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UA alumna’s short film on sexual assault is featured on HuffPost

A still image of UA alum Jillian Corsie from her documentary Second Assault.

“Second Assault,” a short film made by University of Arizona alumna Jillian Corsie and her best friend Amy Rosner, continues to open up a conversation about sexual assault. It exclusively premiered on HuffPost on June 22, 2019. 

“I was a bit nervous to have my story in the world forever, but in the end, I think we’re doing something good and we’re helping people out,” Corsie said.

The film is centered around Corsie’s experience with sexual assault when she attended the UA. According to an article previously published by the Daily Wildcat, when she reported this case in 2005, law enforcement did not give it the attention it deserved and instead decided that the incident was consensual and offered Corsie the advice of “don’t mix alcohol with beauty.”

RELATED: ‘Second Assault’ to be featured at Loft Film Fest

“Second Assault” made its Tucson debut back in 2018 at the Loft Film Festival. Corsie said the theater was one of the biggest they had screened the film in and was an overall great experience.

“It was really good, everyone was really positive,” Corsie said. “There was a woman who came up to me in the bathroom after the screening and said ‘thank you.’”

In addition to the Loft Film Festival, Corsie and Rosner have taken their film to about 20 film festivals, receiving positive reactions from each one.

“We got a really good response,” Rosner said. “The ones that we were present at, we sort of prepared for negativity and we didn’t know how people were going to respond, because it’s really tough to talk about for a lot of audiences. It wasn’t like that. People with different backgrounds engaged with the film and were thoughtful and really supportive.”

Despite screening the film at various festivals, Corsie and Rosner’s end goal was to put the movie online for free. Eventually they were able to have an article written about the film by HuffPost, along with the premiere of the short film.

“We raised money for the film, we went to festivals, and the whole purpose of the film was to release it online for free because we wanted survivors to have access to the film,” Rosner said. “We wanted it to be a tool and we wanted as many eyes as possible to see the film.”

Corsie said that they had been leading up to posting the film online, so it was exciting to finally have the film out. 

RELATED: New law grants sexual assault survivors more time to speak out

Along with other movements like #MeToo, “Second Assault” impacts the way people see survivors’ experiences, letting the audience walk a mile in their shoes.

“The film is talking about what happens to survivors and what’s the aftermath,” Rosner said.

“Second Assault” has also impacted the way people see the justice system and what happens when someone reports their assault. In the film, Corsie confronts the officer who dismissed her case as consensual, opening up an important dialogue.  

“David, the police officer in the film, was so wonderful for what he did, his bravery in coming on camera, talking about this and reading the email I wrote him,” Corsie said.

Aside from the impact, Rosner believes that the film portrays why it’s important to keep talking about these difficult conversations. While society has made a great leap in handling sexual assault, Rosner said that the legal aspect of it still has ways to go.

“There is a lot of character assassination, and on college campuses, it’s almost worse because there is a certain amount of university reputation to protect,” Rosner said. “It’s a rampant problem at universities, and Title IX was a very positive step for survivors because it protects them.”

Even though “Second Assault” will continue to have public screenings, the online premiere of the film was its last step. Both Corsie and Rosner have been co-editing a documentary series and hope to direct together again in the future.

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