Vineyard-raised actor Sofia Masson had a cinematic homecoming last week, hosting an advance screening of her new film Every Day at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

The screening was followed by a Q&A with Ms. Masson, highlighting the film’s theme of the long-term impacts of sexual abuse. She was joined on stage by Pricila Vilaca and Jenny Rosen, both of whom work with Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’ Connect to End Violence, a domestic violence program and rape crisis center.  

“Thank you all so much for coming tonight,” said Ms. Masson. “It means a lot to me…and it means a lot to survivors as well, to be seen, to be heard, and hopefully this film can bring attention to that.”

Jenny Rosen is the clinical services manager at Connect to End Violence. — Ray Ewing

The screening on Dec. 22 was the first time Ms. Masson watched her movie on a big screen. “It just amplifies every emotion,” she said.

Every Day follows the story of Maddie, a college student and tutor haunted by a past sexual assault, as she pursues a friendship with coworker Laurel. Over the course of the movie, presented in a series of flashbacks at Maddie’s counseling sessions, Laurel also victimizes Maddie, further compounding her trauma.

“Here we have a very different assault than what’s usually shown in movies,” Ms. Masson said. “Not only was it a woman, it was a friend, and a trusted friend”

During the Q&A, Ms. Rosen, clinical services manager at Connect to End Violence, praised the film's portrayal of trauma and Ms. Masson’s performance.

“Part of my job as a clinician is to be able to compartmentalize and process in real time,” Ms. Rosen said, “I don’t often feel myself get teary or emotional, but my heart was racing through these scenes.”

Asked about ways to help someone dealing with trauma, Connect to End Violence outreach coordinator Ms. Vilaca emphasized the importance of listening and believing.

Pricila Vilaça (left) is the outreach coordinator for Connect to End Violence. — Ray Ewing

“So many times the victim doesn’t want a solution, she just wants to be heard,” she said.

Ms. Rosen also noted the impact of sexual assault can go beyond just survivors.

“If you are someone who has a loved one who has been assaulted or experienced something like this, you may need support as well,” she said.

Ms. Masson said playing the role was equal parts challenging and impactful.

“I was initially terrified when I got this role, but doing things that terrify you is also good,” she said. “I was so moved by the story. I think it shed a whole different light on sexual assault, that being the long-term effects of sexual assault, how it lingers, how it lives inside of you.”

Sofia Masson grew up on the Vineyard. — Ray Ewing

Prior to the role, Ms. Masson did extensive reading on trauma to prepare herself, even going as far as to prepare journals that her character Maddie might have written. The movie was filmed over the course of 12 days.

Ms. Masson said she hoped the film would help bring awareness to the issues. Prior to the final credits, a series of statistics flashed on screen, including “1,188 women are raped. Every Day.”

“I tried to not let the role linger when I went home at night,” Ms. Masson said. “But art is to provide a feeling that you’re not alone, and to experience a film is to experience that.”