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A wake-up call to start the conversation on this important topic. Danielle Sturk’s documentary Why? Sexual Violence and Teens (NFB) launched on nfb.ca today.


April 3, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Danielle Sturk tackles the grim and, sadly, all-too-common reality of sexual violence against teens by boldly asking: Why? In this NFB-produced short documentary, available free of charge on nfb.ca as of today, April 3, the Franco-Manitoban filmmaker talks to young men who share their observations on male culture and society at large, and to young women survivors of different forms of sexual assault. The result is a deeply subjective film that offers a rich array of personal reflections in a bid to spark the dialogue needed to end this violence.

About the film

Why? Sexual Violence and Teens by Danielle Sturk (39 min 22 s) – WORLD PREMIERE
Producer: Denis McCready for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie & Acadian Documentary Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/why

In Why?, Franco-Manitoban filmmaker Danielle Sturk meets with those directly or indirectly affected by the issue of sexual violence against teens and willing to discuss it: young men, witnesses to the prevailing culture, and young women survivors of sexual assault. The decision to take this approach to the interviews was motivated by the gendered nature of the violence, given that 98 percent of reported sexual assaults are perpetrated by men (as Sturk’s documentary informs us). The result is a deeply subjective film that offers a rich array of personal reflections on masculinity, the psychological and social repercussions of sexual violence, and the context that enables and even normalizes it. Why? is also profoundly disturbing, not only in terms of what its subjects report, but also because of the sobering facts it presents, painstakingly culled from Canadian statistics on the topic. A wake-up call for parents and other adults who spend time around teens, the film probes the extent of the problem and its consequences, in a bid to spark the dialogue needed to find the strategies, approaches and solutions that can help put an end to sexual violence. Because things only change when people start talking and taking action.

About the filmmaker

Franco-Manitoban filmmaker Danielle Sturk has been creating documentaries, experimental films, dramatic series and TV specials since 2004. Her films have screened widely on the festival circuit and aired on most of the major Canadian networks. Recent works include El Toro (2018), an award winner at Yorkton and Hot Docs that she later developed into a six-part drama series for Radio-Canada, which will launch on ICI TOU.TV EXTRA on April 13. Sturk initially studied dance and was active as a dancer and choreographer between 1986 and 1996.

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French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.