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Together, Shirley, Carlene and Ruby have collectively spent over eighty-five years in Missouri State prison having each been convicted of killing their abusive husbands. Beaten, raped, sold, abused and nearly killed, these women suffered for years prior to the crimes. Denied the opportunity to enter their abuse into evidence during trial, each of the women now represents a system broken by media-sensationalized stereotypes and an outdated understanding of domestic abuse.
A beacon of hope arrives when a group of impassioned lawyers and law students form the Missouri Battered Women’s Coalition. Once the group plucks these women from a number of worthy cases, they begin a decade and a half long quest to secure their freedom. Now, Shirley, Carlene and Ruby become active partners in directing their own destiny as they learn to finally fight back for their freedom.
The Perfect Victim examines these women both as unique case studies and as commentary on our society’s lack of understanding and support for victims of domestic abuse. Has the legal and gender-based bias surrounding this issue created the unattainable image of “The Perfect Victim”?
Elizabeth Rohrbaugh (Director/Producer) is a writer and director based out of Brooklyn, NY. Over the past eleven years, she has had the opportunity work on a variety of platforms within the film and television industry. In her nine years at MTV she wrote and directed commercials for some of MTV’s biggest properties including Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, The MTV Movie Awards, Hustle and Flow, The Hills, The City, and several seasons of The Real World. Other clients include Kotex, T-Mobile, Herbal Essences, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. She has won an Emmy Award, multiple CTAMS Awards and been nominated for a POP Cable Award. While at MTV, she created a pro-social teen-based talk show entitled “Perspective.” Elizabeth earned a BFA in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. There she won the Best Documentary Award and the Adam Balsano Award for a Film With Social Significance at NYU’s First Run Film Festival for her short documentary “There She Is”.
Lindsay Nowak (Producer) is based in New York City. Lindsay is the proud recipient of many awards, including a Humanitarian and Public Service Emmy Award for her collaborative work on MTV’s pro-social website, think.mtv.com, and a Cannes Advertising Festival silver Lion Award for her work as a producer on a Super Bowl ad campaign. She has also received several Emmy Award Nominations – for a public service announcement she produced for the Kaiser Family Foundation, as well as Think MTV’s “Break the Addiction” campaign, and most recently for a documentary entitled “Under African Skies” – celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. A “digital abuse” campaign that Lindsay produced for MTV has also garnered mention from President Obama during his White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. She is currently working as a Line Producer at HBO. Lindsay graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, with a major in Television, Radio and Film.
Jerelyn Orlandi (Producer) is currently the Director Of Production for Creative Marketing at OWN. Prior, she was a freelance producer in New York City, working for networks such as TBS, Spike, Food Network, BET, and VH1. She was also a staff producer in MTV’s On-Air Promos department for 10 years. There she won a POP Award for the Best National Public Service Campaign for the Kaiser Foundation in 2007, a 2004 Director’s Club Award, a 2005 New York Addy, and a 2006 Promax Gold Award. Most recently, she co-produced the feature length documentary “Hell on Wheels,” which premiered at the 2007 South-By-Southwest Film Festival.