Local Film Makers and Students Premiere Film Project on Child Sexual Abuse
Sep 21,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

"Silent Message" is a three-fold motion picture experience which will premier October 4th at the Tower Theatre.  First it includes a behind the scenes look at the making of this phenomenal film project initiated by a group of Central Oregon teenagers. It focuses on how a family of local filmmakers and this group of high risk kids got together to shoot a picture about sexual abuse.  How these high school kids were able to act in scenes that include date rape, sexual abuse and suicide.  How a 23-year old director was able to guide them through the process of acting in tragic situations that some had experienced in real life.
Secondly is the narrative portion of "Silent Message" that focuses on three fictional high school characters that have all suffered from sexual abuse. "Clint" the star wrestler of the high school struggles with his past, especially after recent contact with his perpetrator: his father.  "Maria" has decided to disclose her abuse after realizing that her sister is the next victim on her father's list.  Finally, we meet "Lily" - the quiet girl who is still being abused by her uncle.  After being raped at a party and finding out she is pregnant "Lily" makes the ultimate choice that not only ends her life but the life of her unborn child.
Third and last "Silent Message" accesses experts in the field of sexual abuse response and showcases interviews with these professionals.  The audience will become more aware of what adults can do to protect children in their lives.  Interviews include an FBI Special Agent that deals primarily with sex offenses, a sex offender specialist, a defense attorney, and- most heartbreaking- victims of sexual abuse.  The victims help the audience learn about how tragic this crime is and how they have learned to cope.
"Silent Message" started pre-production almost a year ago and will premiere at the Tower Theater in Bend on October 4th.  Doors open at 5 p.m. and program starts at 6 p.m. The film screening will be followed by a question and answer period with the high school students and filmmakers.
Local agencies will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on sexual abuse/assault resources in Central Oregon. Tickets are $6 at the door. All proceeds benefit the KIDS Center, a Central Oregon non-profit dedicated to the evaluation, treatment and prevention of child abuse.