Knowing the warning signs in toxic and abusive situations is the easiest self-help one could equip themselves with. However, it is not always simple to react to signs. Some may seem “not so bad." Some you may even excuse and brush by claiming it is not serious being that it is the first time you have ever experienced it. Filmmaker Antonio Cannady’s goal is to ensure that ignoring the signs will do nothing but hurt you in the long run.
With the recent surge of abuse in the media recently with celebrities such as Ray Rice, Emma Roberts, and Chris Brown, Cannady felt it was time for someone to speak out against the issue. The issue he feels was, “kept quiet for much too long” and that it was time to create dialogue about the subject. In his film “Know the Signs," Cannady takes a stand against the often brushed under the rug topic that is domestic violence. The film follows a young woman that reconnects with an abusive ex-boyfriend, putting her and those around her at risk once more. The movie will take the viewer on a journey into the harsh reality of what it is like to be in a manipulative, abusive, toxic relationship on screen and the effects it has. The subject matter of the film is not sugar coated. The message is clear, and effective, and “definitely not a PSA” claimed Cannady. As the writer, producer, and director of the film, Cannady has put in countless hours working on the project with the intention of getting his message across effortlessly.
Who is Antonio?
Antonio R. Cannady is a native Florida citizen with heightened interest in telling stories and projecting them onto the big screen. This writer and director is primarily self-taught, however did attend vocational technical schools in Florida in order to learn about producing as well. Cannady has been known to be a risk taker with not only writing and story ideas but also sharing those ideas for the world to see as well. “Know the Signs” will be Cannady’s second film he has made. His first film was “Ex Post Facto", a film containing equally as heavy subject matter as “Know the Signs."As a filmmaker, Cannady has drafted ideas and cultivated stories that he has experienced himself in order to truly get his message across within his films. “Know the Signs” is a film that comes from a dark place in Cannady’s life. Growing up in an environment where abuse was a prominent portion of life at home, Cannady knew what was expected of the film he desired to create.“It’s not easy going against the status quo. A lot of people don’t want to talk about it but it can be tough. There are a lot of ups and downs involved,” Cannady explained about producing the film: “Having thick skin and rolling with the punches is what you have to do if you want to eventually get there however. You have to keep pecking away at something if you want it to succeed.” As someone who had came from such a dark place in their life, Cannady wants his film to inspire others to be accepting of where he or she comes from in order to find the strength to make the change for his or herself.
In order to achieve spreading his message, after the premier of “Know the Signs," the film will be taken across the state of Florida to visit 31 colleges in 31 days. The 31 Signs in 31 Days college tour will take place in the month of October in honor of domestic violence awareness month. What Cannady hopes to for the month is to not just to promote his film, but also to really get the message across to college students. According to http://www.dccadv.org/, women aged 16 to 24 are more likely to experience domestic abuse from an intimate partner more so than any other age range. Cannady hopes to not only open his audience’s eyes to the reality of domestic violence but to invoke a change within at least someone’s life. In addition to the college tour, the film will be released with a two-screen experience. To compliment the film, the Know the Signs app will have exclusive content from production as well as content related to the subject matter. What is truly the highlight of the application is that it serves as an incognito way for those victims of domestic abuse to seek help. The app has hidden features that connect one to the help one may need if in a toxic situation. What is truly genius about the app is that it is completely inconspicuous to the abuser. The reason for this is so that if the abuser were to go through the phone of someone with the app, there would be no sign of reaching out for help made aware to him or her. Cannady also hopes to reach out to domestic violence centers and set up a blog as well. He hopes to extend his message to as many people as he can.
“If he or she hits you once, they’ll do it again. It’s just a matter of time before things escalate,” Antonio remarked, “No one deserves abuse. It’s a no go across the world." Speaking of his experience as well as hearing those share their own stories is what Cannady has wanted to achieve with this project. As well as his goal that ignoring the signs will do nothing but harm you, Cannady wants this film to be perceived as a warning shot: “If you’re in a toxic relationship, get out while you can.” Antonio stated when asked about what message he wanted to be taken from the film. Antonio said, “The movie is a project about redemption. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it.” Although the film will exclusively be released in Florida, the movie will also be released the same day online for others to view as well. The project release may appear to be starting small, however with the emphasis on the subject matter it should be making great strides throughout national domestic violence month. Antonio Cannady is a filmmaker, writer, producer, and director. He is also is an instrumental figure in bringing awareness to the cause of domestic violence within the United States. The work he has done with his film is sure to open the eyes of anyone that views his production.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you should take precaution, know the signs, and get the help necessary before it is too late.
• 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
for the National Domestic Violence hotline or
between the hours of 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. (CENTRAL) to chat online with someone
For more information about the movie, please visit http://www.knowthesignsmovie.com