Chandler theater’s film series addresses youth crisis - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler theater’s film series addresses youth crisis

August 18th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Chandler theater’s film series addresses youth crisis

SanTan Sun News Staff

Chandler childhood and education advocate Katey McPherson is returning to Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill to host a series of film screenings and interactive panel discussions focused on trending parenting and family issues.

The film series is part of the Helping Chandler Families Thrive program and is presented jointly by Majestic and Chandler Education Foundation.

McPherson, a parent and educator, draws from her 25 years of experience working with students and families to bring valuable insight and guidance to community members of all ages navigating the complexities of today’s social environment.

“To support the needs of families in our community, it’s critical to promote positive and candid discussions and share real stories and experiences,” said McPherson, who also serves as director of professional development for Bark for Schools, an artificial intelligence app that protects more than five million children nationwide.

“It’s gratifying to partner with organizations like Majestic and Chandler Education Foundation who share my passion for investing time, energy and resources to benefit Chandler families.”

The first installment of Helping Chandler Families Thrive will feature a screening of the documentary “Childhood 2.0” Aug. 24 at Majestic Chandler 9.

The film highlights the challenges resulting from growing up in the digital age, with particular emphasis on topics like cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, and more.

After the film, McPherson will lead an expert panel in an interactive discussion with event attendees. A portion of proceeds from the August event will benefit notMYkid, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides training and support programs focused on substance abuse, vaping, trauma, body image, mental health, internet safety, and other key issues.

“Majestic is proud to debut Helping Chandler Families Thrive this month with highly respected partners like Katey McPherson and Chandler Education Foundation,” said Craig Paschich, CEO, Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill.

“We are proud to utilize our theaters in unique ways to make a lasting and positive impact on area families.”

On Sept. 21, Majestic Chandler 9 will screen “My Ascension,” an autobiographical documentary about Emma Benoit, who survived a suicide attempt at age 16 which left her paralyzed.

The film chronicles Benoit’s journey to inspire others to find hope through her painful experiences, as well as her efforts to bring a teen suicide prevention program to her home state of Louisiana.

Benoit will attend the film event virtually and participate via Zoom in the post-film panel discussion with McPherson and other local experts.

On Oct. 26 at Majestic Chandler 9. McPherson will host “The First Day,” a movie filmed at public and private high schools over the course of a year that “leverages the power of personal storytelling to explore the issues, relationships and events that deeply affect our youth.”

After the screening, experts in family advocacy and education will join McPherson for dialogue about the film and its themes.

“Chandler Education Foundation is proud to work with Katey McPherson and Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill to bring leading-edge family and educational programming to Chandler,” said Jennifer Hewitt, the nonprofit’s executive director.

“To truly strengthen our community, we must collaborate and find innovative ways to reach those in need, and this film series supports those objectives.”

Tickets to the upcoming Helping Chandler Families Thrive film events are limited and on sale now at Majestic Chandler 9 is located at 4955 S. Arizona Ave in Chandler, on the northeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Road.