One of Many, a short film about the 2017 Women’s March, and an official selection of the upcoming 2020 International New York Film Festival, is seeking digital distribution. As the Trump era lurches to a close, and new rounds of protests occupy the streets, One of Many documents the women’s marches that occurred nationwide three-and-a-half years ago in opposition to Trump, and more broadly, to sexism, patriarchy, and racism.
“The film captures the widespread, collective outrage that President Trump’s inauguration provoked while contextualizing it within historical human rights movements,” notes One of Many Executive Producer Jessica Good. The sixteen-minute documentary is directed by M.J. Bernier and debuted last fall at Atlanta’s Out on Film festival, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festivals.
Since its release, One of Many has won the “Best Short Documentary” award at Albuquerque’s Mindfield Film Festival, and was nominated for “Best Documentary” at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. It has also screened at the Oxford International Film Festival and The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival.
Having cleared two important hurdles: getting the film made and seen at festivals, director Bernier and executive producer Good are seeking distribution through a digital platform to gain a wider audience. According to Good, “Through the power of cinema, we aim to give a voice to womxn of all backgrounds and take an action-oriented approach to social justice.”
The origins of the film are simple. Like many, film maker M.J. Bernier was shocked and heartbroken at the election of Donald Trump. Rather than succumb to paralysis, she decided to protest, and then go one step beyond that and document the historic demonstrations that took place nationwide on January 17, 2017. Her initial crew consisted of a group of women summoned to her then girlfriend’s San Francisco apartment. According to Bernier’s “Director Statement” on FilmFreeway:
One of Many documents the protests on January 21, 2017. We spent almost a full 24 hours from dawn well into night, hopping from one protest to another with multiple crews documenting as much of the day as we possibly could. We had people filming in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC—and most importantly to me, San Francisco and Oakland—a bedrock of American Civil Right’s activism, and a place I called home for almost a decade.
We wanted to speak to every kind of person. We wanted to find a way to carry on the messages of this protest well past that day—and do so in a way that clearly demonstrated the anger, heartbreak, pain and sadness of the protesters. And now, looking back years later, I believe it preserves those feelings for the future. Additionally, we see how many of their fears were not only realized, but escalated beyond their initial scope.
Bernier is an award-winning New York City-based filmmaker whose work has been featured at many festivals. Her credits also include four music videos, among them “Motion” by electronic band Boy Harsher, which has garnered over one million YouTube views since its 2017 debut.
Executive producer Jessica Good is the founder of Young Entertainment Activists, a non-profit which creates conferences, workshops, resources and initiatives mobilizing future Hollywood leaders to make an impact in the world (“Our vision is to make exercising your activist muscle a daily routine!”). Formerly, Good was a talent manager at LBI Entertainment where she worked with clients including Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio on their philanthropic goals. Her other industry experience includes work at ABC Studios, Focus Features, PBS and United Talent Agency.
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