Contest (Cartoon Network) Live Action Movie Anchors Bullying Prevention Month

Contest Cartoon Network Original Movie (9)
The live-action movie Contest premieres Sunday, October 6th at 6PM ET/PT on Cartoon Network.

The film, set to anchor Cartoon Network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign for National Bullying Prevention Month (October), features a cast of up and comers and established stars including Kenton Duty (Shake It Up!, Lost), Katherine McNamara (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn) and Dan Flaherty (The Americans, Nurse Jackie), Kyle Dean Massey (Hart of Dixie), Mary Beth Peil (The Good Wife), Chris Riggi (Gossip Girl), Owen Teague (Malibu Country), and Raviv Ullman (Phil of the Future), Robert Wuhl (Bull Durham), Tina Benko (The Avengers) and Kelley Missal (One Life to Live). The film will also showcase YouTube sensation Jan “Johnny” Uczkowski.

See below for a trailer and sneak peek photos for the film. Then head online Sunday after Content ends for a live Q&A with Author/Family Expert Rosalind Wiseman at 8 p.m. at

Contest Synopsis: CONTEST is set in a small town high school where athletes are revered and its swim team rules. As an outsider, Tommy Dolen (Daniel Flaherty, The Americans) finds himself continually bullied by the school jocks, especially Matt Prylek (Kenton Duty, Shake It Up!), the star swimmer and captain of the team.

One day after practice, Matt leads his buddies in tossing non-swimmer Tommy into the deep end of the pool, which leads to his suspension from the swim team—and jeapordizes his chances for a college athletic scholarship as well! With intervention from his smooth-talking older brother and guardian Kyle (Kyle Dean Massey, Inside Amy Schumer), Matt agrees to Asst. Principal Sikes’ mandate that he lead the school’s new anti-bullying campaign, becoming a leading role model for tolerance and acceptance among the students—starting with a friendlier, reconciled relationship with Tommy.

Escaping his high school woes, Tommy seeks refuge as a burgeoning chef within Angela Maria’s Pizzeria, a family restaurant owned and ran by his grandmother and guardian, ‘Gran’ (Mary Beth Peil, The Good Wife). While confiding in her about his bullying problems, Gran encourages Tommy to enter a television “Teen Chef” cooking contest, which will award the winner with his own teen cooking show and $50,000 in cash. Realizing this might only escalate the ridicule he already endures at school, Tommy balks at the opportunity—until he learns that Gran could lose her restaurant if she’s unable to buy-back the lease on the Pizzeria in 30 days. He reluctantly agrees to participate in the televised contest, hoping to win the prize money and save Gran from eviction.

Unbeknownst to Tommy, however, Matt’s brother Kyle has a financial stake in closing down the Pizzeria, which is the lone hold-out standing in the way of a property developer Ned Foley (Chris Riggi, Gossip Girl) from leveling the block. Kyle persuades Matt to meet his suspension requirement and anti-bullying obligation by winning-over Tommy, helping him to select a team of young, qualified peers to support “Team Tommy” with the contest, and thereby position himself on the “inside” in order to sabotage Tommy’s chances of winning.

As the “Teen Chef” cooking contest begins, and “Team Tommy” proves itself successful, Sarah O’Malley (Kat McNamara), a beautiful classmate and blogger for the school takes interest in Tommy’s apparent talent, but is skeptical of Matt’s miraculous turnaround as “friend to all.” She overhears hushed conversations between Kyle and Matt’s conniving teammates, and tries to warn Tommy that his new closest friend may in fact be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Has time together preparing for the contest worked to change either Matt’s or Tommy’s mind and heart about his one-time enemy? Will Matt go through with the plan to disrupt the contest and effectively rob Gran and Tommy of their family business? Will competing contest participants prove either too alluring or too devious for Tommy to overcome in the final championship round? Can Matt find courage to stand up to his brother and his teammates, and support his unlikely new friend?

As the contest unfolds, stakes grow higher, loyalties are challenged, old emotions resurface and the line between friend and foe is blurred. From Percolate Productions, CONTEST is written and directed by newcomer Ajay Giunta.

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