Sting (also known as Stikk) is a short coming of age film from Norway. Written and directed by Vigdis Nielsen, the film focuses on bullying. The story is told from the view point of thirteen-year-old Alexander (Glenn André Viste Bøe) who is a shy and nervous boy who gets picked on quite a lot by the bullies in his class.
The film reveals the nature of the events that occur in the schoolyard which, while not reflected by the official records, are part of the daily life at most high schools. Alexander is victimized by his classmates – and he doesn’t know what he can do to prevent that. But everything is about to change when a new student (Kristoffer Bjerga ) enrolls in his class. The two boys’ friendship clicks as the new boy has been a victim of bullying himself and is striving to distance himself from the stereotype of an outcast that most schools have. He decides to help Alexander by encouraging him to stand up for himself. From that moment on, the film can be described as a journey to the darkest side of a bullied boy’s soul, reflecting his desire to hit back. And Alexander, even if not yet ready to act, has vivid dreams about striking back at the bullies. The arrival of the new boy changes things forever for the young protagonist of the film. Separately the boys might be outcasts, but their friendship changes the attitude of the way others perceive them and the way they perceive their classmates and teachers.
The 17 minute short film is a winner of various awards from both national and international festivals. Some of its awards are:
2007 Stavanger Short Film Festival: Best Actor – Gisle Andre Viste Bøe
2008 Plein la bobine – Sancy Film Festival for Young People: Public’s Choice Award
2008 Plein la bobine – Sancy Film Festival for Young People: Young Jury’s Prize 
The story can be summarized by the famous saying: “Violence leads to violence”.
The story line of the film is intriguing, as not only is the concept of bullying reintroduced to viewers, but the screen writer also pays special attention to the usage of new technologies to harass people. In that respect, the film reminded me of the full feature film from Spain, Cobardes, which has a similar storyline. Both films are being used in social studies classes across Europe, which I think will have an extremely positive impact on youth. It serves to make students aware that being a bully is not something cool and that there is a way out if they ever find themselves in the role of the ones being bullied.
The Director of the film, Vigdis Nielsen, has a lot of experience working with young people and I believe that after you see Sting you will be amazed at the excellent directing and the way the characters are introduced and the messages conveyed. In an interview, Nielsen explains: “…Young people are vulnerable, full of contradictions and strong emotions. It’s amazing what they can give of themselves, and thus creates life and authenticity of the canvas” . Her beliefs, combined with the excellent performances of the young leads, make Sting a short film that I highly recommend to the readers and visitors of theskykid.com.
- Norwegian Film Institute – Sting. ( link )
- Along with Vigdis Nielsen at KinoKino.no ( link )
Director : Vigdis Nielsen
Cast : Kristoffer Bjerg, Glenn André Viste Bøe, Anders Dale, Svein Bringsjord Granstrøm ,Glenn Andre Kaada, Anne Line Kenan