The News headlines are filled with stories about abused children. Last year actress, singer Mackensie Phillips revealed being molested by her father, currently, the focus is on Penn State and the multiple incidents of Abuse that children suffered while in the custody of Asst. Coach Jerry Sandusky as well as by those who failed to report the incidents to Police Officials. It is not only the act of the abuse that scar's the victims its the silence that continues to harm and creates a vicious cycle. This silence imprisons the soul of the victim in an emotional prison of Guilt and Shame - I know because I am one of them and I am finally breaking my silence.
"A Life, Taken" is a story inspired by my personal experience. I wrote the first draft as a way to get something that I've never told anyone OUT. I finally was in a place spiritually where I could feel the burden of holding onto this secret and what it was doing to me. I wrote the first draft as an exercise - like the one where you finally write the letter to that person in your life and you tell them everything you've felt about them - BUT YOU NEVER SEND IT. This exercise is just for you, right?
Well, after completing the first draft of the script I felt a weight had been lifted but it soon became apparent to me that what I wrote was something that could help not only me but others IF I COULD GATHER THE COURAGE to put my work out there. So, I took a deep breath in and let it out, prayed and with the grace of God began putting one foot in front of the other.
- DawnMarie Ferrara
Our Interview On ESPNGeorge and I are so proud of this interview we gave. It was on ESPN with LaFern Cusack. We talk about how to break the cycle of Sexual Abuse and how victims can begin to heal.
(Our segment starts at 25:00)
"A Life, Taken" is a character driven piece that deals with the intricacies of human relationships through the exploration of one's psyche - the obvious vs the secrets that are kept within each of us. My goal is to engage our talented cast to take the emotional roller coaster ride needed to illustrate the reality of psychological and mental anguish that abuse can have on an adult. Through this journey I hope to present the reality of child abuse and how common of a phenomenon it is within our society. How it scars us and how we can overcome the inner turmoil of self loathing. - George Pitsironis
SynopsisThe film centers around the character Natalie Fispoli, who suffered abuse as a child. Natalie is now a New York City Police Detective and her life is coming apart at the seams. Anger, rage and guilt have eaten away at her humanity. Her current case brings up painful memories. Natalie becomes emotionally and psychologically unstable, is suspended from the department and subsequently mandated to enroll into counseling.
'A Life, Taken' follows Natalie's counseling sessions which are at first, painfully mundane because she has closed herself off emotionally from the world. Eventually Natalie discovers that she must do the hardest thing in her life: open up and reveal her past so she can have a future - WILL SHE BE ABLE TO DO IT?
Art can make a difference in this world. I know I've been inspired by it - whether it's looking at a painting hanging at LACMA or listening to Miles Davis. Art spurs the senses and can be a catalyst towards change - a change in one persons perception can lead to a change in society.With our short film 'A Life, Taken' we hope to do just that.
When abuse begins the victim is no longer the same person and that's the reason for the title of our project - "A Life, Taken" because after the abuse " A LIFE" has literally been "TAKEN". It's our hope that our film helps other victims to get their lives back by breaking the cycle of silence.
It is our hope that this film helps those who have suffered childhood abuse and have kept it silent to come to terms with the abuse they've suffered - (whether you're 21 or 61) - the time is NOW to state your truth, break the silence and begin the road to healing.
The Film Will Help In Other Ways
'A Life, Taken' is a short film as well as an Awareness Campaign - we will list contact and hotline information for resources, programs and organizations in our credits so those who need to get help have a safe place to call.
One organization we are currently talking to is Dream Catchers for Abused Children. It is an amazing world-wide organization dedicated to educating the public on every aspect of child abuse.
If you would like more information on this organization visit their website:
What The Money Will Be Used For
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is encrypted and protected.
** 100% of all donations will go to the production.
Filming Necessities: Lights, camera, sound gear, lens rentals, generators etc
Locations and Art Direction: "A Life, Taken" is set in Brooklyn, New York and we will need to re-create an East Coast look and feel.
Permits: There are a couple outdoor locations that we will have to obtain permits to shoot at.
Wardrobe: In our film the story spans the years 1986 to the Present, we will need to purchase wardrobe that is consistent with the time period.
Food: When people are donating their time or working for far less than they are worth, it makes a huge difference if they are well fed.
Post-production: All the necessary finishing touches a film needs: Editing, color correction, sound mix, sound design and score.
Festival Fees: This film is being created to help others - to create awareness - we can only do this if a wide audience is exposed to it. It is our intention to enter the finished film into Festivals. The fee's for these festivals can add up. A portion of the money donated will go towards paying these fees.
Publicity Materials: To help get the word out about our film we will need to have Advertising Materials, these include Production Stills, DVD's, Press Kits and Movie Posters
"A Life, Taken" Team
- George Pitsironis (Director/Executive Producer)
- Peter Castagnetti (Director of Photography)
- DawnMarie Ferrara (Writer/ Executive Producer/ Actor: Natalie Rispoli) Some Credits include: SOUTHLAND, Lyla Wolf: Infractus, The Item and The Tao of The Golden Mask
- Jeffery Dean (Actor: Brad Rispoli) Some Credits include: Unscripted, .com for Murder, To Kill A Memory
- Libby West (Actor: Dr. Trunino) Some Credits include: Six Feet Under, Two Weeks Notice and One Life To Live.
- Billy Gillespie (Actor: Bill Bacci) Some Credits include: Doc Hollywood, In the Heat of the Night, Law & Order,
- Carmen Milito (Actor: Sandy Bacci) Some Credits Include: Slice and The Finalist
- Nayo K. Wallace (Actor: Gina Evans) Some credits include: Speed Racer, Torchwood, Two and a Half Men and 24
- CarolAnn Susi (Actor: Ms. Mancuso) Some Credits Include: Just Go With It, Seinfeld, Death Becomes Her, The Big Bang Theory and The Secret Of My Success
- Terence Rotolo (Actor: Juan Carlos Santiago) some credits include: Master and Commander, The Rundown, Power Rangers and The Scorpian King
- Natasha Malinsky (Actor: Lissa Barnes) Some Credits include: The Ascension, The Apprentice, One Tree Hill, Winx Club and Pokemon
No Money? No Problem. There Are Other Ways You Can Help
1) Visit Our Facebook Fan Page and "Like" Ithttps://www.facebook.com/dawnmarieferrara#!/pag...
2) Help Us Spread The Word By Sharing the Link To This Campaign To Everyone You KnowPost the link to your Twitter Account, Facebook Account, Send it in an e-mail, Send it via Snail Mail or shout it out your window because the more buzz we have surrounding
"A Life, Taken", the better the chances for getting the support we need.
Here's an easy link to share: http://www.indiegogo.com/ALifeTaken