500 Goal

Supported by 51 Donations:

  • Arti C.
    I Gave $250
    Thanks, Lisa and crew for creating such an important film.
  • evan t.
    Congrats Lisa!
  • Barbara M.
    I Gave $50
  • Joel C.
    I Gave $36
    Can't wait to see the documentary. Good luck from the father of Eli Cohen, and yet not your grandfather!
  • Susan R.
    I Gave $100
    In honor of Eleni. I can't wait to see this film. Love, Sue
  • Brecken  D.
    I Gave $50
    Brecken & Shauna Diller
  • Laura & John  H.
  • Megan D.
    I Gave $25
    Congrats Lisa - great trailer!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Congratulations Lisa on completing your film. Stewart would be proud! Reena
  • Hallidie H.
  • Thi N.
    I Gave $100
    an important topic to learn about and teach.
  • Kathy H.
    I Gave $25
  • Judy & Dick R.
    I Gave $50
    Looking forward to a viewing in The Villages, Fl !
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Susan R.
  • Mindy J.
    I Gave $25
    We look forward to seeing the completed film and wish you every success.
  • Janet D  .
    I Gave $50
    Break a leg!!! Happy to support! . Congratulations on the production!!!
  • Karen B.
  • Rona C.
    I Gave $200
    Good luck, Sis! Can't wait to see the film!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Congrats and good luck! We can't wait to see it.
  • Jill W.
    I Gave $50
    This is so important! You are inspiring, thanks for doing the meaningful work! peace, Jill and familia
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Congrats on another great project!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Such important work. A message all should hear and learn from.
  • Sharon L.
    Good luck Lisa!
  • Stephanie G.
  • Jess S.
    I Gave $100
    Can't wait to see the film!
  • Dora R.
    I Gave $100
    Congrats Eleni and CFB Crew! Can't wait to see it. Happy Chasmas! Love, Dora, Frank, Becca & Hannah
  • Dickey N.
    I Gave $100
  • Heidi M.
    Great that you are having film seen at a children's film festival-it may help young people see how words sound from another angle.
  • Teri B.
    I Gave $50
    Congratulations! Very excited and glad about your project and hope to talk to you soon!