Director's Statement: "Me Too."

BY BRIANNE NEIRA

"Me Too." is based on a true story. The film is visual evidence of the problem regarding sexual assault in America, and encourages women to take a stand against their perpetrators.

Trigger Warning: This short film includes scenes of sexual assault.

Dear Viewer,

My name is Brianne Neira, and I’m a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College. I’m the writer and director of my film “Me Too.” Over the past few months, there has been an amazing movement of women speaking out against their sexual assaulters -- the central component being the “Me Too” campaign. People began to post “Me Too” on social media to share their experiences with sexual assault and/or harassment. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness about how often these aggressions occur.

In the beginning of this movement, ironically, after I posted my own “Me Too” status referring to personal experiences with sexual harassment and catcalling, I was sexually assaulted. The trauma was incredibly difficult to deal with, especially under the circumstances. Because I was intoxicated, I felt like it was my fault. Through the help of my closest friends and treatment, I’ve begun to get better, to a point where I want to turn this horrible experience into something good. I decided to turn my experience into a film.

“Me Too” is a short film that features a young NYC college student named Emily who just got out of a serious relationship, along with her best friend Raegin. The two get invited to a party, where Emily gets very drunk, and is sexually assaulted. I wanted to do this because of a statistic I remember seeing on a poster: one in four college women are raped. It haunted me to think that out of a certain number of women, that had been me. I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me, but it is unfortunately so common, as displayed through the thousands of women coming out across the U.S. However, only 11% of college women report their assault, 7% of those women being under the influence of alcohol. These stats stuck with me, especially because my own assault went unreported.

My film is meant to raise awareness and contribute to social change. I’m a proud feminist, and my goal as a filmmaker is to increase representation of women in film. I wanted to create something that other women could relate to, something that would help expose the issue of sexual assault in the United States and around the world. Over the past week, while I’ve been completely dedicated to the production of this film, a group of women with accusations against Trump banded together to push for investigations. This is the kind of social progress we need; victims need to be able to speak out against their offenders and be taken seriously.

It’s incredible to see so many victims taking down powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, especially when just under 30 years ago, Anita Hill spoke out against a Supreme Court Justice nominee and was completely destroyed in the media. This movement is incredibly empowering to victims, and I want to be a part of it.

If you have any questions about "Me Too." or would like to get in touch with the director, please email brianneneira@gmail.com.