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Teen Talk

Teen Talk


Teenagers are wary of'and even resistant to--sex education efforts that talk down to them or fail to address the intricacies of their day-to-day lives, says Kristen Joiner of the nonprofit group Scenarios USA. They are 'tired of insincere messages, and they're sensitive of when they're being lied to or when something doesn't fit their experience,' she told USA Today. To help combat this problem, Joiner and her colleague Maura Minsky initiated a nationwide contest for young people to write scripts in their own vernacular and based on their own experiences for short films on sex issues, including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Five winning screenplays were selected from hundreds of submissions, and the young scribes were paired with such top Hollywood directors as Griffin Dunne (Practical Magic), Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist), and David Frankel (Sex and the City) to turn the scripts into short films. The resulting 20-to-30-minute movies, which premiered at a special event on December 4 in New York City, will air on Showtime in February and March. Several school districts around the country, including those in Miami and New York City, also plan to screen the films in health and sex education classes.

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