Inclusion StatementEmpowering women both in front of and behind the lens, this project is a chance for the world to be introduced to the women who have overcome many struggles to build a community they can call their own, and learn what caused them to create them in the first place.
About The Project
Only six miles outside of touristic Cartagena, Colombia, there is a small, colorful town that women from all over the country — those displaced, abused, violated — can call their own. It’s a bold response to years of oppression and violence, tradition and unruly machismo. Two blocks long and nearly 100 homes, La Ciudad de las Mujeres, or The City of Women, is more than just a haven, it’s a feat. The women themselves dug the earth, mixed the cement, raised the walls, laid down the streets and planted the gardens of their new home. In the years since they’ve rejected machismo, these women have taken back what was stolen from them in the war: their dignity.
And they're not alone.
In the spaces between the “wall streets” and the warzones, other women-led communities thrive. In some parts of the world, women who had survived violence, rape and abuse (from soldiers) escaped the scorn of their own societies to create a village based on unity. In others, dozens of lesbian womyn have lead quiet lives in their haven far from marginalization and discrimination for decades.
This three-part documentary series seeks to explore these communities and how, despite persistent and oftentimes life-threatening setbacks, they continue to exist. It will capture the rebellious spirit of these trailblazers and answer what inspired them to create these parallel societies in the first place. Finally, it will posit the question: what does the future look like for these communities as they struggle to stay vital in a new generation?
This project comes during a moment in time when women around the world are standing up for their rights. The series aims to tell the stories of those who, some could say, were the first in their communities to cry out and say “enough”; the first to create a space they could call “home.” Because these women live insular lives, it’s important to highlight their voices now; to remember their stories, their lessons, their struggles.
Despite the nature of this production, “No Man’s Land” is truly for everyone. It's for the young girls and boys around the world with lots of questions -- those who may be just learning now that it’s not only a man’s world. It is important to expose this audience to both the power and promise of female-led communities as an alternate way of life, a different but doable societal structure. It’s especially important to use the origin stories of these communities to help push forward the narratives against domestic violence, misogyny, genital mutilation, along with other gender-based issues.
Finally, we seek to empower and support women both in front of and behind the lens. A recent report from San Diego State University tracked women’s employment in the film industry for 20 years. The study found that in 2017, only 11 percent of women were directors, 17 percent were writers, 16 percent were editors, and only 4 percent of cinematographers were women.
Without including women in production the world is missing half of the stories that could be told.
Our plan for this project is to submit to festivals like Telluride, Big Sky Documentary and Sundance so join us on this journey by making a donation, sharing on social media, and spreading the word!
Thank you ahead of time for your support!
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About This Team
ANNA ANDERSEN, one of the few female cinematographers in the field today, uses the lens to tell a wide array of narratives. From heartfelt documentaries to high-profile fashion shoots and engaging commercial work, there is no story that will be left untold. Anna Andersen currently resides in Brooklyn, NY but travels around the world empowering women through media.
GABRIELLA CANAL is a multimedia journalist living in New York City. For as long as she can remember, she has built a record of seeking out opportunities she feels strongly passionate about, and that require her to help inspire change. Writing, photography and filmmaking are her passions.
SARA MARIA JONES is currently living in Brooklyn and freelances in the fashion and film industries, both creating content and managing productions.
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