The Scream





An eerie scream from a woman being attacked penetrates the meat packing district while busy New Yorker’s question their consciences about taking action. Inspired by the true story of the Kitty Genovese murder, the Stanford rape case and the Edvard Munch painting.

By bringing attention to the problem of urban apathy, a term coined after the Kitty Genovese murder and the ‘bystander effect,’ becoming worse now that documenting incidents with camera phones and posting them on social media is so widespread, we believe that, The Scream, is in consonance with NYWIFT’s mission to support films made by and about women that raise awareness about violence against them. NYWIFT advocates for equality in film and media by nurturing women in every stage of their careers.

As of 2023, Director Bettina Marks has adapted The Scream into the scripted series The Hidden Scream.

The Hidden Scream is a scripted anthology tv series.  A psychological drama about the bystander effect that is inspired by true events. Because of the overwhelming impact that social media has had on society and this phenomenon, its visual style and technical elements will reflect this world. The series is currently in pre-production.   

It has received superlative reviews (above) from prominent NYFCC critic, CNN Sunday night at the Movies, AARP Magazine film critic, Thelma Adams.  She commented ‘WoW,’ about the trailer and … and above.     

Jack Lechner, former HBO VP of Development/Programming and current faculty member at Columbia University Graduate Film program, said, “I watched the film as soon as I got it.  Congratulations on it!  You paint a very distinctive mood, in service of something that’s both disturbing and truthful.”  Jack Lechner

The terms, ‘the bystander effect and urban apathy’ were coined after the famous Kitty Genovese rape/murder that the NYTimes reported was witnessed by 13 people, none of whom called the police.  After these events, the 911 emergency number was created.   

Violence in America and apathy is increasing not only in its urban centers but in general.  Good Samaritans can fear getting involved.  This series sheds light on the complexities of the psychological issues surrounding bystanders’ reactions.  It reflects where we are as a society in the hopes to better the outcome of events like these for both the victims and bystanders.