Mission StatementThe film aims to reduce the stigma of childhood sexual abuse against boys. We intend to make it easier for men to talk about what happened to them and to seek the help that will help them find peace without the label of being weak, flawed or ‘not man enough’.
About The Project
What's It About?
In this feature-length documentary, we will tell the stories of men who are healing from the scars of childhood sexual abuse. While the statistics are horrifying for both sexes, the media and society seem to treat boy victims different from girl victims and this film will shine a light on the disparity. Lives full of shame, lack of self-worth and body dysmorphia as well as an often-continual fight to believe they are man enough or macho in the face of hiding scars from their childhood. The fear of being seen as a potential perpetrator because of their sexual abuse is a real systemic problem for men recovering from childhood sexual abuse.
While the film will talk to some experts, the film will focus on personal stories and how these brave men have lived through their trauma.
The project is currently in post-production. What this means is that we've completed filming interviews with our seven courageous men and two experts in the field. We're combing through the hours of footage to tell this important story. This is where you can help. Your contributions will help us pay for coloring, sound mixing, and marketing the film to festivals and online distribution.
Frankly, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. In the past thirty years, I’ve watched as men like me have struggled to find the right kind of help. The lasting pain of people not understanding what we are going through and why the stereotypes of machismo and stoicism have made it more difficult to heal. This is the film project I was born to make. Unlike other efforts that may just rely on interviews of the kinds of men who are trying to get help recovering from their abuse, the approach I’m making is to have conversations with these men. I want to have connection, not just information. I want people to really understand the long-lasting effects and realize that just telling us to “man up” or “just get past it” minimizes the pain that we’ve had to live with.
The film aims to reduce the stigma of childhood sexual abuse against boys. We intend to make it easier for men to talk about what happened to them and to seek the help that will help them find peace without the label of being weak, flawed or ‘not man enough’. As we know from the help many women who have sought out help recovering from painful sexual abuse, keeping the past hidden doesn’t make it go away. For many of these men, the past isn’t gone…it’s part of their daily, present lives.
The film will be told through personal stories and expert opinion. It would be easy to fall into the trap of talking heads and we’re going to avoid that by spending time with each of the people the film follows to get footage of their real lives.
Every trek needs a map, and we’re staring with a rough overview to know where to head, but we’re also aware of how much of our plan will change as we start filming and editing the film. That’s just how documentary film is made. Our rough outline includes:
- Part 1: Surviving
- Secrets and Shame
- Growing up Abused
- Anxiety and Depression
- Sexual Health
- Part 2: Recovering
- Being Man Enough
- Trusting in Therapy
- Showing Your Feelings
- Weakness vs. Machismo
- Part 3: Persevering
- Friends and Lovers
- Dealing with Strangers
- Needing Each Other
- Anger and Hate
- Part 1: Surviving
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About This Team
Shawn is the Director, Producer and Writer of the recently completed “Hello World: The Film”. Before that he self-produced a couple of short documentaries that were made available directly on YouTube. He brings his passion and experience to this project. As a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, he is making this film from a very personal place. As he did in his first film, he’ll be telling the experience through his own eyes.
Randy Hill is an editor and filmmaker whose career has spanned over 20 years. He produced his first feature while working on a degree in Film at Georgia State University. Since then, he has shot & edited features, narrative and documentary shorts and long-form documentary and reality television, including the Emmy-winning Public Television series, "Ecosense for Living".
Peggy Still Johnson
Executive Producer/Music Supervisor
Peggy Still Johnson is a film composer, performing artist, casting agent and coach, Peggy has worked on projects such as “Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Parental Guidance,” “Bessie”, “Requiem for Herstory,” “Sugar on the Tip of My Lips,” “America’s Got Talent,” to name a few and has worked with artists such as T Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp, MoNique, Mickey Thomas, Larkin Poe, Joe Gransden, Dean Roland of Collective Soul, Justin Guarino, Tuk Smith of The Biters, writer Stephen King and more.
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