To Be Traumatized

"To Be Traumatized" is an autobiographical journey of a young woman navigating hurt and healing after a doctor's moment of negligence. In a therapy session, she unpacks her most traumatic memory, shown through a series of dream-like vignettes.

  • Shelby Stewart
  • Shelby Stewart
  • Emily McTyre
  • Olivia Hendrix
    Key Cast
  • Holly Allen
    Key Cast
  • Claire Davis
    Director of Photography
  • Emily McTyre
    1st Assistant Director
  • Garrett Boling
    Production Designer
  • Leah Donato
    Script Supervisor
  • Wyatt Stewart
    Executive Producer
  • Shelby Stewart
  • Griffin Saunders
    Supervising Sound Editor
  • Brandon Hafeli
  • Ethan Stroud
  • Rebecca King
    Costume Designer
  • Pat Long
  • Griffin Saunders
    Re-Recording Mixer
  • Griffin Saunders
    Dialogue Editor
  • Miranda Hall
    Foley Artist
  • Griffin Saunders
    Foley Artist
  • St. Thomas LeDoux
    Production Sound Mixer
  • Cris Marbibi
    Production Assistant
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 9, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Middle Tennessee State University
Director Biography - Shelby Stewart

Shelby Stewart is a Tennessee-born filmmaker who concentrates on telling stories with social impact, sharing work that stirs conversation and ignites thought. She is a December 2020 graduate from Middle Tennessee State University’s Media Arts program, where she directed, produced and crewed numerous filmmaking and television production projects.

Stewart’s passion and knack for storytelling has taken her to great heights—helping lead a film seminar in Los Angeles about the inner workings of Hollywood in 2018 and 2019 as well as interning with a film festival in 2019. Her short film, "Outside," has been featured in MTSU's Collage, MTSU Film Festival, and First Look Film Festival (screened at The Belcourt in Nashville, TN).

Stewart’s latest film “To Be Traumatized,” which she wrote, directed and edited, is an autobiographical exploration of trauma through the lens of women’s reproductive health. Since graduating, Stewart continues to produce, write, and direct personal projects and works as a content moderator for TikTok.

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Director Statement

Womanhood can be defined by many experiences, and unfortunately, they are not always the best. Growing up, the stories of the gynecologist from women around me ensured I would be anxious before I even stepped through the door. At my second appointment at just 17, I was given a Pap smear I did not consent to and was not informed I was going to be receiving. The shock of the procedure led me to faint and end up in the hospital.

While the physical wounds healed, the mental scars remained for years, leading me to write "To Be Traumatized" in the Fall of 2019. I found it hard to describe what I went through to people - how could anyone relate to such a niche experience? Shortly after writing the script, a JAMA Internal Medicine journal validated my experience and showed me I was not alone in this issue. This pushed me harder to create this film.

In the year and a half since writing the film, throughout the production and post-production process, I have learned that while our traumas are not universal, the way we carry it and process it can be relatable. I created this film not only to start conversations around managing and understanding trauma, but to shed light on women's reproductive health and how we can reduce the stigma, fear, and discomfort surrounding routine and important medical examinations.