'IDENTITY' Short Film Pemiere
There is a quiet strength to Actor, Writer, and Director Toi'ya Leatherwood when it comes to her approach of her short film IDENTITY. There was a mystique to the roll out of the film, an homage maybe to the silent film era, with very little detail on the synopsis. As audience members ushered in going to there seats the lights dimmed, the film was about to begin. The first scene you saw Toi'ya slumped in a chair with a ominous figure, a man almost dressed in all black having her in a hypnotic state over her while you hear haunting music play as the scene goes. Then I realize it's not a man, it's her conscious well the the dark side of it having a grip on her. This makes for a chilling optic. As the short film progresses the main character 'Rose', played by Toi'ya, is screaming silently for help on the ground with white substance in her mid-section. Another symbolic take - Rose's innocence has been ripped away from her. I slowly realize as a writer & Director of the film Toi'ya is creating a narrative of Rose's struggle with the light and dark of her consciousness after a traumatic ordeal. Relying on color pallets to tell the story the war between the light and the dark still is drawn out. In the end the light wins with Rose finding peace.
After the lights raised Toi'ya came out to a resounding applause from the audience. Toi'ya had said that her character in the short Film she portrayed, Rose had went through the horrible experience of being sexually assaulted and she wanted to depict a victim of assault in an honest way. Some audience members asking Toi'ya what prompted her to choose this subject matter and how she portrayed it. Toi'ya said she was sick of people not seeing sexual assault, rape, and traumatic experiences through the eyes of the victim. She said it isn't an experience you get over, it's constant battle in the victim's mind and through self healing is a way to cope with the pain and their is light in the midst of darkness. Utilizing her dance experience, her acting ability, and thorough writing skills Toi'ya made a short film in IDENTITY that people can relate to and it was sobering look at the aftermath of an assault.