Here I will be sharing stories from the making of the film.
Blog Post #4
December 16, 2011-
Thank you to everyone who donated to our fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo. We were able to surpass our initial goal and raise almost $22,000 that will go towards post-production costs to help us complete the film! We were unsure about embarking on the journey of crowd-sourced fundraising, but the success of the campaign reconfirmed our dedication to this project and reassured us of the widespread interest in a film that deals with surviving rape. Our ultra capable intern Kate Krantz was invaluable with setting up the IndieGoGo campaign.
We also have a new Associate Producer, Georgi Goldman, who is supervising post, producing the film’s epilogue, and who will be helping maintain this site. Sara Caffarena who was our Associate Producer for the shoot we did in Italy this year, is here in Los Angeles and also working on post with us.
We’ve been incredibly moved by the efforts so many people have put forth to support us: One survivor is running in an upcoming marathon to raise money for the film. Two young New Yorkers, Simon Sassenberg and Brian Crichlow, were moved to host a holiday fundraiser for us after reading Ben Harper’s Facebook post about our film. Fran Drescher, who appears in the film, gave us a shout out on Facebook, and Natalie Maines, who collaborated with Linor and Ben on recording the original song Forgiveness for the film, gave us some love too.
I was asked to write an article about making the film for Film Courage Magazine, which you can read here. And, we just found out that we’ve been awarded a prestigious grant, which we’ll be able to officially announce any minute. Stay tuned!
The positive energy from people who see the trailer, meet Linor, and post on this website, is so powerful. We need to keep our momentum going through our post production. Please like us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and help spread the word about our film. So many survivors of rape – likely people you know – will thank you.
Blog Post #3
December 7, 2010-
Linor was in Los Angeles last month to meet prominent women who have survived rape. We were all excited about bringing a more public profile to the film. The first celebrity Linor met with was Joan Collins. When Joan heard about the project she offered to be involved and said she had something to share with Linor. She and Linor had tea together, and she told Linor about going on a date with a well known English actor when she was 17. He gave her a drink which turned out to be spiked with a drug, because she passed out and when she woke up he was on top of her raping her. She was a virgin. You can’t imagine what happened next. You’ll see it in the film. Joan believes, like Linor, that the worst thing is for women to stay silent and blame themselves. She believed it could be of help to other women for her to open up about what happened to her. The scene between them is so revealing, and Joan said something at the end that made us all choke back tears.
Linor then met Fran Drescher, who shared a terrifying story of the break in and assault at her home when she and her friend were raped by two men who held a gun to her husband’s head. Fran has been outspoken about this experience and like Joan, agreed to be part of our project when we asked, because as she said “I wanted your film to be good, and I knew it wouldn’t be as good if I wasn’t in it!” Her incredible sense of humor has clearly seen her through the huge challenges she has faced. Linor, who grew up on “The Nanny,” adored her, and Fran’s courage in sharing what happened to her without shame, and how healing is a long process which doesn’t happen overnight, was a huge inspiration.
Linor also met Gloria Allred, who been an advocate for so many women in cases of assault and discrimination. Herself a survivor of sexual assault, Gloria and Linor discussed why universities cover up cases of college campus rape and discourage victims from reporting the crimes or seeking justice. Gloria is currently representing the family of Megan Wright, the victim of a gang rape at Dominican College, who committed suicide after Dominican failed to investigate the rape or expel the rapists.
Linor also filmed with male survivor Jim Clemente, who was recently part of an Oprah show on male survivors. Jim has been one of the FBI’s top profilers of child molestors. His story is both chilling and incredibly inspirational. And for all those who are wanting to see the “male point of view” in this film, as Jim says, “this is the male point of view.”
Motty was producing Beverly Hills Fashion Week and organized the H. Lorenzo show as a fundraiser for the film and for the Teddy Bear Clinic in Soweto, which treats hundreds of young girls each year who are victims of rape. We showed a teaser from the film and Linor spoke, to a prolongued standing ovation.
Our final shoot was the most exciting. Linor has been embracing certain traditions of orthodox Judaism during the course of the film, one of them being that she can no longer sing in public. We had planned for her to record her song “Forgiveness” while she was here, but she told us she couldn’t sing on the recording, and asked us to help her reach out to some recording artists to sing it for her. We filmed an incredible session in Hans Zimmer’s studio with Natalie Maines and Ben Harper giving voice to Linor’s song and her message. Members of Ben’s band Relentless 7 played on the track, which will be the theme song of the film. Look for release of the single soon!
Blog Post #2
Aug. 15, 2010-
Here are some resources and information that we’ve come across during the course of working on the Linor Documentary Project. I’m hoping that these suggestions will be of help to survivors who are visiting this site, and we encourage others to post information here too. Please comment and let me know whether these resources are helpful.
