Colorado teen turns bullying experience into a powerful film


A Colorado teenager who said he was bullied by a classmate’s mother has turned his experience into a powerful message.

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Alec Ybarra, 13, wrote, acted, directed and edited an independent film, “Unmarked,” which is based on his own story, WQAD reported.

Alec said the bullying got so bad he changed schools. That changed his outlook, and he wrote the screenplay for “Unmarked” in two days, WQAD reported.

"That’s what happened in real life," Alec told WQAD. "All those events took place over the course of a year. It’s about a friend’s angry mother who tries to destroy the student that knows information about her son that could get her son in trouble."

Alec said he learned a great deal about making a film, and calls the project his passion.

"It did help a lot," he said. "Now looking back at it, I’ve been working on the film itself for a year and a half. It’s helped a lot I went through a whole year of this situation, it tore me down a lot. Then I was able to make a film about it, that can hopefully help a lot of people going through similar things."

Alec’s parents said the bullying was a heartbreaking situation.

"It’s tough because you don’t want your son beat up or bullied, especially as time went on and we found out a parent was involved,” Alec’s father Fred Ybarra said. "(Making the film was) a passion of his, at one time.

"I thought he was going to outgrow it, but it’s what he loves doing and he’s good at it."

Alec is exploring options to distribute the film. He wants children to see his movie and learn from his experience.

"The message of the film I am trying to portray is standing up for yourself," he told WQAD. "That is one of the things I had to do a lot in real life, especially since that person had gotten everyone to turn against me. That’s what I want to portray through the script and the film and acting, you need to stand up for yourself in these situations."

National Bullying Prevention month has been observed every October since 2006.


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