HAMPTON ROADS — Jasmine Deanne Andrews is gearing up for a busy week that culminates with the premiere of her feature film “Then Sings My Soul” on May 21.
Andrews’ first memories of films that brought inspiration were the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” sagas. While not in the sci-fi or fantasy genre, “Then Sings My Soul” follows the journey of seven women who are dealing with domestic violence and find their lives are interconnected as they come to deliverance.
Why cover such a heavy-hitting topic? For Andrews, it became unavoidable.
“As I came to have more experiences with people, these serious issues with women came up. I started making short films for Transitions Family Violence Service in Hampton. From there, it expanded into doing more film projects and this is the topic that has taken the forefront and it’s really important,” Andrews shared.
While making the film, Andrews wanted to help bring awareness to the topic of domestic violence in the best way she could.
“I just encountered so many different women who have experienced domestic violence, and it’s very prevalent and common, but it’s just not something that people put on the forefront. It’s a dark, heavy-hitting topic and people don’t want to feel bad,” Andrews said. “The topic will make you feel bad if you’ve experienced it and it can be triggering or if you haven’t experienced it, it just makes you feel guilty. The topic was really just something I couldn’t ignore and write off.”
Due to the sensitive topic of the film, Andrews became nervous about putting her name on it as the filming process continued, as it dealt with a touchy subject. However, she knows that this film shares an important message for victims of domestic violence.
“I was always nervous about anything I put out, whether it was a thesis for school or a short film clip. I used to be so afraid to put myself out there. I had to build a tolerance to understand that people may respond negatively but being afraid of that negative response isn’t going to change it. Over time, I built up a muscle for it where I’ve gotten to the point now that I’m not afraid of reactions, I just want to produce the best product that I can make,” Andrews said.
The film was shot around different eastern Virginia areas, including Richmond, Yorktown and Smithfield.
Andrews has many points she hopes to get across with the film, but most importantly, to apply spirituality to all facets of life.
“I hope people realize that they don’t have to live under abuse. There is deliverance and justice is a ministry. We like to separate our professional life, our work life, our spiritual life, but they are one and the same. Whatever it is that you do, whether you are a lawyer or a landscaper, it’s still important to inherently carry the values from your spiritual life into the work that you do,” Andrews said.
The premiere will take place on May 21 at the Fort Monroe Theater. Doors open at 2 p.m. for the red carpet. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite for $10.