In honor of Women's History Month, Levi’s® teamed up with LA-based Girlgaze to create a series of four short films called #IShapeMyWorld. The films, which debuted on International Women’s Day, are directed by members of the Girlgaze creative community, and profile four women who are change makers, risk takers and rule breakers.
Girlgaze is a digital media company based in Los Angeles, California that provides a platform for female Gen Z photographers and directors. Their mission, is to “close the gender gap by creating visibility and tangible jobs for girls behind the lens”. Founded in 2016 by Amanda de Cadenet, the creator of the Conversation, the #Girlgaze community has grown to include female trailblazers like fashion photographer Inez Van Lamsweerde; actress, model and founder of Master & Muse Amber Valetta and photojournalist and author Lynsey Addario.
The Problem: Today’s social and political climate has re-ignited the conversation of gender inequality across a wide range of industries. The creative community, is no exception to gender biases. For decades, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has chronicled the amount of female directors in the industry. According to their latest study, only 7 percent of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases last year were women. And with the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report revealing that gender parity is some 217 years away, it’s clear that women around the world need community support to empower themselves and inspire change.
The Approach: Produced in partnership with Levi’s® and directed by women from the Girlgaze community, the films individually profile four unique women who’ve “faced and defeated societal expectations to shape their world.” Throughout the month of March, Levi’s® and Girlgaze are hosting live events and a panel discussion to elaborate on #IShapeMyWorld.
The first film in the series, “She’s Revolutionary”, directed Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell, follows Tarana Burke, activist and creator of the #MeToo movement, and her daughter Kaia. The film talks about motherhood, providing language to identify abuse, and finding ways to protect and support survivors everywhere.
“Drum As You Are”, directed by Jess Colquhoun, is the second installment of the series. It profiles drummer and performer Mona Tavakoli, who believes in the empowering effect of music. Tavakoli is the co-founder of the Rock n’ Roll Camp For Girls Los Angeles, a nonprofit that encourages girls to find their voices through music.
The third film, “#6”, spotlights the online sensation Sam Gordon, who’s (quite literally) been tackling gender stereotypes since she was 8 years old. From being the first girl to play tackle football in her hometown, to co-founding the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, Gordon has rewritten the playbook for girls. In 2018, she was the first female recipient of the NFL’s Game Changer Award.
The last film in the series, “Jasilyn: Activist of the Land”, Directed by Lina Plioplyte shares the story of environmental activist Jasilyn Charger from the Cheyenne River Reservation., Charger spearheaded a youth movement against the Keystone Access Pipeline in North Dakota. In the film, she opens about overcoming addiction, rekindling with her heritage, and standing up against oppressive commercial forces.
The Feel Good: The series celebrates heroines of diversity, as much in their accomplishments and impact on society, as in their personal narratives. Their stories are a lesson in affirmative action — imbuing viewers with a sense of empowerment and inspiring generations to come, as they shape their own worlds.