With the help of our generous sponsors, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas-Girls of Promise Initiative, the Wellness and Vision Trust and JM Associates, the ACS was able to launch our first Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls in 2019. The lab is for high school junior girls who dream of following in the footsteps of female directors, cinematographers, costume designers, editors and screenwriters.
Twelve 16-18 year old girls from 11 different high schools in central Arkansas were selected to participate in the 2019 program through an essay application process.
This free lab is held twice a week for two to four hours at a time for eight weeks at JM Associates, and the girls are mentored by professionals through each stage of the filmmaking process. The girls begin by developing look books and pitching their individual, original story ideas focused on women’s empowerment and STEAM to the group. They vote on the pitches and two ideas are chosen to develop into screenplays. Next, they were divided into two teams and assigned crew roles based on their skills and interests.
“These girls learned all the different roles, a coed crew might have made that more difficult, with boys leaning toward jobs like grip — maintaining and making rigs for camera support — and girls gravitating to hair and makeup artist jobs or producing. “I’m trying to encourage girls to consider all the possibilities in a non-gendered situation. Arkansas has developed a talent pool for film and TV, Tucker says, and these girls can now be included. “There is a thriving film community here. That’s part of our mission, to give a venue and a voice to new filmmakers. That’s why the girls’ short films will be screened at our festival, FILMLAND, so they will be in the same room with other Arkansas filmmakers. That’s where it all begins.”
— Kathryn Tucker from the Film Lab Feature, Style Section, Arkansas Democrat Gazette