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BITE AND SMILE / Elise Bauman, Leah Doz

Originally inspired by co-writer Leah Doz’s personal experience at a fast food commercial audition where she was told not to move her jaw while she chewed because it was “unflattering” on camera, my aim was to create a film that explores the impossible standards for women within society and how they are still being propagated within the entertainment industry. Virginal yet sexual, maternal yet submissive, ambitious yet never intimidating, these polarizing expectations can feel maddening to the point of rebellion. Told through a comedic lens, I felt the metaphor of the “bite and smile” audition would be easily accessible and palatable, which is, after all, what a woman *should* be, right?

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