Of the 13,800 positive rape kits processed in ten years in Los Angeles city; less than 700 women, men, and children have seen charges pressed and a day in court. We unravel the main facets that have created this huge disparity between reporting and charging. We delve into the forensics behind the kit collection with personal interviews with survivors to come to understand why that evidence proves a crime has happened. We also explore the unique situation that challenges the conventional lack of rape kit processing.
Nationwide, we have an estimated 40,000 unprocessed rape kits. Los Angeles claims to process all rape kits collected within a 30 to 60 day period, so why is LA running at half the nationwide average for incarcerating sex offenders? Why have so many been given such little investigation effort? Why are victims not being told the truth about the processing of their own rape kit? Along the journey, we explore the finances of the justice industry that determine what type of crimes are given priority that largely affect our society.
Ultimately we will answer "What happened to 13,000 positive rape kits?"
Lost and Found is a six-part documentary film series on the survivors of rape and sexual assault, the sex offenders, law enforcement and the judicial system of Los Angeles. The poetic and expository film seeks to facilitate the telling of their experiences, unseen but until the conclusion by the viewers, as the narrators, the "voices of god". It is only proper to have the survivors recount their ordeal because surviving such trauma is indicative of their divine-like qualities. Surreal and at times monochromatic visuals interlace with the sound of Alabama Shakes' Sound of Color, Bjork's Medulla, and Dj Shadow's The Private Press to evoke and induce the frustrating and somber mood which will give way to an unresolved but hopeful end.
Chapter 1: Why everything you know about rape is wrong?
Through this step by step process we answer "The who, what, when, where, and why" behind a very taboo subject. Starting with understanding where you first heard about rape. we look at the few sources people have for real education.
Chapter 2: For Profit Prison
Looking at the case studies of inmates and those who haven't been charged, we can see the pattern of favoritism toward some crimes over others. We compare rape/sexual assault with other types of crimes.
Chapter 3: Legal Issues
This chapter covers the legal differences in state to state law and why in California, men can only be raped if same sex marriage is legal. We also talk about policy and why the state pushes victims to sue so they don't have to press charges.
Chapter 4: Feminism and Rape Culture
We usually think of rape/sexual assault as a woman's issue, but it affects men and children too. Men and children can be victims which means they can also lie about being assaulted. We also look at aspects of rape that only apply to women like having to hand your child over to the person who raped you -- as is allowed in 31 states.
Chapter 5: Rape Facilitating Drugs
When we talk about RFDs, we immediately think of Ruffies. It's time to look at all the different types of RFDs including over the counter. Why isn't law enforcement looking for them in drug tests?
Chapter 6: Rape as a public health and mental health issue
Rape is viewed as a sexual assault issue, but is it really? In this chapter, we review all the different mental health issues of rape, sexual assault, and child sex abuse. From victims to offenders we will look more into the mental health aspect and why we need to start putting it into this context in today's society.
Susan Hunter. Co-Director
Susan is a sexual assault survivor and public speaker for awareness. She has been on the RAINN speakers bureau since 2013 and loves to work with the public in discussing rape and sexual assault. She designed the workshop "Rape - truth vs myth" to help weave data about sexual assault into relatable content for those who are typically uncomfortable with talking openly about such serious topics. She wrote her journal about her assault and aftermath which was later published into the blog "Injustice will be served" on BlogSpot, She currently resides in Hollywood and is an independent contractor.
Max Eugene. Co-Director
Max is a Haitian-American, raised partially in Brooklyn. Eugene studied Philosophy, Theaters Arts and Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and earned his MFA in Performance at CalArts where he gained notoriety as a standout in experimental theater and movement technique. In addition to years of production experience, he is an accomplished educator and facilitator. A rare mix of Zen and rapture, Max loves Kung Fu, Philosophy, Dance/Theater, Sports, Scrabble, Dominoes, and Vanilla Ice Cream. He is currently in pre-production for his latest docu-fiction film Spoken Word by Confused Person, a production of Labcoat Meerkat which he co-founded in 2010. Eugene has also been a member of the Big Show Co., an LA dance-theater company since 2011.
Stephanie Filo. Editor
Stephanie is a film and television editor and producer living in Los Angeles, California. With a deep passion for bringing a voice to social issues and telling stories of the unheard, she spends much of her spare time producing public social action campaigns, primarily focused on the rights of women and girls worldwide. Some of her notable campaigns include her work with the United Nations, International Labour Organization, and the Obama/Biden White House Task Force's It's On Us campaign to combat campus sexual assault. Her charitable work has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, Telegraph UK, Yahoo, Al Jazeera, XWhy Magazine, and various others.Some of Stephanie's most recent television credits include Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club and Surviving R. Kelly. Stephanie has a degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Denver.
Jorge Castañeda. Writer
Jorge was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After training alongside Max at CalArts, the award-winning actor starred in Dijon, Montpellier, Paris, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on camera for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu. It was at this time that Jorge began experimenting with form and function in script. He won the McNair Award for his original ENIGMA, and wrote and produced original scripts for years before co-founding Labcoat Meerkat, a global collective that creates Avant-pop movies with an emphasis on imagination. Jorge is curious and collaborative by nature, without fear of exploring the human experience with other artists. He also works as a political organizer in Los Angeles, including as deputy field director in the Obama 2012 campaign and also a political consultant with Hillary in 2016 most recently with the Coalition to Preserve L.A.
Marketing and Distribution
Today we find ourselves in what’s been coined a “Brave New World of Filmmaking,” a world in which a skilled production team can nurture an original brand, harness an audience, engage the festival circuit, and launch a hybrid-distribution campaign. It is with this knowledge that we decisively embrace the following Two-Path Approach.
Film Festival Path
Recognizing the value of screening at a major film festival, we’ve developed a package that sensibly increases our probability of playing at one of these high visibility events.
Hybrid Distribution Path
Simultaneously, we’ve prepared a Hybrid-Distribution Path (our Plan B) in which we maintain full rights to our film while collaborating with foreign and domestic sales partners, alternative screening houses, as well as digital distribution agents like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon VOD. The goal here is to secure and manage separate deals and revenue streams while maintaining full ownership of our creative content.
LABCOAT MEERKAT PRODUCTIONS - We are a global collective creating Avant-pop films. An emphasis on imagination and a respect for craft activate our stories in word and aesthetic. Inclusive, collaborative, and authentic-adjacent, we are playfully unafraid to explore human experience. We are a unique blend of filmmakers and artists from China, Japan, South Korea, Haiti, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Czech Republic, New York, Los Angeles, and Texas.
Photo Illustration by Will Strawser