A Shelton resident has directed and stars in a short film that focuses on two issues involving women and the military.
“Brave Little Soldier” is intended to bring awareness to two social issues in the U.S. military — women not being allowed to fight in combat, and sexual violence.
The short film is being produced by Project Social Art, and actress Anna Lakomy of Shelton is co-founder of Project Social Art. The film now is in the finishing stages of post-production and will be submitted for screenings in the film festival circuit in April.
Hoping to raise awareness
Lakomy, who directs and stars in the film, noted the two issues addressed in “Brave Little Soldier” currently are hot topics in the news.
“We are really excited to be able to release this short-film at such a time when these issues are being talked about and we hope that this project will further raise awareness to the issues presented, particularly that of rape,” she said.
“We are also happy that women will now be allowed to officially serve in combat roles in all branches of the military and we predict that this will consequently and finally address the issue of sexual violence in the military, as well,” Lakomy said.
Allowing women in combat
The first issue portrayed in “Brave Little Soldier” is the ban on women serving in combat roles. According to publicity material for the film, women do serve in the front line risking their lives, but because of the law are denied the actual recognition and benefits, such as increased pay and opportunity for promotion. Combat experience is necessary to climb up the military ranks.
On Jan. 24, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a policy shift in which each branch of the military will incrementally open combat positions to women.
Sexual violence in the military
Another hot topic in the news has been the sexual violence present in the military. According to publicity material for the film, “this is a growing problem as women soldiers face an epidemic of rape and sexual abuse from their superiors and fellow soldiers.
The film’s makers said the problem “only continues to increase as nothing is being done about the crimes aside from covering them up.”
Statistics indicate that one in three women experience sexual assault at the hands of fellow servicemen and a recent report shows 3,192 sexual assault cases were reported in 2011, according to publicity material.
For more information about the film and to see the trailer, go to www.ProjectSocialaArt.com.