By Sue Najm & Caitlin Chase
There’s an untold story behind every woman.
“Untold Expectations” explores stories from different women in New York City struggling with expectations, living in the city and society’s standards.
There’s a heavy expectation of women in our society and we wanted to make a short film that empowered them. Whether it be a story about the train ride home or being catcalled, we’ve realized there’s much more to the city than what’s being televised.
I want to create films that empower and educate people about topics such as sexual assault and catcalling, Islamophobia, discrimination, foster care and more. I scheduled interviews over the course of a month that lasted about 40 minutes each. I ultimately interviewed over 20 women from all parts of NYC to ask them about their experiences and perspectives on womanhood. When editing, I had to choose which way I wanted the film to go, so I cut it down to about 10 women to make sure the story was clear. I also added scenes from when I was filming in the city.
Caitlin and I collaborated on developing questions for the interviews, from “What is it like being a woman in New York City?” to “How would you define strength in a woman?” We then created a strategy for scheduling the interviews together. Caitlin also helped with finding women to interview and recruited her friends to be interviewed. She also gave advice on the editing aspect and was interviewed herself. –Sue Najm
Sue Najm is a high school senior, youth advocate, and organizer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently pursuing a career in film with hopes of becoming a screenwriter. She has worked with organizations such as Teens Take Charge and Youth Allies-Youth Advocates. Sue has also worked with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, hosting and moderating monthly town halls and with the Intergenerational Change Initiative as a student researcher. She's involved in multiple film programs such as Reel Works and Girl Be Heard.
Caitlin Chase is a brand and content strategy consultant with expertise in digital experience design and brand building for emerging health and technology organizations. She is a founding member of The Resilience Collective, an interdisciplinary network dedicated to promoting community resilience. She also serves as an advisor to the public arts project, Moral Injuries of War, and a mentor for Girls Write Now and BUILT BY GIRLS. Caitlin holds an MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University and a BA from New York University. She lives and works in Washington DC with her husband, young son, affable cat, and an ever-growing plant collection.