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1 in 10 people have been victims of sexual assault.

Over 80% of these victims know their attacker.

In almost 100% of these cases, the attacker uses a method called "grooming".

This film is about that.




Groomed is the intimate story of filmmaker Gwen van de Pas as she returns to her hometown in search of answers about the man who sexually abused her as a child.

To understand her ongoing traumas, Gwen travels to meet survivors, psychologists, and even a convicted sex offender. The film addresses a common yet unknown manipulation type called ‘grooming’, how to recognize it, and ultimately, how to stop it.

What begins as an exploration into grooming becomes a dramatic journey where Gwen faces unexpected revelations in her case, finally finds her anger, and boldly confronts the evil we’d rather ignore.


Gwen Van De Pas


Gwen van de Pas is a Dutch filmmaker who lived in San Francisco for 12 years. She studied Film in Holland, holds an MBA from Stanford, and worked for Consulting firm Bain & Company for 12 years. Passionate about stories that matter, she’s ready to tell the story of “GROOMED.”


Bill Guttentag


Bill Guttentag is a double Oscar-winning dramatic and documentary film writer-producer-director. His films have premiered at the Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, and Tribeca film festivals, and have won numerous awards.

Dylan Nelson


Dylan Nelson is an award-winning director and producer whose films have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, Hot Docs, Cannes, and many other film festivals. Her films were twice shortlisted for an Academy Award and have won Peabody and Emmy Awards.


Dana Ballout


Dana Ballout is a multimedia storyteller who has worked with some of the biggest media companies in the world including The Wall Street Journal, Netflix, Al Jazeera America, and others. She also worked for several years at the United Nations Development Program.


Jenny McAllister

Associate Producer

Jenny McAllister is an Emmy-nominated producer and has 15 years of experience creating non-fiction programming for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and PBS.


Hibah Schweitzer


Hibah Schweitzer is a veteran editor who has worked on feature and documentary films, as well as television series including The Good Wife, Law and Order, and Criminal Minds. She won the 2007 Sundance Documentary Film Editing Award for NANKING

Director of Photography

Rich Wong is a Spirit Award nominated director and cinematographer who has worked on independent films such as Wayne Wang’s SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, TO THE BONE, THE PRINCESS OF NEBRASKA, FRUIT FLY, and COLMA: THE MUSICAL.


Mo Scarpelli

Director of Photography

Mo Scarpelli has served as Director of Photography and Cinematographer on several award-winning films, including her own film FRAME BY FRAME (SXSW 2015) and SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT (Sundance 2016).


Dr. David Lisak is a nationally recognized forensic consultant and lecturer. His research on non-stranger rapists has guided rape prevention and response policies. He was featured in documentaries including “The Hunting Ground.”

Charles Flinton

Dr. Charles Flinton is a well-published psychologist and co-founder of SF Forensic Institute. Dr. Flinton has spent 25 years performing forensic evaluations of sexual crimes. He developed a curriculum for treating sexually abusive individuals.

Jessie Ford is a PhD student in Sociology at NYU. Her research interests include gender, sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. She holds a BA in Community Health (Brown) and an MSc in Public Health (LSHTM).

Harriet Hofstede

Harriet Hofstede is a nationally recognized psychologist from Amsterdam, specialized in treatment of sexually abused adolescents and their families. She has developed courses on how to effectively discuss abuse with loved ones.


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