We’ve heard it in the news, on our social media channels, through the grapevine: cyberbullying is an issue.

An eye opening survey commissioned by AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation revealed that nearly half of the New York City teens surveyed had experienced cyberbullying in some form, and 8 in 10 say they know someone who has experienced cyberbullying.

Possibly more alarming, the survey also revealed that while teens and parents alike grasp the severity of the problem, they’re not communicating with each other about it as well as they could.

While AT&T is committed to addressing the rise in cyberbullying, we can’t do it alone.

Who better to tell the stories and realities of cyberbullying than students facing it daily?

AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation have awarded over $25,000 in financial assistance to help high school student filmmaker teams participate in the All-American High School Film Festival in New York City. Twenty-eight teams from 9 states and Washington, D.C., will shoot, edit and produce an 8-minute film in New York City addressing cyberbullying and the impact it has had on their lives.

The top winner will be awarded a $25,000 straight-to-series deal with Fullscreen about cyberbullying.

“We need to raise awareness about the damaging effects of cyberbullying,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president, AT&T, New York State. “This financial support means local students and teams can compete who might otherwise not be able to do so. We believe this will help educate America’s youth and make the internet a safer place for all.”

Students have begun to prepare for their video shoots. The Festival will take place in New York City from Oct. 5 - 9, during National Cyberbullying Prevention Month.

The winning film will be announced Oct. 9.

Schools, youth organizations and parents will all be able to view the winning film free of charge through AT&T “Digital You.” The program helps people of all ages learn how to have a safe and secure online experience.