January 25, 2015

The Mask You Live In Premieres At Sundance...

For the past few years I have written several blogs about an up-and-coming grassroots organization that has continually hit it out of the park when it comes to tackling increasingly complex societal issues. Issues that relate to all of us in some way, but sadly are discussions that are flying under the radar.

In 2011, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and her team at The Representation Project released the documentary, Miss Representation. It was a bold and visually explosive film about the massive influence our media is having on our young women and girls. The flick found its way to the elusive Sundance Film Festival where Oprah saw it and ultimately nabbed it for her collection of films on OWN. 

On the heels of its release, Newsom and a slew of highly influential filmmakers were the executive producers of the award winning documentary,The Invisible War.  A film that gained countrywide attention for the egregious failure on the part of the United States military to protect its soldiers from the rampant incidents of sexual assault by fellow soldiers. Much has been reported and written about this ongoing issue, which continues to this day to plague every sector of our armed forces. An issue that remains a talking point among our legislators. Although, thanks to the handful of congressional leaders who continue to tirelessly fight for the rights of our military personnel, I have no doubt the tides will eventually turn. Will it take a female commander-in-chief? This writers thinks so.

You may recall a blog I wrote a little over a year ago about a Kickstarter project in the works for a follow-up film by The Representation Project. Similar to their first message geared toward our young women and girls, the soon to be released The Mask You Live In is directing its attention to our young men and boys. The documentary promises to delve into the issue of masculinity and the pervasive expectations that our society has placed on young men to "man up" at any cost.

On Friday evening The Mask You Live In premiered at Sundance, sparking much conversation and debate about the ubiquitous roles and behaviors that our young men are being encouraged to play as they develop and interact with others. The film will soon make its way to the masses and hopefully discussions will ensue just as they did with MissRepresentation. It will no doubt be a provocative film that hopefully will give our young men a voice at a time when our media and societal expectations intentionally inundate our children with unrealistic norms.

I have attached a short trailer of The Mask You Live In. If you should be interested in sharing this message with your local schools or youth organizations, please contact www.therepresentationproject.org.

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