Director of Airdrie, the first short film by the Calgary musician

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A Calgary musician and an Airdrie-based filmmaker wrapped up their collaborative project, ‘A Woman’s Voice’, premiering the short film to the public on March 20 for the first time ever.

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Made with the help of a grant from the Calgary Arts Development Association, the film explores social issues that affect women of all types. It explores topics such as substance abuse, domestic violence, self-esteem and loneliness, following four subjects as they navigate the challenges many women face in the real world.

Set to three songs by Calgary singer-songwriter Sandra Sutter, she said the goal was to let women know they’re not alone in their struggles and to start conversations.

“This project was driven by a sincere desire to tell women that they are not alone in facing the many complex and emotional challenges of domestic violence, bullying, self-esteem and loneliness. “said Sutter.

“It’s so real and relevant that there was no hesitation when I called for volunteers. Everyone was more than willing to dedicate their time and talents to making this film, which we hope will give a sense of empowerment to those who are struggling,” she said.

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Director Rob Ing said the film is unique in that it tries to tell multiple stories through a primarily visual format.

“I’ve made music videos in a way that they just spin around and go crazy, but with this one you had to tell a story,” he said.

“It’s difficult in the fact that you’re trying to tell a story within the length of the song. In the end, the whole thing could have been a feature film with the amount of content that was in there.

“You have three unique songs. They are all different, but the script and the messages it contains blend together.

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The film intends to evoke emotions, said Ing. From depression to anxiety to loneliness, the film elicits the same emotions as the subjects inside.

“I wrote the storyboard with the visual styles in mind. There are a lot of flashbacks, and I wanted it to feel small and depressing in places,” Ing said.

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“That’s how emotions become: they become anxious. Each of the stories exudes different emotions,” he said.

Sutter has stated that she aims to challenge social constructs that devalue others through her music. Often leaving her lyrics open to interpretation, she said pairing them with visual stories will hopefully engage viewers and get them thinking and talking about various social issues.

“In my work, I address things that create a more marginalized society. I’m looking to create a space within that for people to interpret the music in their own way,” she said.

“The film…is an educational tool to introduce or frame topics like domestic violence, substance abuse and self-esteem in music but also visually in film.”

Ing and Sutter aim to collaborate on future projects, and she said the premier’s comments will help decide next steps.

“It will be a really instructive project, to see people’s feedback. We absolutely intend to do more,” she said.

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