Women’s Empowerment Screenings Trigger Plans in Nashville

Posted on August 25, 2010
Our Women’s Empowerment Screening was a spirited collaboration of organizations and individuals. Series partner Nashville Public Library hosted us in its elegant auditorium and conference center. Nashville Public Television and the Nashville Film Festival – under the leadership of President and CEO Beth Curley and Director Sallie Mayne — who were both in attendance — helped fill the audience with PBS enthusiasts and independent film lovers. And the organization, Hands On Nashville, supplied us with more than a dozen enthusiastic volunteers.


Between films, audience members had refreshments and stopped by some of the informational booths to learn more about Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee; YWCA Nashville; Oasis Center, a safe haven for youth in crisis; IMF Penial Initiative, an anti-violence outreach organization; and My Global Voice, a nonprofit that advocates and raises awareness about international humanitarian issues. Emily Thompson, a teenage independent filmmaker representing the Oasis Center, led the post-screening discussions for A Girl’s Life and Off and Running with poise and humor. An audience member addressed Emily’s claim that NYU film school may be a long shot, saying, “I went from Newark, New Jersey, to a Stanford PhD. If you can dream it, you can do it.”  

We had same-sex couples in the crowd who were grateful to see the loving family portrayed in Off and Running. One of the couples said their own daughter’s friends at school considered her “lucky to have two moms.” One of the most poignant comments arrived the next day via Facebook, about Lakshmi and Me. The commenter said, “I just scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, even though I own a mop. Not sure whether this is an attempt at kinship, empathy, absolution, or what — but Lakshmi has been with me all day.”


People are also taking action as a result of the event. A high school teacher called her principal from the library parking lot to ask about screening A Girl’s Life for students this fall. And, after Troop 1500 and a discussion led by the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Phyllis Sutton and Chiquita Fields, audience members exchanged ideas and email addresses, excited about forming Girl Scout troops in neighborhoods that troop leaders typically avoid.


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