Jane spends the summer after college at her lifelong home, her family's Michigan lake house. Her family and friends help her work through the unpredictable, awkward, heartfelt, painful, and confusing highs and lows of recovery after sexual assault.
Inclusion StatementThis female-led project will create a team out of diverse, local talent in Metro Detroit. The goal of this feature is to draw attention to the idea that abuse has been normalized - for men, women and children from all walks of life - and that we need to resolve it together.
About The Project
Disfluency is a feature film about coming of age and life after sexual assault. It explores the normalization of rape culture and managing PTSD. The feature is being adapted from an award-winning short film that has been featured in IndieWire, Adobe, and Refinery29. We've also been selected as one of ten projects to be workshopped at Jim Cummings' Inaugural Short to Feature Lab (more on that later!).
This production will be shot in Michigan in the summer of 2019 by a young, talented crew of film professionals on the rise. We are raising funds to begin development and pre-production. Thank you for helping us share Jane's story!
Last year, a ragtag bunch of film kids - largely made up of University of Michigan graduates and mostly under 30 - came together to create this short in hopes that it would shed light on the normalization of the everyday aftermath of date rape. It showed the multi-faceted, complex crime through a realistic lens. This team is excited to be turning this film into a feature on their home turf in Michigan.
The short film version of Disfluency follows Jane, a college senior, through her daily life - from her passive usage of the phrase "I'm sorry," to her being raped by a friend at a party and the emotional aftermath. This habit of apologizing stays with her throughout because we have let rape become a cultural disfluency--an expected, almost unnoticeable interruption in our culture. In short, visual bursts, we see Jane struggle to stave off her PTSD, but only through addressing her trauma is she able to begin to move forward again.
The feature version of Disfluency picks up where the short left off. Jane spends the summer after her senior year of college at her lifelong home, her family’s Michigan lake house, where she continues to find a “new normal” after assault. She not only copes with her deeply personal and confusing trauma, but also explores her identity and comes into her own. Jane, her family, and friends work through the unpredictable, awkward, heartfelt, painful and confusing highs and lows of recovery.
She's the friend who grew up three houses down, the sister you have a love-hate relationship with, the classmate who copies her notes for you when you're sick, the girl at the party who is always underdressed, the frustrating daughter, the fearless girlfriend, the coffee shop regular, the smart girl, the theater girl... the rape girl... or maybe... she's you. Like most of us who recently underwent the post-college, constantly-falling phase, she is trying to figure out what happens next. What's the next step after the pathway deadends into an endless amount of options?
On top of that, Jane is living life after outing herself as a sexual assault survivor, which comes with baggage that causes her to question her identity.
The next three months of Jane's life are coated in a confusing haze of highs and lows. She has panic attacks, angry outbursts, and boughts of joy. Something has shifted within her. She's hyperaware of everything around her, everything she has perceived as"normal" her whole life. This awareness of her own 'normal' makes her feel... off. She views her world as an outsider, struggling with imposter syndrome she can't shake.
Jane spends her summer doing everything she usually would in summers at home - sunbathing, bonfires, ghost stories, skinny dipping, catching lightning bugs, late night movies, the 4th of July boat parade. She has a summer fling and discovers the uncontrollable pitfalls of PTSD and intimacy. She volunteers for summer school program for a favorite teacher at her old high school. As an aspiring speech pathologist with a degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD), Jane helps a student who has trouble speaking improve their speach. A student who, in turn, helps Jane find her 'voice'.
The setting of Disfluency is integral to Jane’s journey. The lake will be a character all its own.
The thousands of lakes across Michigan all carry their own stories. They each have history, urban legends, traumas. It’s the ideal and intimate setting for the turbulence that is recovery. The ongoings of a lake's ecosystem -- much like us -- lie deep below the surface. For Jane, there's no better place to unearth those ongoings, than the place she calls home.
SHOOTING LOCATION Lower Straights Lake, Commerce Twp. MI
Your Seed&Spark pledges will be put towards the most crucial elements that we need to make this movie happen. We will be recruiting local Michigan talent and resources, engaging the community in a collaborative way.
The core members of our team are composed of aspiring 20 something artists (born and raised in mitten) — which means we’re young, talented, resilient and broke. Anything you contribute will be used thoughtfully and graciously. If you can’t financially contribute right now, please share Jane’s story wherever you can, be that social media, email, word of mouth, posting at your coffee shop, or otherwise.
Thank you for taking an interest. We’re looking forward to having you on board as part of our team!
Oh yeah! The script will be workshopped at Jim Cummings' Inaugural Short to Feature Lab — if you’re not familiar with Jim Cummings, you should be. He’s the badass creator of the short AND feature films Thunder Road (Sundance, SXSW, Cannes). The short film Disfluency was selected to be workshopped by writing, producing, and indie filmmaking pros and peers… so you can be assured that it will be extra awesome.
Disfluency director Laura Holliday and writer/producer Anna Baumgarten are partners with SafeBAE, a non-profit organization created by the young women featured in Audrie & Diasy (Netflix, Sundance) who share their stories of survival at schools across the country in hopes that their efforts will educate students at a formative age about consent, sexual assault, and dating violence. SafeBAE is the producing partner of the short film Disfluency, as well as a proud partner of the feature.
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About This Team
Our team is young, hungry, and ready to show the world what we can do. Together.
The Disfluency team is largely composed of Michiganders and University of Michigan graduates who are freelance professionals in the film, TV, and media indsutry. We've worked together for years and we're proud to be making Disfluency in our homestate with integrity, dedication, and love.
Anna hails from the Michigan mitten. She was born and raised in Commerce Township, MI. This indie filmmaker, producer and screenwriter strives to tell stories with truth. She currently works in TV Development and writes for the Boomerang Series Wacky Races. With an independent TV pilot, a dozen short films, and a digital PSA campaign under her belt, Anna continues to seek out opportunities to create collaborative media content. She is a media partner with SafeBAE, an organization that works to provide sexual assault awareness and prevention education to middle, high school, and college students.