Kat McNamara on Why CONTEST is Unlike Other Bullying Movies
“Contest” is a coming-of-age movie with a strong message of anti-bullying. KidsPickFlicks’ very own Movie Star Movie Critic, Kat McNamara, stars in the Cartoon Network movie alongside Kenton Duty and Daniel Flaherty. Find out more below about the twists and turns in “Contest,” the Stop Bullying Speak Up Campaign, and also a bonus, a Kitkat fun fact.
Q: Tell us more about your character in “Contest.”
Kat: “Contest” follows the story of two students, Matt and Tommy. Matt is the star athlete of the school who is also a bully. Tommy is a kid who loves to cook and just wants to stay out of trouble, but is victimized by Matt. I play Sarah, a student blogger for the school, and a new girl in town who is trying to make new friends. She’s very down to earth, very no nonsense, and really appreciates when people are genuine and kind to one another. Because she’s a bit of an outsider, she has more of an objective view of the bullying that is going on and can see through people’s facades to their true colors. When Matt and Tommy end up working together on a cooking contest for teens, they form an unlikely friendship. Sarah has some serious doubts that Matt has truly changed his ways and my character tries to speak up and warn Tommy to be careful. Will Matt and Tommy stay friends? Will the bullying continue? Want to know what happens next? You’ll have to watch “Contest” on October 6th on Cartoon Network to see if my character’s suspicions prove right or wrong!
Q: What do you hope the audience will take away?
Kat: “Contest” is a very important movie for kids and their parents to see. It discusses the very serious issue of bullying. Bullying has become way too common in our society – so common that it is now seen as an epidemic. Today, people prepare children to be bullied and treat it as a fact of life. My question to those people is why not focus that energy on preventing bullying in the first place. If kids and adults work together to stop bullying at its source, we may be able to make it stop for good. This is the goal of Cartoon Network with their Stop Bullying Speak Up campaign which is why “Contest” has found such a great home with the network. Something unique about “Contest” is its point of view. Our goal with the film was to present these issues in a very authentic light – in a way that was true to life to what kids experience every day in schools across the country and the world. There are many films that do this, but not many that have a rating that is appropriate for kids of all ages. This film was made as not only an entertaining story, but also as an educational tool and a conversation starter for kids and their families to learn the true ramifications of their actions.
Q: What is the best part about being involved in this movie?
Kat: For me, the best part of being involved in “Contest” and Cartoon Network’s #StopBullyingSpeakUp campaign is being a part of the fight against bullying. Bullying is such a problem in our society and something that really needs to change. It’s also one of the only major world problems that kids can make a real difference and help to change. If kids know what to do to prevent and stop bullying situations, it is our hope that this epidemic will end. We hope that through CONTEST and Cartoon Network’s platform, we are able to educate kids and help give them the courage to speak up and stop the bullying. As kids, we have a front row seat to the bullying that goes on every day. Maybe we see someone around us being bullied and we don’t know how to help. Maybe we are the one who is being bullied for who we are or something we love. Maybe we are the bully who doesn’t understand how much our words and actions can hurt those around us. Whoever you are, YOU have the power to make a change and to speak up and stop the bullying. For more information and resources for parents, educators, and kids, go to StopBullyingSpeakUp.com .
Q: Is there anything new that your “Kitkats” will learn about you from this film?
Kat: Well, first of all, “Chatter” is my first original song to be released! I cannot wait for everyone to hear it and the rest of my music! One fun fact about the song is I actually had the flu when I recorded it! Luckily, I was able to pull it out and get the song done. I would love for the Kitkats to hear what I sound like without the flu though! Catch “Contest” on Cartoon Network, October 6!