by Jarrah Hodge
23-year-old New Jersey filmmaker Nicole Louise Melleby has made it a mission to get people to see and question the rape culture we live in. Her new film Trigger Warning documents the interactions of different groups of young people to examples of rape jokes in popular culture and uses interviews with experts to contextualize the problem.
I interviewed Nicole via email about what prompted her to take on this project and where she hopes it goes.
Ever since she was little, Melleby was interested in storytelling: observing the people and stories happening around her. A couple of years into college she decided to focus on film, because: “With film, I can see my work come alive. While I find the art of writing beautiful in itself, the whole process of filmmaking, for me, takes it to another level. I got my degree in TV/Film, and with it learned how to take a story and bring it to life.”
A few years ago she was watching a TV show with a friend:
“And there was an emotional storyline involving one of my favorite characters. She was being blamed for something, and my friend stopped and went: ‘That’s not right. She did nothing wrong.’ That was the first time I was introduced properly to rape culture…My friend showed me different articles and information regarding what rape culture was, and while it shocked me, it did not surprise me. This was information I knew my entire life, but never really sat to think about the implications of it…As a filmmaker, it became my goal to help open the eyes of other people who may not have really understood what rape culture was.”
She decided to refine her focus to documentary filmmaking in order to tackle this issue. Read more