AIWN’s screening of Miss Representation, an award-winning documentary film about the role of the media in shaping women’s perception of their own power and potential for leadership, made a big impact on audience members in Atlanta.
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ATLANTA, May 22, 2012 – Atlanta Independent Women’s Network hosted a successful screening of the 2011 Sundance-selected documentary feature film Miss Representation (a Girls’ Club Entertainment production) on May 15, 2012 at the Druid Hills Golf Club.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring Sherri Adair, publisher of Best Self Atlanta magazine; State Representative Simone Bell, House District 58; Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, physician and fellow of the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine; Stephanie Davis, executive director of Georgia Women for a Change; and Cynthia Tinsley Douglas, public relations executive and former broadcast journalist.
“This movie had a powerful message that we wanted to bring to Atlanta. We were thrilled to have over 250 people turn out for the film and stay for the panel discussion afterwards. We were even more excited to hear attendees express plans to start media literacy programs in their communities, get involved in local politics and even host their own screening for their friends and colleagues. It is grassroots activities like these that really bring about lasting change,” said Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, founding member of AIWN.
Following its premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Miss Representation has been widely screened during the summer and fall at schools, universities, corporations, government, institutions, community organizations and film festivals. The film made its broadcast premiere on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) in October 2011.
Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful.
Miss Representation includes stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics like Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne and Gloria Steinem. The film offers startling facts and statistics that leave audiences shaken and armed with a new perspective.
“We are thrilled to have so many outreach opportunities for Miss Representation. This film was made to be a change agent in our culture, to inspire both women and men to recognize women's collective voice, leadership capacity and equal rights,” says Newsom.
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality – and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made strides in leadership over the past few decades, the U.S. is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures, women hold only three percent of positions with clout in mainstream media, and 65 percent of women and girls have an eating disorder.
Miss Representation was selected from the Sundance line-up to be part of the OWN Documentary Film Club. “Through personal stories and provocative interviews, Jennifer crystalizes the relevance of the media and its portrayal of women in today’s society,” said Lisa Erspamer, Chief Creative Officer for OWN.
A portion of the film proceeds will be donated to women’s leadership initiatives led by partnership beneficiaries that include Girls for A Change, Girls Inc., The International Museum of Women, Step Up Women’s Network, The Women’s Media Center and The White House Project. Together with these partners, MissRepresentation.org is organizing hundreds of thousands of individuals to participate in a series of small actions that will ultimately lead to a cross-generational revolution to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change that will benefit not only women, but also the world at large.
About Girls’ Club Entertainment
Girls' Club Entertainment was founded by Jennifer Siebel Newsom - actress, filmmaker, and former First Lady of San Francisco. It was formed as an umbrella entertainment company to develop and produce independent films with strong social, political, and cultural significance focused primarily on empowering women.
About Atlanta Independent Women’s Network
The Atlanta Independent Women’s Network is dedicated to helping women succeed by providing opportunities for them to learn how to live their personal and professional lives to the fullest. They hold regular seminars hosted by experts to educate and empower women. For more information consult the group’s Facebook page, LinkedIn page or visit their website at http://www.aiwn-atlanta.org.