The Hunting Ground is a documentary film from producer Amy Ziering and Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick (The Invisible War). It is an exposé of rape on college campuses, with the goal of raising awareness about the issue. The film was released in theatres (distributed by Weinstein Co.’s Radius label) and premiered on CNN, with overwhelmingly positive reviews and a surge of initial support from public and private funders. Most recently, the producers secured funding for educational screenings at college campuses across the nation. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015. Erol co-founders Julie and Sebastien Lépinard signed on as Executive Producers of The Hunting Ground and attended Sundance to support the film’s premiere.
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The story behind The Hunting Ground is one of courageous activism in the face of adversity. The documentary film features personal, first-hand accounts of campus assaults and the movement that has helped expose rape as a national epidemic. It includes first-hand interviews with students and staff about the prevalence of crimes and institutional cover-ups. Ultimately, the film tells the story of networked activism among a group of young women to expose the reality of rape culture on their campuses and in American society.
Fondation Erol is always looking for new opportunities in education, empowerment and youth development to grow and support today’s youth into the leaders of tomorrow. Erol’s executive committee was inspired by the film’s potential to drive public awareness and ignite change around the issue of sexual assaults on campus. The grant, via Utah Film Center, supported the production of the film when it was still in the early stages of research and storyboarding.
Pictured: Julie and Seb Lépinard (Erol Foundation); Allison Duncan and Chantal Buard (Amplifier Strategies); Annie Roney (Roco Films); and Amy Ziering (Hunting Ground producer)
Amplifier Strategies and Roco Films brought the opportunity to Erol after their collaboration on a screening of The Invisible War. As part of their core funding areas for 2015, Erol is exploring how film can be used to inspire important dialogue around social justice issues. When offered a chance to support their next project and help bring The Hunting Ground to life, the Erol co-founders were excited to be a part of it. They saw that this was both an important issue for national policy, as well as for anyone who is a parent or one day hopes to be one. The Lépinards contributed to the film alongside producers Regina K. Scully (MissRepresentation), Geralyn Dreyfous (The Cove), and Maria Cuomo Cole (Living for 32), among others.
Erol plans to follow the developments in advocacy and policy change that is already underway. Erol and Amplifier are in conversation about the ways that films can tap into larger movements and be used to inspire action and create system wide change.