Photo Courtesy Kwaku Alston, Emma McIntyre, Pascal Le Segretain for Getty Images and Wire Images
Girls Inc., the leading nonprofit that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, announces its inaugural Film Festival event, in partnership with actress, producer, and entrepreneur, Marsai Martin. Taking place on Sunday, June 13, the ticketed virtual event will spotlight Girls Inc. girls and their inspiring stories through the art of cinema.
Hosted by writer, comedian, late-night host and author Amber Ruffin, the night will showcase cinematic stories that lift up the voices of Girls Inc. girls, through short films made in partnership with Busy Philipps and Renée Elise Goldsberry, Darnell Martin, Melinda Hsu Taylor, and Amber Stevens West, who served as directors on the projects. The event will feature an exclusive VIP reception before the show where Martin and writer, producer and actress Tina Fey will be hosting a short panel to discuss the next generation of female producers.
“This first-ever Girls Inc. Film Festival is an exciting opportunity for girls to share their experiences through short films,” says President and CEO Stephanie J. Hull. “The event will feature compelling stories from a group of girls and young women who represent a new generation of leaders and changemakers. Collaborating with Marsai Martin on this endeavor is a dream come true—she leads by example and inspires girls everywhere to believe in themselves and see no limit to their potential.”
The evening will celebrate women driving change and making an impact, with honorees including:
Bela Bajaria, Head of Global TV at Netflix
Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Misty Copeland, Ballerina, Author and Philanthropist
Sheri Kersch Schultz, co-founder and chair, Schultz Family Foundation
Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Ph.D., Developer of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Special appearances will be made by seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and founder of lifestyle brand EleVen Venus Williams, actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross, NBC News’ TODAY co-anchor and TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host Hoda Kotb, and Richard and Demi Weitz, the father/daughter duo that raised millions of dollars’ worth of donations during the pandemic through their “Quarantunes” Zoom series. Furthermore, Broadway star and recording artist Shoshana Bean will perform a musical act for the event.
A long-time supporter of the nonprofit, Marsai first partnered with Girls Inc. for its #GirlsTaketheLead fundraiser in December 2020. She has been a vocal champion of the organization’s work and continues to use her own platform to open doors for young girls and people of color.
“I’m excited to partner with Girls Inc. on their first ever film festival,” says Martin. “It gives us a chance to spotlight the next generation of talented filmmakers. It’s also important that we give young girls an opportunity to use their voices.”
“At Girls Inc., our goal is to help girls reach their full potential, which means centering their voices and listening to what they have to say. Too often, girls do not get to tell their own stories or share their lived experiences,” said Dr. Hull. “Girls Inc. believes girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm. We are working towards a society in which every girl’s story has a place.”
Tickets to attend the star-studded evening can be purchased here. The event will recognize the organization’s decades of tireless work to combat systemic racism and gender inequality. All proceeds will enable Girls Inc. to reach more girls and help them uncover their inherent strengths.
The Girls Inc. Film Festival is being produced by Erich Bergen and Marc Johnston for 6W Entertainment.