Born of deep visceral insights Womanhood is a 22 min film that looks at the underlining patriarchal societal issues that contribute to the normalization and acceptance of gender-based violence and abuse in South Africa. Viewed through the lens of a series of themes ranging from Barriers, Body, Pain, Freedom, Identity and Future the film is a tapestry of experience and stories told through up to 35 interviews. Womanhood delicately navigates the complexities of being a woman in South Africa and is an honest read on where women find themselves right now. Compelling and deeply raw at times, the film also offers hope and asks for a more positive future through unity and support.
Cultural / Context information for the jury
We live in a world where borders are closing and walls are being built; where divisions widen as inequality marches on. In South Africa, women are far from free. Safety is at a harrowing low level, and patriarchal, gender abuse is high and normalized.
Data reveals a harrowing level of abuse - One in three women will be sexually attacked. Two in five are beaten by their partners. Half will be sexually harassed at work and one in 15 will be murdered by their partner.
The topic is normalized, and brands have failed to address this endemic societal issue.
Tell the jury anything relevant about the direction. Do not name the director.
In the advertising space, documentary done responsibly allow for unimaginable authenticity and audience connection. We should never underestimate its power, but equally the responsibility and the difficulty in mastering its skill.
In documentary, you’re asking real people to open their homes and share their lived experiences. Finding the right contributors (cast) for this project was an undertaking that took our director over 4 months. Building trust and making the participants feel an integral part of the project was critical.
The sensitivity of the subject matter, our director (also a woman) shared the same fears and joys the women relived.
When editing this kind of film the difficulties in building a narrative where every one of the 35 interviews and 7 days of filming counts is not to be overlooked. A director’s masterclass in seamlessly crafting a tapestry of raw, emotional, stories of hope with beautifully crafted vignettes of life in-between.