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QLP BLOG

Keep in the know with documentary filmmaking

The Fledgling Fund joins the Sin by Silence team

The Fledgling Fund seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities by supporting media projects that target entrenched social problems. Sin By Silence is honored to be one of their grants recipients, along with many other esteemed documentaries. This generous grant will allows the QLP team to ensure the success of our outreach and campaign as we begin to bring Sin By Silence to audiences across the country.

To read more about The Fledgling Fund click here.


Vanguard 5k Benefit Charities

As part of the awareness for domestic violence month, Vanguard University created The Vanguard 5k Rock-a-thon designed to motivate the students, faculty and community to help create awareness about the crisis of violence against women.

This year, proceeds from the 5k will go towards victims of domestic violence through the organization Pathways to Independence and our very own QLP documentary Sin by Silence.

STOP THE VIOLENCE event

“No!” was the repeated chant that rang from the United Studios of Self Defense on Saturday. Women of all ages gathered together not only to learn the techniques of self-defense, but to learn more about taking a stand against domestic violence in our community. Mothers, daughters, grandmothers and friends punched and kicked their way to empowerment. Sheri Benvenuti, Director of the Vanguard Center for Women’s Studies which sponsored the event, said “this is an amazing sight. The information these women have received and the skills they are learning to protect themselves, represents an empowering experience.”

With over 75 women and 10 self-defense instructors all shouting in unison, you couldn’t help but look around and realize that these are techniques that every woman should know. Jonny Brookman, instructor at the United Studios of Self Defense, “this training gives every single one of these women the confidence they need to take control of any potentially violent situation they may come across and need to escape.”

After the initial rousing session on techniques of self-defense, the later part of the event turned somber. Everyone’s attention turned to the hard realities that women potentially face: Domestic Violence. The documentary SIN BY SILENCE was presented to the audience and the previous raucous chanting turned to a deafening silence. Olivia Klaus, the director of SIN BY SILENCE, reminded the audience, “domestic violence can’t be sugar coated and it’s not going away easily. But, your presence here today gives hope that will empower the countless women who are being horribly assaulted every single day.”

Footage from the film was shown and the audience got a first hand glimpse of the group of inmates at the California Institution for Women, who are the subjects of the film and some of domestic violence’s worse-case scenarios. The audience gained a first hand look at the life of a prisoner through the story of Sandra Redmond, one of the inmates documented in SIN BY SILENCE and recently released from prison.

Redmond reflected, “It's times like today when I really miss the ones I left behind. But, I know that today I would be making them proud. We have to get the word out that domestic violence does happen and there are ways to stop it.” Sandra spent 23 years in prison. During that time she regained the identity that was lost in the horrific relationship that ended tragically with her taking the life of her abusive boyfriend. “I would be nothing without the women I met in prison. They taught me self worth, healing and love; something that I hadn’t experienced in years. I am grateful for my time in prison, but also thankful that I have the freedom to share with you what I went through. It’s not a pretty story, but it’s one that must be told.” Olivia Klaus had met Sandra over 6 years ago when she started her work on SIN BY SILENCE, “We must learn from the experiences of the women in SIN BY SILENCE so that we can stop others from following the same path that they were on. Everyone here today can leave with a better understanding on how to empower that one person you may know who needs help.”

Every participant at the STOP THE VIOLENCE event was deeply impacted. It was an inspiring afternoon for women to build a community and to learn about the evils of our world. But, most importantly, they learned about ways to help make a difference and were given the opportunity to help give towards the finishing costs of the upcoming SIN BY SILENCE. The message of the afternoon really impacted Jessica, a 13 year-old from Irvine, “We were told that 1 in 3 women experience abuse. I looked around the room and told myself that I was not going to be part of that statistic.”

Check out the article on the front page of the Daily Pilot - http://dailypilot.com/articles/2007/09/04/education/dpt-vanguard04.txt

Grant Awarded to Sin By Silence

Each year the Playboy Foundation chooses a small number of documentaries to fund that express social justice, promote social change, and enhance principles of personal freedom. Sin By Silence is honored to be one of their recipients. This generous grant will allows for a pivotal artistic dimension of an original score to be underwritten and help move Sin By Silence towards completion.

We would like to thank the Playboy Foundation for helping give the women of Sin By Silence a voice. Their generosity enables us to continue empowering the women of the California Institution for Women by bringing their stories of domestic violence to the public. As with all of our donors, we are helping the women of Sin By Silence turn their horrific experiences towards hope and away from despair.

Olivia Klaus

Olivia Klaus takes a socially active role through film and community outreach to instigate real change. Her career began with extensive travel throughout Central America and South America, shooting stock footage and interviews for various non-profit organizations. Since then, her work has been seen on various networks like Discovery, CNN, HLN, Showtime, MTV and The History Channel. In 2010, she was listed by Pixel Project as one of the "Top 16 Influential Leaders in the Movement to End Violence Against Women."

As her directorial debut in 2009, Olivia created Sin by Silence about the first inmate led battered women’s group in the US prison system. For eight years, Olivia attended Convicted Women Against Abuse meetings while filming at California's oldest women's prison, and built close relationships with each of the women featured in the documentary. The film went on to win numerous film festival and advocacy awards, highlighted in People Magazine and on CNN, distributed by Women Make Movies, and broadcasted by Investigation Discovery in 2011 to over 2.2 million viewers.  The film also went on to inspire new legislation in California based on the documentary. “The Sin by Silence Bills,” AB 593 and AB 1593, were signed into law by Governor Brown on September 30, 2012, to improve the paths of freedom of nearly 7000 currently incarcerated domestic violence victims who have spent decades behind bars.

Most recently, Olivia directed and produced Life After Manson that tells the exclusive story of Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Manson's most devoted follower. The film premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently screening at top US and International festivals. An excerpt of the film was recently released as part of the New York Times Op-Docs series.

Olivia has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Cinema Arts department at Vanguard University, her own alma mater, where she received numerous awards for her undergrad work. She is also on the producing team of 2013 Discovery broadcasted documentary Unlikely Friends, directed by Leslie Neale, and has consulted on the Emmy nominated Brave Miss World directed by Cecilia Peck. Olivia has been a resident at the Working Films and Fledgling Fund Film Residency and a guest speaker at Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC, ASU, USF, Purdue and various national conferences.

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Email: Olivia [at] QuietLittlePlace [dot] com
Twitter: @OliviaKlaus
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/oliviaklaus
Website: http://www.oliviaklaus.com

Ann-Caryn Cleveland

Ann-Caryn Cleveland is focused on creating stories and campaigns that educate and inspire action.

Ms. Cleveland’s wide range of creative work has been distributed by HBO, MTV, PBS, Fine Living Channel, CBC, BBC, Sundance Channel, Sony Pictures, Women Make Movies and awarded honors.

She began her film career in the research rooms of doc directors Alex Gibney and Robert Kenner. She received her MFA from USC’s School of Cinema-Television in 2003 while working full-time for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. In addition to helping market blockbuster films at Sony, she helped design and build one of the first social networking sites that bridged the gap between consumers using their own media tools and infusing it with blockbuster film content.

She currently serves as Head of Cinema/Digital Media at Vanguard University and is now working on a new film initiative called “Where We Come From.” The initiative is an online collective of stories about family and race, including her own research about James Meredith, the first African-American to attend the University of Mississippi.


Email: Ann [at] QuietLittlePlace [dot] com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/anncaryn
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/anncaryn