The 360 Filmmakers Challenge inspires the next generation of virtual reality creators by encouraging high school students to produce 360° films that make an impact. This is a story about “The Fakes” winner of the One Moment 360° Award.

Four students from Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia used the 360 Filmmakers Challenge as an opportunity to make a statement on the negative impact of bullying in their 360° film, “The Fakes.”

The film follows Dasha, Zhynia, and Cheyenne as they portray bullies who tease their classmate Camille. Dasha, Zhynia, and Cheyenne reenact verbal bullying, which then escalates to a physical assault in a school stairway. In the final scene, Camille portrays herself taking her own life in response to the bullying.

It was for this final scene that the students were recognized with the One Moment 360° Award. The students’ portrayal of a tragic outcome of bullying was inspired by a distressing event they witnessed in their own lives. In the film, Dasha recalls how one of her friends in middle school took her own life after being relentlessly bullied.

Camille, who portrayed the bullied student in “The Fakes,” was initially reluctant to play the character and toyed with the idea of using the 360° camera to put the audience into the shoes of the bullied teen. Camille had a change of heart when she realized the film could be more impactful if the audience watches the teen being bullied without the ability to intervene. She hopes this inspires bystanders to take action when they see a person being bullied in real life.

The students say that after making this film, they have ended friendships with peers who continue to bully or who are entertained watching another person be bullied. They hope that by sharing their film and spreading their anti-bullying message, more students will take the issue seriously. “If someone actually does kill their self, you can’t take it back,” Dasha says. “You knew you could have said something and you wasted the opportunity.”

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About Elyse Gainor

Elyse Gainor is a Project Associate with Digital Promise Global.

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