July 12, 2013
The Second Lady Of California Has Something To Say To Your Boys...
While Jennifer Siebel Newsom juggles the demands of mother of three and wife to California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, this extraordinary woman has some lofty goals of her own, and she doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Jen attended Stanford, nabbing an under graduate and master's degree from the uber impressive West Coast university. She entered the post-collegiate world as a budding actor, and found herself with a handful of roles in various flicks, as well as a smattering of television appearances.
After becoming somewhat disillusioned by the smoke and mirrors world of Hollywood and the limited choices that faced her as a woman, this gal has taken a proverbial bowl of lemons and made a gigantic pitcher of lemonade by seeking out a most courageous niche for herself. Still with her hand in the world of entertainment, but more importantly taking a stand on the issues that continue to muddy the waters in America.
A few years ago she wrote, directed, and produced a documentary film called Miss Representation. It found its way to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and Ms. Oprah Winfrey recognized its importance, wisely adding it to her collection of films that are frequently shown on the OWN Network. It tells the story of girls and young women in America, and how they are being influenced by the visual images that inundate this country on a daily basis. It is a smart and telling portrayal of our future women, and left me with more questions than answers as I continue to help my own daughter navigate her way through her formative years.
More recently, Jennifer was one of the executive producers on a film that has literally changed government policy. If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, you will know of this film because I have talked about it on many occasions. It is called The Invisible War and it should go down in history as one of the single most important films ever made. It chronicles the rampant sexual abuse in our military system, and sheds light on the blatant failure to hold the perpetrators responsible for their crimes. Since releasing the film, there has been an about-face by our government officials, implementing new procedures to protect the victims of sexual abuse within the military. The film received the Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature, also enjoying an Oscar nod for is brave portrayal of the dirty little secrets that have gone unpunished for far too long.
In 2014, Jen has plans to release yet another film called The Mask You Live In, and this time she's focusing on the boys. I have seen the trailer, and I am confident that this is going to be another home run for the smart Bay Area filmmaker. Like Miss Representation, this film focuses on the intentional and unintentional influences that our boys are peppered with on a daily basis. These influences, whether from mass media, social media, or the dinner table are shaping our children. This film discusses the emotional toll that is being taken on our boys and young men. The same young men who we will be looking to in the future to be among the leaders in this country, the husbands to our girls, and the fathers of tomorrow.
So, here's where you come in. The film is currently in post-production, with plans to be released in 2014, and is utilizing the clever funding of the hip website Kickstarter. (I also wrote a blog about this site if it sounds vaguely familiar to you) Here's how it works. Click on the link below and you will be able to glean from Jennifer herself an explanation of the film and its intent. If the presentation is in any way inspiring, you can have the distinct privilege of owning a piece of the pie, so to speak. By making a small (or HUGE) contribution, you can see to it that this film finds its way to completion. In exchange for your donation, you will have the pride of knowing you had a small part in the release of a special and important project. But there's more! You also will receive certain benefits based on the amount you contribute. The whole thing is on the link below and it will make better sense if you take a few minutes to check it out!