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Film encourages teens to 'choose right'

Friday, 1 June 2012

An Alice Springs produced, directed and acted film has been launched to help young people make the right choices about sex, drugs and alcohol.

Produced by the Department of Health's (DoH) Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit (SHBBVU), Choosin' Right showcases some great local Aboriginal actors in real-life situations relevant to teenagers in the Northern Territory.

Acting Project Manager, Michael Borenstein explained that the film's purpose is to help young people realise they have choices to make in every situation, and that these choices can have consequences for better or worse.

"Persistently high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially in the 15-29 year age group, prompted us to develop this educational film and accompanying workbook,' Mr Borenstein said.

"In young people unsafe sex is often associated with drug and alcohol misuse, so we wanted to highlight and combine both issues in an educational resource that would appeal to young people."

The DVD will be shown to as many teenagers as possible across the Territory through schools, clinics, sexual health services, youth services and Aboriginal organisations.

"This is an exciting, original and innovative educational film developed and shaped by our target group for safe sex and safe alcohol use messages - young people themselves," Mr Borenstein said.

"The themes of Choosin' Right are life-skill based with positive role modelling highlighting the choices and consequences of drug and alcohol use and sexual health."

The film was produced by Astrid Stark, a DoH Sexual Health Nurse, and is based on her travelling stage play Any Chance, performed in and around Alice Springs in 2009.

"We've used local Aboriginal actors, a local soundtrack and local language to validate the life experiences of young Aboriginal people and provide education in a relevant context for them," Ms Stark said.

"The message we are trying to get across is that they are the ones in control of their lives, and that includes the choices they make when it comes to drugs, grog and sex."

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress assisted in the development of the film which was funded by the Department of Health.

"The aim of this educational DVD and workbook is to provide a sustainable, relevant teaching resource to improve sexual health and alcohol use outcomes for young Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory," Mr Borenstein said.

Media inquiries: Sharon Hutton, Media Liaison officer 8951 5123 or 0401 114 113