-Freshman student Alexa Sardinia was attacked and raped during her first week at college by an intruder hiding in the shower in her dorm. After seeing her through the grueling months of a trial which ended with the conviction and imprisonment of the rapist, her family started a foundation that assists the families of victims with traveling expenses during the trial process. We filmed with Alexa’s mother Stacey Branchini when Linor spoke in Cleveland, and we’re hoping to catch up with Alexa and film with her during the course of shooting the documentary. Here is the link to the “It Happened To Alexa Foundation.”: http://www.ithappenedtoalexa.org/
-Trinka Porrata is a Drug Consultant who educates law enforcement officials, medical practitioners, teachers, parents, and courtrooms about drugs used in cases of sexual assault. Based on our research in the course of the Linor Project, the use of “date rape drugs” or “trendy drugs” in clubs, bars and at parties, as weapons of sexual assault, is pervasive. These insidious drugs leave the body quickly, often before a victim can get to a hospital, and they prevent the victim from being able to recall or testify credibly about what happened. Trinka Porrata spent 25 years with the LAPD, is a nationally renowned expert on trendy drug abuse, is the author/editor of numerous articles and books, and is the President of Project GHB, a nonprofit dedicated to research, prevention, treatment and response to abuse of the drug gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB). If you suspect that drugs were used in cases of rape or assault against you or anyone you know, please visit Trinka’s website for information and help: http://www.trendydrugs.org/custom/bios/porrata.html
-One of the greatest inspirations of our project is the public speaker Alison, in South Africa. I will write more about her in blogs to come, and she will feature prominently in the film. She made an enormous impact on Linor. The way she survived and overcame the most horrifying, brutal attack and rape, and who she became as a result, is one of the most remarkable stories you will ever hear. Meeting her changed our lives; she let us know that there is no limit to what we can overcome and accomplish. Read her book “I Have Life,” as soon as you can get ahold of it.
-The Leila Grace Foundation provides prevention programs for campus safety to colleges. Its main focus is to provide education which can reduce the risks of sexual assaults on college campuses.
-The Book “Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb,” by Bernard Lefkowitz is a book published in 1998. It examines the circumstances of the gang rape in 1989 of a young mentally challenged girl by the jocks in the town, and the community’s attempt try to cover up the crime and exonerate the local athletes. Based on what we’ve discovered, this could happen in any community, or at any college in the United States today. Do communities, and even the highest educational institutions in our country overlook cases of rape, or discourage students from reporting them, when star athletes are involved? This book is essential reading, available on Amazon etc.
-Save Aaron Vargas. We haven’t covered this story in the film but since reading about it I can’t get it out of my mind, and we all need to pay attention. Aaron Vargas was sentenced last month to 9 years in prison for killing the man who sexually and psychologically abused him for 20 years. The abuser was Aaron’s neighbor, Darrell McNeill, a realtor, Boy Scout leader, and Big Brother in Fort Bragg, California, who allegedly molested and raped numerous other victims who reported the abuse to the police, but no investigation was ever done. McNeill stalked and harassed Aaron, the loving father of a young son, up until the day he died. Why do police enforcement and our justice system overlook allegations of rape until it’s too late? Darrell McNeil, a man of some apparent standing, should not have been allowed to continue molesting children in his community until one of his victims snapped. Please visit the site that Aaron’s sister Mindy started to raise awareness about his case.
-RAINN is the largest anti sexual assault organization in the U.S. RAINN works with local rape crisis centers across the USA and has a web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous 24 hour help to victims of rape and sexual assault.
More to come. If you have had contact with any of these organizations, or if you have a group or website or resource of your own, please let us know.
Podcast: Speaking Out about Rape with Director Cecilia Peck
8/8/10: I went on KPRK’s “Healthy Planet, Healthy Me” to talk about the Linor Documentary Project. To listen to the podcast please click here.
Healthy Planet, Healthy Me radio talk show is committed to covering topics that affect the well being of We The People and our planet.
Blog Post #1
We’re excited about two people who are working on the film who are motivated to upgrade the website. Kohl Harrington and Alessia Von Erb have taken the lead on this. We’ve been wanting to make changes to the site but have been stretched too thin, so it’s great to have their energy on board the project. Linor is in her second year of law school and unable to devote as much time as she’d like to the website, so we’re going to help out. For now, the website will be run by the filmmaking team, and reflect the process of making the documentary. We’d like to share all the challenges and triumphs of making the film, and get feedback. We will also post updates on the developments in Linor’s life and her outreach work. We want to see the website become a very vital nexus of exchanging stories, ideas and information for survivors, that will have outreach far beyond the film. I’m hoping that everyone working on the project will share their thoughts and experiences, and also that we’ll hear from survivors who have participated. We’d like to know what it was like for them to meet Linor, how they felt about being in the film, and how things are going for them since they participated. We also want to post clips and trailers from the project, and we’re working toward being able to have survivors post their own video testimonials of their stories. We welcome thoughts from the legal community, the law enforcement community, from activists dealing with rape and violence against women, and from other filmmakers.
We’ve posted a lot more content about what we’ve filmed and what we have left to film, and I will write some updates asap about the process of working on this project from my perspective. This experience has been very eye-opening and hugely challenging. Rape is not a sexy subject. Most people want to turn away. But that has made all of us realize how urgent it is to make a film that’s so real and so personal and full of all the ups and downs of what it is to survive a rape, that everyone will be compelled to watch it.
- Cecilia Peck, Director