Supporting Survivors: “CUSP” Documentary – Live Q&A with filmmakers Parker Hill and Isabel Bethancourt

The Geena Davis Institute held a live Q&A from Dec 7, 2021, with Parker Hill, Isabel Bethancourt and Amanda Elkanick Ober, who explore the making of the "CUSP" documentary and supporting survivors.
Tuesday, December 07, 2021

On December 7, 2021, the Geena Davis Institute hosted an impactful virtual screening for the documentary film "CUSP," which included a live Q&A. Moderated by Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute, the virtual event told the story of first-time filmmakers Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt’s journey in making their documentary "CUSP," which depicts a true-to-life coming-of age tale and provides an unfiltered snapshot of a group of teenagers’ summer in Texas. Panelist Amanda Elkanick Ober, from the Texas Advocacy Project, discusses how women are affected by situations of sexual violence, supporting survivors and the resources available to them through the Texas Advocacy Project.  

Speakers and Panelists:

Event Highlights:

The event kicked off with Parker Hill and Isabel Bethancourt sharing how they met and their common goal of telling the stories of young women in America. During a road trip from Montana to Texas, Parker and Isabel met three teenage girls; Brittney, Aaloni and Autumn, at a small-town gas station in Texas. This fortuitous meeting would result in the teenagers becoming the subjects of "CUSP," their documentary shot during summer which captures these teens’ activities from bonfire parties to bedroom hangouts, with discussions about sex, trauma, agency and consent. 

During the event, Amanda Elkanick Ober described the support the Texas Advocacy Project provided Britteny, Aaloni and Autumn during and following the filming of "CUSP," and how to support survivors of sexual violence. Amanda also highlighted the importance of language so that adolescent females and women are able to validate their feelings regarding uncomfortable situations or instances of sexual violence or abuse, to understand that they are not alone and that people do care about what happens to them. 

The event concluded with a Q&A  in which the filmmakers answered questions on the process of documenting these girls' lives while Amanda addressed the Bible Belt education system in Texas, including abstinence-only education, and diverse methods to address these topics, including framing them on the basis of “healthy relationships.” 

Key points included:

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