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Hailed as "Wonder Woman meets Game of Thrones," the film has already won "Best Fantasy" and "Best Action" awards. Joanna Ke, the film's star, writer, and producer, has been recognized with an "Inspiring Woman in Film" award.
Rightly so, as the film is the inspiration for a group of teen girls at non-profit Eve's Place who saw "Protectress" and felt empowered to share their personal experiences with sexual assault in a video to help spread awareness of the alarming statistic that one in three children will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. The video is viewable on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVzAISq0Rr4).
Working as a professional script reader and actress (http://www.joannake.com), Ke got fed up with the roles she was seeing for women in Hollywood and decided to write the role she always wanted to play. She learned sword fighting and stunts, training for four months prior to filming, to portray a protagonist that's rarely seen, a half Asian female hero.
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Ke says, "My goal is to bring a diverse female hero to the screen that redefines what it means to be strong. The short is a proof of concept. I aim to expand on the 'Protectress' world to show a diverse cast, which is not often seen in a fantasy story, and women in leading roles."
Diversity was paramount to the production, both in front of and behind the camera. Director America Young (www.americayoung.com), who brings her experience not only as a director but also as a stunt coordinator and stuntwoman, helms "Protectress."
Of the film, Young says, "There is so much talk lately about feminine strength and strong female characters in movies. That is what originally attracted me to this project. Chicks with swords. But then I read the script and saw that, in addition to the chicks with swords, there were complex characters."
Leo Kei Angelos, who appeared on Season 4 of HBO's "Project Greenlight," serves as director of photography for the award winning short. The film is viewable online for only one more week, until the end of October. Watch it now at www.protectressfilm.com.
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