Film that Confronts Kids' Screen Obsession to Be Shown at P.S./I.S. 276

From "Screenagers," a film by Delaney Ruston, to be shown March 2 at P.S./I.S. 276

Feb. 24, 2016

The first feature documentary to explore the negative impact of screen technology on kids—and offer solutions to parents—will have its New York City premiere next week at P.S./I.S. 276.

“Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age,” directed by physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston, will be shown at the Battery Park City school, 55 Battery Pl., on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Ruston said she decided to make “Screenagers” when she found herself struggling with her two kids about screen time, often feeling guilty and unsure over setting limits, especially around mobile phones, social media and gaming. She repeatedly heard other parents express the same concerns.

“As a physician I needed to understand the impact of all this screen time on kids,” she says in the film. “And as a mom I needed to know what to do.”

Gabriela Newman, a parent of an 11-year-old girl at I.S. 276 and a member of the school's PTA Executive Board and Wellness Committee, which is hosting the screening, said that she and other parents at the school found the film especially timely.

"As a parent of a tween," she noted, "I experience the guilt and stress over screen exposure and the confusion of how to manage its limits and find a happy balance for all members of the family."


Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing struggles over social media, video games, Internet addiction, and their impact on academics. She tells the stories, for example, of Hannah, a 14-­year-old victim of social media bullying, and Andrew, a straight­-A student whose love of video games spins out of control when he goes to college. He eventually lands in an Internet rehab center.

Interwoven into these stories are insights from experts, including interviews with leading neuroscientists who explain the physiological changes to the brain caused by heavy screen viewing.

But Ruston notes that it’s not too late to reverse the addiction. “The research that shows human resiliency gives me hope,” she says.

Ruston's is the producer of two PBS feature documentaries: "Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia," about her father, and "Hidden Pictures," which deals with global mental health issues.

A Q&A with Ruston and Simon Sinek, a well-known expert featured in the film, will follow.

The film will also be screened for I.S. 276 students the following day.

$15. Student: $10. Tickets can be purchased here.

For more information on the film, go to School contact: