‘The Weight of It’ Crowned in WrapWomen and Starz ‘Telling Our Stories’ Short Film Competition

Olivia Marie Valdez, Einar Soler Fernandez and Sandra Afonso Rodriguez recognized for their film

As part of WrapWomen’s three-day 2021 Power Women Summit, WrapWomen and Starza Lionsgate company, announced the winner of this year’s ‘Telling Our Stories’ short film competition, an initiative that highlights films by women and gender non-conforming filmmakers of color and showcase themes of womanhood, community and representation. Written and directed by Olivia Marie ValdezEinar Soler FernandezSandra Afonso Rodriguez“The Weight of It,” tells the story of Maria, a breast-cancer survivor, who has recently recovered from a mastectomy and subsequent breast implant. One night, as she gets ready for bed, she struggles to see her new body as something beautiful. But as she explores and rediscovers herself, she realizes her scars are a symbol of strength. With the support of her husband she learns to love the woman she sees in the mirror.

Chosen from more than 800 narrative or documentary short films, Olivia Marie Valdez, Einar Soler Fernandez and Sandra Afonso Rodriguez will share a winning prize of $10,000. Monami Roy received an honorable mention as runner-up for “Tha Magik Change”. 

Executives from TheWrap and Starz, as well as other industry professionals, held a jury deliberation to select the six finalists, a unique collection of timely and thought provoking films that encapsulate the essence of womanhood, community, and representation. The finalists were recognized during the Telling Our Stories Filmmaker Showcase + Panel at the Power Women Summit, streamed on TheWrap and all its related channels during the Power Women Summit on December 7-9, 2021. The finalist films are available for viewing in the PWS Marketplace for the duration of the event.

  • Monami Roy for “Tha Magik Change”: “Tha Magik Change” is a step towards creating awareness about the pandemic-stricken apparel businesses (inclusive of tailors, thrift stores, recycling labels, upcycling labels). Revolving around the uneasy feeling of the happenings at the “katran ki dukaan”, where people are leaving, handing down the key to the last person to leave. It is a reflection of the lockdown and the effects on small scale businesses that lead to huge movement of people across the country due to the unavailability of living wages at the time of lockdown.
  • Sofía Siller and Sergio Badillo for “Azul”: “Azul” is an autobiographical documentary that tells the life of Sofía Siller, who tells us from images, videos and her diary the experience of having suffered depression and suicide attempts, after suffering an accident in New York that fixed her career as a contemporary dancer, as well as her mother’s mother, Susana, who suffers from bipolarity and suicide attempts.
  • Radha Mehta for “Being Gina”: A tireless advocate for mothers who struggle with addiction, Gina Wassemiller leads an inspirational journey of recovery and reconciliation for families impacted by addiction.
  • Jingjing Tian for “Mary Anne & Frank”: A reclusive senior citizen seeks a release from the struggles of life as she struggles to say goodbye to a loved one.
  • Robin Noonan-Price and Rachel Ament for “Tell Me About Orange”: When his best girl friend expresses her romantic feelings, a blind teenage boy struggles to express his. He realizes that sometimes love really is blind.

“The quality and originality of this year’s slate of “Telling Our Stories” submissions were unparalleled in terms of diversity, originality and impact,” said Sharon Waxman, Founder and Editor in Chief of TheWrap. “Once again, we’re honored to partner with Starz to spotlight the incredibly honest and brave work of Olivia Marie Valdez, Einar Soler Fernandez, Sandra Afonso Rodriguez and are excited to see what’s next for these talented filmmakers, as well as our other finalists.”

You can learn more about the finalists and their films here.

About WrapWomen

WrapWomen is a power base of influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands committed to changing the face of their industries. Through media and live events, we provide a platform to accelerate the vision of women who are building towards a more equitable world. Our events attract a broad network and community of professional women who are decision-makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists. Past speakers include: Chair of the Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality Anita Hill; Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren; Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss; Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cynthia Nixon; author Margaret Atwood; three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Beach Volleyball, Kerri Walsh Jennings; and NASA Astrophysicist Andrea Razzaghi.

About Starz

Starz (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is the global media company taking the lead in streaming premium content that spotlights a spectrum of women both in front and behind the camera for audiences worldwide. Starz is home to the flagship domestic STARZ® service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels and the associated on-demand and online services, as well as the proprietary and highly-rated STARZ app. In 2018, Starz launched its Starzplay international premium streaming platform and, coupled with its Starz Play Arabia venture, has since expanded its global footprint into 50 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan and India. The essential complement to any subscription platform, STARZ and Starzplay are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. Starz offers subscribers more than 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular programming.

Press Contact:

Erin Freilich | High10 Media | erin.f@high10media | 917.750.0493