2 items from 2017
The sweeping plains of North Dakota are naturally cinematic, its tall windswept grasses and blue river bends forming an image as American as apple pie. During the months-long protests at the Standing Rock reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline’s demolishing of sacred Native burial grounds, this grand landscape became a bittersweet backdrop for images of peaceful protesters barraged by water cannons and choked by tear gas. Until now, these images reached the outside world only as shaky iPhone video, a drone shot, or a colorful still overlaid with inspirational text.
Read More: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ Review: A Stonewall Hero Is Mourned In Fascinating Detective Story — Tribeca 2017 Review
Those visuals form a cohesive whole in “Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock,” an evocative wake-up call told as a visual poem. This new documentary from executive producer Shailene Woodley (“Divergent”) was co-directed by Josh Fox(“Gasland »
- Jude Dry
“I Am Evidence” will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 24.
Trish Adlesic is an Oscar and Emmy nominated documentary producer for her work on “Gasland” and “Gasland Part II,” which expose the environmental devastation and public safety hazards of fracking. She has over 20 years of experience working in narrative filmmaking.
Director and editor Geeta Gandbhir has won numerous awards, including two Emmys. She co-directed “A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers” with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. She is currently co-directing and co-producing a new series, “The Conversation,” with The New York Times Op Docs.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
Ta&Gg: “I Am Evidence” exposes the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States through a character-driven narrative, bringing much-needed attention to the disturbing pattern of how law enforcement has historically treated sexual assault victims. Behind each of these kits lies an individual’s unresolved sexual assault case. In some cases, kits — and by extension, victims — have been shelved for decades while the perpetrators of violent sexual crimes remain free.
The problem — and a troubling symptom of the lingering lassitude about rape investigations in the U.S .— is that, despite the power of DNA to solve and prevent crimes, hundreds of thousands of rape kits containing potentially crucial DNA evidence languish untested in police evidence storage rooms.
Testing every rape kit sends a clear and powerful message to survivors that they matter, and that we as a nation will do everything possible to bring them a path to healing and justice. It sends an equally important message to perpetrators that they will be held accountable for their crimes.
By exploring the crisis of the rape kit backlog in America, “I Am Evidence” tells a powerful story about the kind of country we are and, more importantly, the kind of country we want to be.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
Ta&Gg: The outrage we felt when we heard that it’s estimated that there are 400,000 untested rape kits in the Unites States.
When one in four women and one in six men are affected by this kind of violence, we’re all affected in some way.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
Ta&Gg: We want them to have a better understanding of the survivor experience. We also want viewers to ask their legislators to pass laws that require the testing of all rape kits in a timely manner and to follow up on the findings of those tested kits.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
Ta&Gg: How to best tell this story.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
Ta&Gg: Funds were largely raised privately through individual donors, and then HBO completed financing.
Thank you for your support, everyone!
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Tribeca?
Ta&Gg: The rape kit backlog was first discovered in NYC, and the leadership in the city swiftly went into action to test all of the untested rape kits. We’re proud of the work the Nyda’s office has done historically and to date, and there is no place better to premiere “I Am Evidence” than in the heart of where the story began.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Ta&Gg: The best advice we received was to never let your emotions get in the way of making good decisions.
The worst advice we received is “Why bother?”
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
Ta&Gg: Do your homework. Never let them see you sweat. Never let them see you cry.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have.
Ta&Gg: We wish we could say that we’ve seen improvements, but they are few and far between.
Studios tend to be afraid of women directors because they believe they won’t hold up under the pressure. We are required to hold up just about everything else, so why not a movie?
Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir — “I Am Evidence” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
2 items from 2017
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