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Wed, Mar 01


Virtual Workshop

Trauma-informed Filmmaking

Learn about trauma-informed filmmaking

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Trauma-informed Filmmaking
Trauma-informed Filmmaking

Time & Location

Mar 01, 2023, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM HST

Virtual Workshop

About the event

It can be difficult to decipher how to represent a traumatic or triggering topic with sensitivity and accuracy. So often, issues like mental illness are pathologized in Hollywood, and poorly demonstrated. Likewise, most filmmakers aim for dramatic impact rather than responsible/creative media making that doesn't have the potential to traumatize its audience. This workshop aims to educate on common trigger topics represented in film, while additionally exploring more imaginative means in which to portray sensitive subjects.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Educate participants on what "trauma-informed" means and how triggers manifest.
  • Analyze current media portrayals of trauma/mental illness/addiction, etc. in film.
  • Discuss how to properly conduct research that is trauma-informed, up-to-date, and intersectional.
  • Center some workshop topics around issues the participants are most interested in filming/representing. Then, spending time working through how to demonstrate the issue through a trauma-informed lens (i.e. teaching by doing).
  • Discuss common film tropes that are banal or cliche (such as a woman only being "strong" because of the trauma she's endured).

Instructors: Katie M. Caldwell & Alexa St.Martin

Katie Young-Caldwell is a social worker, writer, teacher, musician, and activist. She has worked with women and girls for over two decades and specializes in trauma and gender violence (rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking). She teaches gender studies and social work at both UH Mānoa and Hawai'i Community College. Katie is a feminist that believes firmly in intersectionality and in decolonizing education, film, and therapeutic practices. She works as a social worker for Hawai'i Women in Filmmaking and as a contact trainer for Pacific Survivor Center. She loves running, cats, pizza, and awkward people.

Alexa St. Martin is a clinical social worker, policy advocate, and public health researcher with a fierce passion for sexual and reproductive justice. She is dedicated to bridging gaps between clinicians, researchers, and policymakers to effectively address societal issues, and has extensive experience working with populations impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline. Alexa prioritizes working with adolescents and strives to be an authentic, ethical practitioner in all aspects of her work. When she isn’t making spreadsheets or writing, she enjoys cleaning her room, talking to herself in third person, and asking her dogs if they’re the cutest boys in the world.

Open to women and girls (cis/trans), femmes, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender-queer of all ages and all skill levels

Date: Wednesdays March 1 & March 8, 2023 [2 sessions]

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking advocates for women and girls (cis/trans), femmes, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender-queer to tell their stories through film with an intersectional lens.

Questions? Email

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