About the film
After noticing too many cases of sexual violence going unreported or unpunished within their own schools, 23 teen girls decide to take matters into their own hands to make meaningful change to policy affecting school boards across Quebec.
Lisa Rideout, John Choi
About the Director
Josiane Blanc is a writer, director, and producer who is passionate about social issues and cultural interactions. In 2020, her short documentary Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia, addressing the psychological impact of fatphobia on kids and teens, was produced by the NFB and premiered on CBC/Radio-Canada. A year later, in 2021, Ainsi va Manu (Hogtown)—her seven-part short form series—was broadcast on the online platform of French broadcaster TV5 & TFO and was selected for several international festivals, winning a total of 15 awards. The series is now renewed for a second season. That same year, Josiane had the opportunity to produce and host the French episodes of Strong & Free, an Historica Canada and Media Girlfriends podcast series about Canadian Black history. Strong & Free recently won the Gold Award for Best Podcast: Arts, Culture and Society at the Digital Publishing Awards, while also being selected on Amazon Music as one of the best podcasts of 2022. Josiane is currently in post-production on her documentary Words Left Unspoken and is a writer on several YA programs. In 2022 she won the WIFT Showcase Best Directing award for Ainsi va Manu (Hogtown) and was chosen as one of Playback's 10 to watch.
When I came across the La Voix des Jeunes Compte collective—a group of teen activists in Quebec—I was immediately inspired by the battle they have been fighting for the past five years: to put in place a law to eradicate sexual violence within primary and secondary schools across Quebec. Sexual violence in schools? I personally had no idea of the extent of the problem, and it was honestly shocking to me to read all the stories coming out in the media which represent only a fraction of the cases. But then, I started thinking and realized that these types of stories existed even back when I was in high school—they moved subtly through the corridors but never really left the school grounds. While everybody knows about it, no one is really talking. I wanted to make this film to highlight this taboo problem that deserves all our attention, but also to highlight the work that these brave teenage girls, who grew up to become young women, have done. They started their activism journey at 12, 13, and 14 years old and spent all their youth fighting for this change. They remained united, strong and determined despite the obstacles and difficulties. They embody the youth who believe they can change the world and I believe that their story will inspire many others to take concrete action to create change within their community. Bringing this type of story to the screen is truly a privilege for me.