Support for women is growing. The Oscars a few nights ago, and the Golden Globe’s before it, are key examples of how people with influence are using their powers to support the change that needs to happen. Despite this however only 6 women managed to win Oscars, including the gender specific best supporting and lead actress awards. But it is unrealistic to think that after the Weinstein scandals and #MeToo only in October last year that we would have change so soon.
We are on the right track and by supporting each other, and speaking up about behaviour that we no longer tolerate, I’m sure with enough time we will see more women winning Academy Awards and being celebrated on the world’s stage.
Until then though I will keep celebrating women here on my blog. The place that I have to support women in my own capacity. This weeks talented director is Sarah Moshman who’s latest project tackles the sexual harassment crisis in America. Sarah tells me what inspired NEVERTHELESS.
“I was prompted to make this documentary, my third feature-length film because I am one of the millions of women who wrote #MeToo when the Weinstein story broke. I experienced many instances of harassment when working in the television industry. Those moments made me feel small, insignificant, and powerless. Not anymore.”
Sarah’s previous feature length documentaries also carry an empowering message for women. Losing Sight of Shore follows the extraordinary journey of four brave women known as the Coxless Crew that set out to row the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia unsupported. It is a story of perseverance, friendship and the power of the human spirit and has been released on Netflix worldwide as well as on iTunes and Amazon.
With these two films already under her belt, and a clear theme beginning to form in her work, I asked Sarah why she thinks it’s important that more films are made to empower women?
“The way our media landscape operates currently relies upon the objectification of women, and it has got to stop. There are so many ways in which women are made to feel less than, and the media is a huge part of that. The more content we can flood in the marketplace that represents and portrays women in all of their strong, smart, flawed, and beautiful glory, the better… It is imperative that we encourage women to get behind the camera and have their voices heard, as well as showcase strong female role models on screen. When women feel empowered in one area of their life, that can translate to all aspects of their lives. It is my greatest passion to empower women!”
Sarah always knew she wanted to be a filmmaker and with a father who works in the industry as well it was something she could see herself doing from a very young age. “When I started making films as a teenager and had a camera in my hand, it gave me a courage, a voice, and a creative license I hadn’t known before” She says.
Even with this early start and foot in the door Sarah didn’t escape struggle. With plans to make many more films in her lifetime I spoke to her about what the hardest parts have been. “The hardest part of being a filmmaker is fundraising. It’s such a vulnerable position to be in asking people for money, especially when you can so clearly see the vision and you have to convince others of your abilities.” Not only this but with gender disparity so prevalent in the industry the already difficult process of financing and distribution is made twice as hard because of gender. “As a woman in film, I find that I do have to prove myself again and again, and I have struggled to be taken seriously at times. I have been doubted, ignored, objectified, harassed, and more – but it has never made me question my dedication to this craft.”
Sarah is no stranger to Kickstarter campaigns, having gone through her first one in 2013. But now she finds herself yet again at the mercy of financing for her latest project NEVERTHELESS. The film examines the social, legal, historical and masculinity aspects of the sexual harassment crisis in America interwoven with personal stories and calls to action for change. It’s up to all of us to work towards solutions to this endemic problem. Nevertheless we persist.
The films content comes from influence of the #MeToo movement and a significant personal moment in Sarah’s life. “The impetus to pick up the camera and get started came when I found out I was having a daughter last year. I thought about her entering the working world someday, and how I want to work towards making the world a safer place for her to thrive in.”
The campaign began on March 1st and to donate people can go to neverthelessfilm.com and/or The Kickstarter Page here. There are already over 100 backers and the film is 21% funded. You can donate as little as $10 and still make a big difference not only for Sarah’s film but the empowerment of women creators and anyone affected by #MeToo.
For many women trying to achieve their filmmaking dreams it can seem a daunting task finding where to begin, especially with the way the industry has been for so long.
“It’s a tough path no matter who you are. Any struggles I’ve had make me push harder, and have inspired me to follow my own path and define success for myself… All I want is to encourage other women to get behind the camera and tell their stories, and so I try to be and transparent and real about what it takes” Sarah says.
Kickstarter – DONATE HERE
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