Berkeley documentary aims to teach students tolerance

Berkeley, CA (KTVU)- In the late 1980's a Facing Fear Producer/Director Jason Cohen along with Matthew Boger & Tim ZaalNeo-Nazi skin head beat up and nearly killed a young gay man in Southern California.

Twenty five years later the two met by chance at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles where they both worked.

They talked about what happened and they actually became friends. The documentary Facing Fear was made about their story.

"The film hits on hate, tolerance, bullying, LGBT issues, and of course forgiveness and reconciliation and what that means," says the film's producer/director Jason Cohen.

The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2014. Now, it's making a transition to the small screen as educational film which could be used in your child's classroom.

"People have the ability to change and two we all need to look at our actions and our words and how we are treating others," says Matthew Boger from Facing Fear.

On Wednesday Saint Mary's College of California hosted a screening of the film and a discussion afterwards.

The hope is the movie will spark a discussion - one in which the students can learn from one another.

"They're used to hearing things read to them out of a book. When they hear it from the source it's totally different they don't feel like they've been had," says Timothy Zaal from Facing Fear.

The movie was produced entirely in Berkeley. According to Cohen the plan is to have the film ready for classrooms by spring.

Date of Mention: 
Thursday, January 22, 2015