We’ve all seen the headlines, heard the allegations, and been part of the collective anger and pain that the #MeToo movement has unearthed over the past few years. While the October 2017 revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became the lynchpin for the current wave of stories regarding sexual harassment and assault, the movement itself was created by activist Tarana Burke in 2006 to create a space for predominantly women to share their experiences in a way that was safe and supportive. A way for victims and survivors to feel less alone and isolated.
But beyond the headlines, this issue has been plaguing virtually all industries all around the world. And while women and minorities are the overwhelming targets, what #TimesUp and #MeToo have revealed is how this is also an issue that can affect men, underscoring the importance of honest conversations and the need for widespread cultural reform. This is exactly what Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sarah Moshman (‘Losing Sight of Shore’, ‘The Empowerment Project’) is aiming to do with her latest powerful project titled NEVERTHELESS, whose trailer is being released September 4.
NEVERTHELESS follows the intimate stories of 7 individuals who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace or school context. From a writer’s assistant on a top TV show to a Tech CEO and 911 dispatcher, the film shines a light on the ways in which we can shift our culture and rebuild.
Nevertheless we persist.
Sarah has been working on this film for the past 2 years (she started when she was 7 months pregnant!), and began filming the day before the Weinstein story made news around the world in 2017 and the avalanche of #MeToo was right behind it.
The themes in the film include: sexual harassment, gender discrimination, sexual assault, privilege, intersectionality, toxic masculinity, the transgender experience, our legal system, and the way we socialize our children. The film aims to take a wider look at our society and how in some ways we are all complicit to this behavior, and how we can all come together to create safer spaces for everyone to thrive in.
Experts featured include Actor and Activist Matt McGorry (‘How to Get Away with Murder’, ‘Orange is the New Black’), Author and Professor Caroline Heldman, Educator and Author Jackson Katz, Schools Over Violence Program Manager Rashad Beal, and many more.
Sarah feels strongly about releasing the film this way to start:
“I want to continue the dialogue that #MeToo has sparked by bringing NEVERTHELESS right to the audiences that can benefit from hearing these stories the most. I know documentaries have the power to change the world, and I believe this film can help do that. We need action items in our workplaces and schools beyond the naming and shaming. It’s time for real, lasting change.”
What Sarah is doing is working to expand the conversation beyond the Hollywood focus, as there are industries where victims often get ignored simply because of their status or lack of visibility. Similar to the way Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and the rest of the #TimesUp organization have made a point to be inclusive in their advocacy by sharing stories about immigrant women working in the agriculture sector, in NEVERTHELESS viewers will come face-to-face with the everyday people who have endured some harrowing experiences, some of whom are still in their respective battles today. These stories are intersectional as well as impactful.
The film will be completed in October 2019 and available for film festival screenings as well as screening programs in workplaces, organizations, conferences and schools worldwide through their distributor Indieflix led by CEO Scilla Andreen. A comprehensive discussion guide will accompany the film with useful tools for anyone hosting a screening.