“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.”
Margaret Atwood, TIME
What is Project:Girl?
Project:Girl, born in a Brooklyn Bar, New York City, is a collection of short films based on true stories of girlhood, adolescence and identity. Stories are collected from females sharing moments that ‘stuck’ when reflecting on their own girlhood. In speaking with Kate Tolo, a co-founder of Project:Girl, she explained that “Project:Girl’s mission is to create a culture where we can recognize the humanity in each other and realize that we are all the amalgamation of our stories”. To watch the collection of short films, visit their vimeo channel
Why is Project:Girl important?
Ok so let’s make this pretty simple. There are two key reasons why Project:Girl is a kick-ass initiative in the social and mental health space today.
Reason number 1: Females suffer significantly more from “internalising” mental health related concerns than males
A recent study published in the American Psychological Associations Journal of Abnormal Psychology, scoped the mental health landscape finding females to suffer significantly more than men from four common mental health difficulties: Depression, Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Eating disorders. Particularly mood-related mental health and anxiety are often referred to as ‘internalising disorders’. An ‘internalising disorder’ is where the individual keeps their struggles to themselves, ‘internalising’ their difficulties.
When keeping our experiences internal, we can be caught in a cycle of judging our experience and even believing it to be ‘abnormal’, and in turn, not wanting to share our experiences. By sharing seemingly insignificant moments from girlhood on screen, Project:Girl over-rides the internalising process, sharing freely those moments from growing up that can sometimes have a greater hold on us if kept secret. In so doing, Project:Girl helps females connect over normal experiences that can otherwise feel abnormal.
Actor Kevin Spacey, in his lecture The future of storytelling, explained:
“storytelling helps us understand each other, translate the issues of our times, and the tools of theatre and film can be powerful in helping young people to develop communication/collaboration skills, let alone improving their own confidence”
… but there’s another problem…
Reason number 2: Men dominate the film industry
Project:Girl’s website identifies that only 29% of protagonists in film are female! Without the narratives of women being told anywhere near as much as men, female experiences continue to go unheard, continue to be deemed less valid, and are seen as more uncommon. What’s more, the cycle of male leads dominating the industry is continually perpetuated as long as women storytelling does not see a dramatic increase. Understanding of the female narrative needs to be boosted by the stories of female life being disseminated widely, and what better way to disseminate widely than on the big screen!
After Project:Girl’s recent screening at the ITVFest in Vermont, Kate explained that “people were approaching us afterward, wanting to share their childhood experiences that they related to via our episodes, things that they previously would have felt weren’t significant enough to talk about”.
To share your story with Project:Girl click here
Previous press for Project:Girl