Kerith Lemon is an American writer, director and creator armed with experience in multi-platform storytelling and creative narratives. Driven by her passion for stories that emotionally connect, Lemon is drawn to narratives that elevate women, mirror societal complications and create dialogues amongst a broad audience.
I spoke with the award-winning director, Kerith Lemmon about her latest film, Bare Short. This film explores a journey of a college student in the midst of finals being diagnosed with stage 3-breast cancer.
Did you know that 100% of breast cancer deaths occur because of metastasis, and almost 100% of people whose breast cancer has metastasized will die from it? In the United States alone, this means that more than 40,000 vibrant lives are lost each year.
What inspired Bare Short?
It’s pretty ironic actually since my last film was about social media. Last year on Facebook a young woman who I had grown up with posted a short story about her experience getting breast cancer at 25. As soon as I read the story I knew I wanted to turn it into a short film.
The story chronicled her experience detailing the events leading up to her first day of chemo, deciding to shave her head and the importance of having her closest friends to support her. The story struck me as one of identity, of friendship and of empowerment—I was swept away by the truthfulness of a 25-year-old going through this breast cancer experience, one that is mostly portrayed in mainstream media as an older woman’s disease. I immediately felt the depth of the emotional journey that had to be traveled for someone so young and I knew that I wanted to share that experience with the world.
Where can we see it?
Bareshortfilm.com or YouTube
What do you want the audience to come away with after seeing this film?
My hope is that this film will reach young women around the world, that it will remind them that no matter how difficult of a situation you’re going with, you are not alone and that sometimes you need to ask your friends for help so they can show up for you.
Friendship between women isn’t always celebrated in mainstream films. At that young age of 25, you need your closest girlfriends to be vulnerable with, there is a special bond there. Family is a wonderful support system, but it doesn’t compare to your closest friends who you can be silly with, you can talk about dating with and you can speak the absolute truth in front of. Visually I wanted the friends to be surrounding her during this experience, almost like a big hug, supporting from every side as she took this next step. That is to me what friendship is like, something that protects you, through the thick and the thin, the joy and the sorrow.
What is the message of Bare Short?
Bare Short film asks the question, “Who are we without our hair and breasts?” It examines the complex relationship that we as women have with our outward appearance as well as explores an extraordinary element of sisterhood that comes when faced with a crisis.
I think that especially right now, we need to celebrate our femininity beyond appearance and show the positive side of sisterhood, the importance of banding together and having each other’s back. Women are having such a huge moment right now and I hope that we see more women finding their voices and banding together to push forward change.
What’s next for you?
So much coming up for 2018! First, I’m having a baby soon. My husband and I are very excited to embark on the journey of parenthood and at the same time, I have some really exciting work projects too. I will be directing a few commercials in the first part of the year and I’m putting the finishing touches on a feature script called Rewind that I plan to direct in the second half of the year. Looking forward to showing my baby boy that his Mom is a bad-ass female director.
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