Victim / Suspect is a feature documentary project I developed with Lianna Schwartzman while at Refinery29 and Vice Studios. We were fortunate enough to partner with Amanda Pike and Rae de Leon at the Center for Investigative Reporting, and director Nancy Schwartzman.
The project will premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Link to official selection page. Official description below:
Rae de Leon, a reporter working at The Center for Investigative Reporting, discovers a surprising number of legal cases nationwide that involve women reporting sexual assault to the police, only to be accused of fabricating their allegations. These women are then charged with crimes, sometimes facing years in prison. Victim/Suspect follows de Leon as she gathers firsthand accounts from numerous young women and their families and interviews police and legal experts. Simultaneously, de Leon re-examines elements of the initial police investigations, unearthing telling recordings of police interviews of women reporting their sexual assault.
Director Nancy Schwartzman crafts a deeply compelling and provocative investigative documentary, sure to elicit both empathy and outrage, that stands as a powerful testament to the carefully constructed work of determined reporters like de Leon. Victim/Suspect illuminates, with precision and focus, how local and nationwide systemic policing policies both motivate detectives to treat victims like suspects, and directly impact not only these vulnerable women’s cases, but also their lives.