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Hey readers!
  Earlier this month, which happens to be National Bullying Prevention Month, I have shared my own personal and very candid experience with bullying, and got quite a number responses to it, including a Staten Island-based filmmaker/rapper, JiggyJada who created the film called The Bully.  Here is my interview with her:
JGIC: What inspired you to make this film? 
JJ: Actually, I wrote a song for a charity show that was speaking against bullying.  When my management and myself discussed doing a video, the idea for a short film came to us.
     JGIC: Is this your first movie?  If no, what other films have you worked on?
     JJ: Yes. This is my first movie. I am looking forward to do doing more films in the near future.
     JGIC: Are the actors in the film real people with in real situations, or are they actors?
     JJ: They are actors. Some of them, it was their first time doing a film. Many had experienced bullying in some way in their lives; whether personally or a family member or friend.
     JGIC: How long did it take to make Stop Bullying Project?
     JJ: The amazing thing is, the entire Stop Bullying Project—from inception to completion—was six months. But the actual filming time was two weeks.
    JGIC: Can you give Jamsterdam readers a breakdown of what to expect when watching it?
    JJ: The Bully tells the tale of a Muslim girl, “Erika”, who starts a new school and finds herself the victim of relentless bullying.  She finds allies and salvation in unexpected places. The Bully tackles not only the issues bullying, but that of racism, religion and sexuality. It is a story of intolerance, but also a story of kindness, forgiveness, and redemption.

JGIC: What city are you based out of?  Is there a lot of bullying going on in schools there?
     JJ: I am based out of Staten Island, New York.  There have been quite a few incidents of bullying in the schools here. We are trying to reach out to them, as well.

     JGIC: If you were in charge of the education system and their moral codes, what changes would you want to make to help ensure the students are looking out for each other, as opposed to picking on each other?
     JJ: Wow. That’s an excellent question.  If I were in charge of the education system and moral codes, I would definitely change the way in which we handle  complaints of bullying. As of now, the education system seems to be failing  the victims and rewarding the bullies, in the  sense that they do not immediately address the complaint. I would definitely make it a policy to make it a direct violation for any form of bullying to take place. I would put in place mandatory mediation, and counseling  where parents of the victim and the bully must come together and help resolve the issues at hand. I would also  want to have some kind of  protocol in place, that if other students are witness to an act of bullying, that  they are expected to  report it. Often times, other students will see the bullying but not step in because of fear of retaliation,or they just don’t want to get involved.  Accountability must be in place for all students.

     JGIC: I couldn't agree more.  What do you hope people learn from this film?
     JJ: I hope that people would learn that  we all can do something to help put an end to bullying. I would hope that the viewers would have more compassion for those who are different from who they are. More understanding for the way in which one chooses to to live their lives. And, hopefully, if someone is a bully, that they would see themselves in this film, and decide to make a change in their life.

     JGIC: Any shout outs?
     JJ: I would love to shout out my family and friends that have been with me from the beginning. To my mother and partner at Mynding My Own Bizness.  I thank her for believing in me, and pushing me, and helping me to navigate through some pretty choppy waters. I also want to shout out anyone who has been a victim of bullying.  Hold your head up, be strong, and know that you are meant for greatness.
    JGIC:  Anything else you would like to add?
    JJ: You can find more information about us at:,  my personal website:, follow us on twitter @thebullyfilm, FB @thestopbullyingproject and IG @thestopbullyingproject

JGIC: Thank you for taking time for this interview!  I look forward to seeing your film and I hope that one day we can finally put an end to bullying. 

Here is a video trailer of the film:

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