CONSENT: A SHORT COMEDY ABOUT A SERIOUS SUBJECT
Cast: Rebekka Johnson, Tate Ellington, Jackie Tohn, Oscar Montoya, Sarah Lowe, Dwayne Colbert
Crew: Producers: Rebekka Johnson, Kimmy Gatewood, Matt Johnson – Screenwriters: Rebekka Johnson –
A singer ignores her fan’s consent in this romantic comedy gone wrong. An allegory about sexual assault with absolutely no sex.
Kimmy Gatewood is an actor/director who has recently directed segments for THE JOEL MCHALE SHOW WITH JOEL MCHALE on Netflix and an episode of the JUST ADD MAGIC SPINOFF on Amazon. Additionally, her award winning short film CONTROL (written by Alison Becker) is currently touring the festival circuit. Kimmy directed the documentary Nerdcore Rising, which premiered at SXSW, HYPERLINKED a series for Disney and YouTube Red, the Clio Award Winning digital series JUNKETEERS, Rachel Bloom’s LADYBOSS for Vanity Fair and I DON’T CARE ABOUT AWARD SHOWS which opened the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Show. Her upcoming series of shorts SEX SCHOOL WITH RACHEL BLOOM, a collaboration with Refinery 29 and Planned Parenthood, will be premiering this summer. Other upcoming projects include a series for Eko and Olive Bridge and an episode of CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND. She also plays Stacey on Netflix’s GLOW. So she can put you in a headlock.
CONSENT began with many conversations with writer/star Rebekka Johnson about how to talk to our children about consent. There’s no Sesame Street episode or book you can buy to open a conversation about this very nuanced subject. We asked our friends what education they have had about consent and most shrug their shoulders and refer to the “Tea Video” (which you must check out if you haven’t.) We as a society still aren’t on the same page about the importance of consent. Much of the institutional education about consent, sexual harassment, and abuse still puts on the onus on the woman. These include self-defense courses, support groups, and legal counsel for after the offense has occurred. In college, there are blue lights throughout campuses and women are encouraged to walk with a chaperone. Can you imagine not being able to walk alone? Can you imagine being questioned if what you were wearing was appropriate? Can you imagine if someone who sexually harassed or raped you was able to walk to the streets? Whether you can or can’t, the intention of our film is to start a new dialogue about consent. Inspired by her personal life, Rebekka tried to figure out how to tell a story that would show an abuser what a victim goes through. She started speaking in analogies and metaphors. She compared consent to liking a song at a concert – which is consensual. But if a singer were to follow you around and force you to listen to them sing, the scenario becomes non-consensual. And that’s where our story begins. In the spirit of the “tea” video, CONSENT is funny, shareable and aims for a great understanding. It’s difficult for victims of sexual harassment and abuse to write about their experiences because it forces them to relive their trauma again and again. As a director, I believe it’s important to tell these stories, to lift up women’s voices, and push the conversation in a funny way. In addition, the film addresses the injustice and indignity sexual harassment makes the victim feel. It’s so easy to judge any gender for not fighting against sexual harassment, but it’s not as simple as walking away or even saying “no”. What if you woke up every day and felt like you didn’t have a choice whether or not someone was going to objectify you or sing to you all day. The character of Libby is played by Rebekka- a tremendous actress on the Netflix series GLOW. We’ve collaborated as comedy partners for over ten years and this project is an opportunity for us to explore darker themes that we’ve shied away from in the past as a comedy duo. My hope is that CONSENT will inspire anyone who is bullied or harassed to talk about it publicly so we can teach our kids how to respect one another.