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'Bully' film producer and director to visit UNI May 1

April 23, 2012

Alan Heisterkamp, director, mentors in violence prevention, UNI Center for Violence Prevention, 319-273-3054,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- You hear about it almost weekly in the news -- cases of childhood bullying continue to escalate. According to the Bully Project, 13 million kids will be bullied in the U.S. this year. The Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa is supporting the Bully Project's: 1 Million Kids movement by bringing the documentary film, "Bully," to young people and their educators across the U.S. in an effort to promote caring and inclusive communities. Students and educators in Cedar Falls and Waterloo schools and UNI will receive a total of 1,000 tickets for the film, "Bully," which will air April 27 through May 1 at the Marcus College Square Theatres in Cedar Falls. The public can purchase tickets through Marcus College Square Theatres.

The film follows the lives of five students who face bullying on a daily basis. The goal of the film is to highlight solutions and systemic change that will bring together organizations and individuals to end bullying.

UNI is known for its strong teacher education and counseling programs, and places students in many schools in the Cedar Valley for their clinical field experiences. "It was important for UNI's Center for Violence Prevention and for our education and counseling programs to have the opportunity to bring this powerful documentary to Cedar Falls," said Alan Heisterkamp, director, mentors in violence prevention at UNI's Center for Violence Prevention. "It's a phenomenal opportunity for our university students who will be working with children and for students in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo schools to have an opportunity to learn from this film."

UNI will host "Bully" film director, Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, producer and writer, for a special panel discussion, free and open to the public, at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, in Sabin Auditorium on the UNI campus. UNI faculty who research and educate about bullying will join Hirsch and Lowen. The panel will discuss bullying and strategies for prevention as well as work on the film.

UNI's Center for Violence Prevention houses the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Institute on all three state supported universities in Iowa, and leads the effort to infuse MVP into the teacher education and education leadership curriculum at UNI.

Hirsch's debut film "Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony" won a Sundance Film Festival award, and also one of the five Emmy awards it was nominated for. He has also directed and produced a series on the Discovery and History channels. "Bully" has already been nominated and won 10 awards at festivals including the 2011 Los Angeles Film festival, 2012 True/False Film Festival and many others.

Lowen is an award-winning writer and recipient of the Discovery Prize. She is the co-author of "The Essential Guide to Bullying: Prevention and Intervention," forthcoming from Alpha Books, and her work has been published widely.

For more information about the film, visit For more information about the May 1 panel, contact Heisterkamp at