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10 Girls/10 Weeks

Raised toward our $7,500 Goal
104 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 11:59 PM EST
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10 Girls/10 Weeks

Help support a screenwriting boot camp for teen girls and empower them to tell their own stories! Ten aspiring young female writers from all corners of Columbus are participating in the Wexner Center’s 10 Girls/10 Weeks, an intensive workshop led by filmmaker and Wright State professor Chinonye Chukwu and Wex educator Jean Pitman. The girls—ages 13–17, selected by Chukwu and Pitman after an open call for applications—represent a diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities, and socioeconomic circumstances, and hail from a wide range of schools: public, private, urban, suburban, rural, and charter. During the 10-week program, the girls are gathering every Sunday to analyze films, discuss techniques, share ideas, conduct research, go on field trips, meet with filmmakers, and to write, revise, and ultimately complete their own short scripts. The workshop culminates with readings of the finished scripts by a professional local actor.

This special initiative grew out of Chukwu’s Pens to Pictures, a moviemaking workshop for incarcerated women, supported by a Wex residency. Response to Pens to Pictures was so positive that the Wex engaged Chukwu for this new program for girls to guide them in telling their own stories – a timely project, given the well-publicized dearth of female voices in film. (Pens to Pictures and 10 Girls/10 Weeks also coincide with a focus on female artists this year at the Wex.) This rare opportunity to work with Chukwu and Pitman – and with each other – will have a lasting impact on participants, exposing them to professionals in the fields of writing and filmmaking, and fostering their own screenwriting skills.

10 Girls/10 Weeks is a true “town/gown” partnership – an example of the Ohio State’s commitment to engage the broader community. The program advances Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan—which encourages creative expression to drive positive social impact—and supports both the Discovery Theme of Humanities and the Arts, and the 2020 Vision areas of Community Engagement and Diversity & Inclusion.

Join us in encouraging these girls and their growth as writers and artists! Your contribution will defray costs associated with screenwriting software, transportation, and Chukwu’s honorarium. Thank you!

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Point of view

In a San Diego State University survey of the top 100 films of 2016, 5% of female characters were portrayed as leaders, versus 11% of male characters portrayed as leaders.



The 10 girls participating in this program come from 10 high schools across central Ohio: Indianola Informal K–8, Arts and College Preparatory Academy, Bishop Watterson, Columbus Alternative, Dublin Scioto, Lancaster, Pickerington, St. Francis DeSales, Westerville North, and Whitehall-Yearling.



In the New York Times’ "25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far" (2017), 5 of the films had a female writer, and only 1 had an all-female writing staff.



Women make up more than 50% of the US population, but a USC Annenberg survey of 800 popular films between 2007 & 2015 found that only 31% of speaking characters were female.



A 2016–2017 survey of independent film festivals found that on films with at least one female director, women comprised almost 75% of writers; however, on films directed exclusively by men, only 7% of writers were women. Donors to this giving level (and above) who are also Ohio State alumni will receive the University’s Sustaining Member benefits, including a year’s subscription to the Ohio State Alumni magazine and eligibility for the annual alumni football ticket process.



The annual Celluloid Ceiling report of the top-grossing 100 films of 2016 found women accounted for 14% of all directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers—down from 16% in 2015.



The Celluloid Ceiling reports that among 2016’s top 250 films, only 13% of the writers were women—the same percentage as in 1998.

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