RADiUS and CNN Films have partnered on an as yet untitled film about campus sex crime, it was announced today. Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Kirby Dick, and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer Amy Ziering (“The Invisible War”) will direct and produce the film. RADiUS will distribute the film theatrically and CNN/U.S. has acquired the broadcast rights.
One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, according to the Campus Sexual Assault Study of the National Institute of Justice, yet only a fraction of these acts of sexual violence are reported to campus officials and law enforcement and, even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. Besides the terrible, immediate impact these assaults have on the individual survivors, many of the perpetrators remain free to offend again.
The untitled feature will follow the personal struggles of several people working to deal with their own trauma. Several survivors will come forward with their stories to their families and school administrations in the film. The filmmakers also point out the institutional similarities between this type of enabling environment, where reporting of assault is often discouraged, with that of the U.S. Military, which has struggled with its own crisis in sexual assaults. With the rising outrage in the wake of recent nationally publicized scandals associated with college and professional athletes accused of violent and sexual crimes, the filmmakers describe a near ‘tipping point’ in the way that such events are viewed.
“The statistics are staggering – our country has a moral obligation to address this issue. We hope our film will provide a wake-up call to our nation to better protect our students,” said director Kirby Dick.
According to RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, “The Invisible War” was a landmark film that had a major impact within the military. That said, there’s still a lot more work to be done across every aspect of our society. In conjunction with the exceptional team of Amy and Kirby, CNN and this powerful film, we hope to draw attention and engage in real debates about this national crisis.”
“This type of important but sensitive material requires skilled handling by exceptional filmmakers,” said Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, “Kirby and Amy are the perfect team to take on this challenge, as a natural follow up to their Academy Award-nominated and critically-acclaimed film, ‘The Invisible War’.”
The film is expected to be ready for theaters in 2015 and will appear as a CNN Films broadcast for the network later in 2015.