Yeah Maybe, No is a story that cuts through the anger and fear that surrounds sexual violence to let a survivor tell his story in his own words. Blake is a college student who is processing his past unhealthy relationship on a college campus facing controversy over how it handles sexual assault cases. Blake struggles with identifying his experience as a crime and looks to draw a line between rape and a "bad situation." Due to self-blame, that line shifts and blurs, which complicates getting support from loved ones. The people around him expect a crime drama, but that is far too black and white for Blake to relate to. Through compassion and empathy, we take an honest look at a deeply troubling problem.
What's so special about this film?
One of the most unique aspects of this film is that it focuses on sexual violence from a male perspective. Sexual violence is generally thought of as a woman's issue, but many men are allies or survivors themselves. Stepping out the "violence against women" box allows for a deeper examination of the power dynamics present in intimate-partner violence and shows how there are more similarities than differences between male and female survivors.
Another valuable aspect of this story is that it serves as a test case for what colleges and universities can do to help their students. Blake is a student at Reed College, where students and faculty protested the administrations handling of sexual assault cases. It started with bathroom graffiti that named rapists and moved into a movement that enacted change. Through Blake's story, we investigate the effectiveness of that change.
Finally, this is a story discusses research into the most effective ways to hold young perpetrators accountable. Blake was hurt by someone he trusted, which led to complicated reactions that don't easily fit within the confines of the criminal justice system or disciplinary boards at universities. We challenge viewers to look beyond the high emotions of these cases to do what actually works to break cycles of violence.
Help Me Hire Lucy Bellwood (and more)!
One of the main things we need money for is hiring Lucy Bellwood to do illustrations. This film involves a lot of talking. We talk about past experiences, we talk about how those past experiences influence the present, and we talk about how those experiences are processed over time. It will take the work of a talented artist to bring those experiences to light, and Lucy is a dedicated artist with experience illustrating sensitive issues.
In addition to hiring Lucy, we still need to finish shooting, and then spend time putting the story together. We've gathered a lot of footage so far and have found a lot of in-kind donations, but there's still work to do in order to get to the finish line!
What will we do with this film when it's done?
The ultimate goal of this film is to take it to colleges and universities that are struggling with sexual assault on campus. This is a complex issue, and human stories like this one help put a face on what might otherwise be a statistic. It is also our hope that seeing a man speak of his experiences will help other men come forward and get the support they need. We did not set out to find a male survivor, but in working on this film, we have been surprised by how many men have pulled us aside to quietly talk about their experiences. This is for them.
I have also spoken with sexual assault resource centers about organizing community screenings and plan to submit it to festivals to obtain the widest possible audience for this story.
Risks and challenges
One of the main risks is timeline delays. The schedule of a film can change. However, even if it takes a little longer than expected, we are committed to seeing this project through to the end. Another risk is in unforeseen finishing costs that can arise. At the end of the day, we believe we have a great story that has gathered a lot of support so far, so we'll be able to get what we need to bring it to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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