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Teens’ work featured at Wildwood Film Festival

A film produced by local teens about confronting the crisis in the use of heroin and other opiates will be one of the highlights of the Wildwood Film Festival, this Saturday, March 11, at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

The short film Heroes Rising will be presented at 1-2:15 p.m. in the Kimberly-Clark Theater. Tickets for the event are $11.50 and can be purchased on the Wildwood Film Festival  website.

The film was produced with the help of a $7,500 grant from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation by Wega Arts, a Weyauwega-based nonprofit dedicated to film-making that encourages individuals of all ages to express themselves and to use creativity to further social change. Young people from Waupaca, Weyauwega and Evansville worked on the film. It depicts a group of local teens who challenge each other and the adults in their community to confront the heroin and opiate epidemic kids are currently facing every single day.

After the Saturday afternoon showing, there will be a meet-and-greet in the lobby of the KC Theater with movie producers Kathy Fehl, Ian Teal and Jesse Heffernan and actors from the film.

A second part of the project called “Outreach: Heroes Rising,” also supported by the WACF grant, will distribute the film and a workbook to schools and community groups.

In a grant final report filed by the film’s producers, these accomplishments of the project were highlighted:

  • Fifteen youths ages 13-19 worked as actors and crew members.
  • Their experience stimulated conversation about opiate addiction back at their schools.
  • Thousands of people are projected to see the film.
  • Some of the students also worked on a related public service announcement.

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