Press Release (ePRNews.com) - LOS ANGELES - Aug 28, 2017 - Today marks the online premiere of “Protectress,” a dramatic Xena-inspired female empowerment fantasy action short film. This comes a week after NBC announced that the “Xena: Warrior Princess” reboot would no longer be moving forward.
The film is written and produced by its star, Joanna Ke. During battle, a healer duels with her mortal enemy in an unsettling form, facing an impossible choice that will forever forge her destiny as a warrior.
Ke says, “I was originally inspired by the warrior princess herself, which is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I wanted to capture the moment that someone makes a pivotal choice that changes who they are, a moment of transformation. I thought, what was the moment that Xena chose to become the warrior princess? What was that turning point? After that, the story and a whole world started to form.”
After getting fed up with the roles she was seeing for women in Hollywood, Ke decided to write the role she always wanted to play. She has seen her share of vapid female characters as a professional script reader and actor. She runs the twitter account @femcharacters where she highlights the unfortunate way women are often portrayed on screen.
“It’s depressing. The reason these roles exist is because the writing isn’t out there for more dynamic female characters. I see it on one end as a reader and the resulting character breakdowns as an actress. I realized the roles I was seeking weren’t out there, and I needed to write it myself,” Ke says.
Diversity was paramount to the production, both in front of and behind the camera. Ke portrays a protagonist rarely seen, a half Asian female hero. Director America Young, who brings her experience not only as a director but also as a stunt coordinator and stuntwoman, helms the film. Her years of production experience and geek obsession culminated in Young’s recent feature directorial debut with the Stan Lee executive produced pop-culture comedy “The Concessionaires Must Die!!”
Of the “Protectress” film, Young says, “There is so much talk lately about feminine strength and strong female characters in movies. That is what originally attracted me to this project. Chicks with swords. But then I read the script and saw that, in addition to the chicks with swords, there were complex characters.”
Leo Kei Angelos, who you might recognize from Season 4 of HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” serves as director of photography. Joanna Ke is currently in development of the “Protectress” feature, which the short film that debuts today is a proof of concept for. The film will be viewable online until the end of October, when “Protectress” will begin a festival run.
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