SXSW 2024 Film World Premiere Screening of An Army Of Women

Directed by Julie Lunde Lillesæter and featuring survivors Marina Garrett, Hanna Senko, and Mary Ruth Reyes “Amy Smith,” the feature documentary An Army of Women shows the world how a group of women in Austin, Texas, join forces to legally challenge the system that allowed their rapists to walk free. This film tells the landmark story of women fighting to hold law enforcement accountable, with resounding relevance worldwide.

When the Austin police dismiss Amy, Marina and Hanna’s rape cases, all three women try to find a way to rebuild their lives. They join forces with twelve other women in a groundbreaking federal class-action lawsuit, the first to argue that sexual assault isn’t prosecuted because it’s a crime that predominantly affects women. The group is determined to hold police and prosecutors accountable for their inaction, but their resilience is tested as they face setbacks from the system they hope to change. Ultimately, “An Army of Women” offers a hopeful look into a movement that aims to change the future for women everywhere.

The film is in the Documentary Feature Competition. Multiple SXSW public screenings began Friday, March 8th, at the Zach Theatre (World Premiere), with another on Friday, March 15th, at 6:00 PM CT at AFS Cinema. This Norwegian filmmaker’s feature directorial debut is one to be noticed.

This powerful documentary shows the work and persistence of lawyers Jennifer Ecklund and Elizabeth Myers. There is footage with Austin District Attorney José Garza and Council Members Alison Alter and Greg Casar. There is a touching scene (among many) where the group demands an apology from the City of Austin for the treatment of rape survivors. This film may not be an easy watch for anyone who has gone through anything like these survivors, but it is something to learn about, not only for people in this city in the heart of Texas. They were persistent.

I recommend watching this film during the festival, as well as other upcoming screenings that will hopefully be available in the future at the Austin Film Society Cinema, 6406 N IH-35 Suite 3100.

Executive Produced by Julia Dahr, Julie Lunde Lillesæter, Natalya Search, and Arne Dahr and Co-Produced by Jessica Wolfson, Maria Willer, and Bernhard von Hülsen.

According to the Austin Film Society website, An Army Of Women was produced by Jessica Wolfson (AFS Grant Supported Filmmaker) and directed by Julie Lunde Lillesæter (Austin Public Producer).

RT: 80 Minutes

Source: AFS, SXSW, Together Films

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