Knots: A Forced Marriage Story

Thousands of women are forced into marriage across the west legally.

The Film

Knots: A Forced Marriage Story explores the complex, sinister, and hidden issue of forced and child marriage in the west. Forced marriage is a human rights abuse that has lifelong traumatic consequences.

It is widespread. And it is wrong.

This dynamic feature documentary exposes the truth about forced marriage in the U.S. and English-speaking western world through the harrowing, complicated experiences of those who have survived it.

The Issue

Forced marriage in the western world, especially in the United States, has gone under-reported and unnoticed for decades. It impacts people from all backgrounds, races, religions, and socioeconomic groups.

A forced marriage is one that takes place without the free and full consent of one or both parties.

When we think of girls and women being forced into marriage, we often think of countries and cultures distant from our own. We rarely think about it in the context of our communities, our neighbors, our backyards.

And yet, women and girls, including some children as young as 12, are being forced into marriage here in western society.

To top it off, in many places, it's completely legal. For now.

The Team

Kate Ryan Brewer

Director + Writer

Born in Seattle and raised in Southeast Asia, Kate graduated from Florida State University in 2007 with a B.F.A. in filmmaking. She has lived and/or worked in Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Marrakech, and Washington DC. Her work ranges from narrative screenwriting to issue-based advocacy, and has worked for a variety of companies ranging from Disney to the Tahirih Justice Center. She is passionate about human rights and gender-based violence issues.

Paige Livingston


Paige is an award-winning creative executive, producer, and director. Her work in online video, TV, and documentary spans over twenty years, from producing the award-winning feature documentary Given (Netflix International) to leading as the  Head of Creative at Disney Online Originals. Paige is a multi-disciplined media executive with deep and rich knowledge of television and online program development, and heads Optimistic Pictures, an independent production company.

Jasmine Lord

Director of Photography

Jasmine was raised in Sydney, Australia and graduated with a B.F.A in Screen and Stage from Charles Sturt University. Jasmine works on commercials, short and feature length film, events, and fashion, but her main focus is documentary, particularly in conservation and social justice issues. She is an associate member of the SOC (Society of Camera Operators) and an active member of the ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society).

Chris Cook

Animator + Design Lead

Chris Cook is a visual storyteller and world traveler. Chris was born in Chile, and resides in Seattle, Washington. She has also lived in Germany, Indonesia, Honduras, Netherlands, Savannah, Hong Kong, Northern Virginia, and Colorado. Chris graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Her portfolio can be found at

Anna McDevitt

Web Developer

Anna is a self-taught web developer and human rights advocate. She has knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap and Python, and currently works at Creative Learning Systems, LLC based in Colorado. Her past experience includes Tahirih Justice Center, United States Committee for Immigrants and Refugees, and Bridge to Freedom Foundation. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University.

We would love to hear from you! If you have any questions, or if you would like to lend your expertise/skills, please reach out!

If you or someone you know is facing or fleeing a forced marriage, please contact the Tahirih Justice Center or Unchained At Last. There is help. There is hope.