DocFilm Institute Director Soumyaa Kapil Behrens: Illuminating Hidden Figures

Monday, July 10, 2017
Photo of Soumyaa Kapil Behrens

DIRECTED BY WOMEN -- #DirectedbyWomen team member Shantré Pinkney chatted with filmmaker, director of San Francisco State’s DocFilm Institute and president of Bay Area Women In Film and Media) about her newest released film “Abina and the Important Men,” based on the true story of a young slave who escapes her master and brings him to court.

“Most importantly it’s a story that hasn’t been told — that people don’t know about. That’s super important to our current way of life and has a lot of resonance with not just Americans but people all over the world,” Kapil Behrens says. “Young girls are still, you know, captured as slaves all over the world. It is still a problem. It’s so hard to extract girls from those situations and to even prove the wrongdoing because it can be looked at in so many different ways. It’s a much easier way to enslave someone if they’re young and children, especially girls.

“That’s a problem we want people to know about and that’s why we modernized [‘Abina and the Important Men’] in terms of using people today and American accents and getting it that urban feel so there was some kind of connection to the world we’re living in now. This isn’t just something in the past.”