FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington will host a screening of “Ugly Ducklings: The Documentary,” a film designed to stimulate discussion among area educators, UMF students and faculty and members of the community who are concerned with school violence and youth suicide prevention. The screening will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the UMF Thomas Auditorium of Preble Hall. The film is free and open to the public.

“Ugly Ducklings: The Documentary” shows the staging of the award-winning play of the same name, which deals with bias-based harassment and youth suicide. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Fawn Yacker, documents not only the production but the behind-the-scenes conversations between the playwright, the director and the 13 young actresses – all set in a summer camp for girls in Maine.

The documentary was produced by Lyn Mikel-Brown, co-creator of the Waterville-based nonprofit group Healthy Girls Hardy Women, and chairwoman of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and Lauren Sterling, co-chairwoman of the Greater Waterville Area Communities for Children and Youth.

Following the screening, Sterling, along with Portland playwright Carolyn Gage and one of the actresses appearing in the film, will field questions from the audience.

In addition to the documentary, Healthy Girls Hardy Women has produced the Ugly Ducklings Community Action Kit, which includes a DVD of the film and a 40-page booklet of discussion topics and resources for curbing bullying.

The kit was developed using resources from the Maine Department of Education, the Center for the Prevention of Hate and Violence, the Maine Attorney General’s Hate and Bias Crime Unit and the research department of GLSEN National. The kit is designed for people ages 10 and up and is available online at www.hghw.org.

The event is sponsored by the UMF College of Education, Health and Rehabilitation and made possible by grants from the UMF Diversity Committee and Southern Maine Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact UMF Associate Professor of Psychology Brian Kaufman at 778-7379 or [email protected]


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