Secret Survivors: Using Theater to Break the Silence Documentary Film
Secret Survivors, an interview-based theater project by Ping Chong + Company, featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse telling their personal stories on stage has been performed at museums, theater spaces, and conferences around the US to overwhelming response. Not every community group can afford to present a live theater production, though. To expand the impact of the theater production, Ping Chong + Company has created a documentary film and educational toolkit to accompany the live presentation.
The 40-minute documentary, directed by Melanie Vi Levy of Whistle Films, includes footage from the original live theatrical performance, interviews with the performers and their families, additional testimonies from survivors reflecting a broad range of experiences, and advocates speaking about the movement to end child sexual abuse. Like the theatrical production, the documentary represents the diverse ways this violence occurs, grapples with the many reasons that most survivors remain silent, and explores paths to healing and justice. A written toolkit accompanies the documentary, offering additional resources. Since its launch in October 2012, over 60 social service and community-based organizations from around the country have used the documentary in their prevention and advocacy work, offering screenings, trainings, and workshops.
"What a gift Secrets Survivors is for CONNECT and our community partners working to end child sexual abuse. This moving, informative and beautifully made documentary illuminates the complexities of CSA and educates about the many ways it can take place. In seeing not only the suffering but the resilience of survivors, we are compelled to action. Thank you!”
- Sally MacNichol, Co-Executive Director, CONNECT
ABOUT WHISTLE FILMS
Whistle Films - Founded by Melanie Vi Levy (MFA Documentary Film & Video, Stanford University), Whistle Films specializes in independent, story-driven documentary work featuring artists, performers, activists and unlikely heroes. Its goal is to give voice to untold stories that challenge stereotypes, push the boundaries of expression, and explore the intersection between social progress, activism, and the arts. Films include "My Name is Sydney" (Student Academy Award Nominee, IFC, Doxita Series), "A Different Color Blue" (POV, Best Student Documentary, Palm Springs Shorts Fest), and "The Secret Life of Beards" (Gala Opening Night Film World Shorts Film Festival, Toronto). Clients include AIDS Walk NY & SF, Cooper Union, Ping Chong + Company, as well as feature-length documentary projects funded by the Sundance Institute, the California Council for the Humanities, and The Ford Foundation among others.