Impact campaign for the upcoming feature documentary AN ARMY OF WOMEN (SXSW 2024), which tells the story of a group of women in Austin, Texas, who join forces to legally challenge the system that allowed their rapists to walk free.
When “Amy”, Marina and Hanna’s rape cases are dismissed by the Austin police, all three women try to find a way to rebuild their lives. They join forces with twelve other women in a groundbreaking federal class-action lawsuit, the first to argue that sexual assault isn’t prosecuted because it’s a crime that predominantly affects women. The group is determined to hold police and prosecutors accountable for their inaction, but their resilience is tested as they face setbacks from the system they hope to change. Ultimately, "An Army of Women" offers a hopeful look into a movement that aims to change the future for women everywhere.
Set to make its global debut at SXSW in March 2024, AN ARMY OF WOMEN carries the powerful potential to drive both structural and cultural shifts, spotlighting the issue of sexual assault nationwide. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, while 98% of sexual assault perpetrators walk free.
Our current efforts are focused on securing funding for an extensive impact and outreach initiative. The goal is to use the film to challenge the prevailing rape culture and helping ensure that survivors receive the support and belief they deserve. Structurally, our aim is to elevate the status of sexual assault crimes within the legal framework.
Join us in our mission to bring this crucial story to the attention of decision-makers, law enforcement officials, and affected communities throughout the nation!
When I first learned about this class action lawsuit, I had lived in Austin for a year, and the city had always seemed like a safe place to live. But after reading about how law enforcement in Austin – and the US as a whole – handles sexual assault cases, my sense of safety was quickly shattered. I learned that one in six American women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. I learned that 99 % of rapists walk free. And I learned that survivors are disbelieved and retraumatized by the system that’s supposed to protect them. Rape, a crime that predominantly affects women, is essentially legal in America.
Anger is what drove me to tell this story, but hope is what came to define it. The women’s project springs from a place of optimism: it might take years to achieve, but change is possible. They’re leading the way in beginning an open and honest dialogue about what a more just system can look like. My goal is that viewers will be left with the same level of optimism and fighting spirit that drives this group of women.
“This film means so much. We get to witness the survivors fight the system and win. That is unusual for a system that disempowers victims in many ways unintentionally or not.”
— Rose Luna, Chief Executive Officer
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA)
Director Julie Lunde Lillesæter
As director and cinematographer, Julie combines a strong visual eye with a commitment to social change. She is a co-founder of Differ Media, an Oslo-based independent production and impact producing company that focuses on telling strong, character-driven stories. Her films explore themes such as women’s rights & equality, migration, and the climate crisis. AN ARMY OF WOMEN is her first feature film as a director.
Differ Media is an independent production and impact producing company based in Oslo, Norway. We tell character-driven, visually strong stories about some of the most important issues of our time. Our films have focused on issues like climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, migration and human rights. Differ’s productions have been broadcast in 60+ countries, and have been co-produced with broadcasters like Arte/ZDF, Al Jazeera, and NRK. Our feature Thank You for the Rain won Doc Society’s DocImpactHi5 award for its impact campaign.
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Women Make Movies (WMM), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization registered with the New York Charities Bureau of New York State and accepts charitable donations on behalf of this project. Your donation will be spent by the filmmaker(s) toward the production and completion of this media project. No services or goods are provided by Women Make Movies, the filmmaker(s) or anyone else associated with this project in exchange for your charitable donation.
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