I participated in 4 POWGirls short films. I first found interest in it because I wanted to learn a bit more about filmmaking and thought it would be cool to be a part of a short film. I enjoyed the workshops because they helped me learn about the creative and technical side of films, which was interesting. I also appreciated the encouragement and support of young voices. I think it’s important to uplift young women and non-binary people’s perspectives in media, and I can tell Tara has a good care and passion for that. Giving these traditionally less-respected groups a voice and outlet is important; it helps aide in bringing awareness to different social issues as well through these different viewpoints. Doing one of the POWGirls workshops, which was a promo documentary, led me to my first job at The Portland Kitchen which became an important program to me. Through that, I gained an awesome network of people whom I still stay in touch with, such as Arielle Clark, a great mentor. I also met good friends and my current partner of 3 years now through The Portland Kitchen. This would not have been possible if I had not found POWGirls, so I am appreciative of that.
POWGirls gave me that opportunity and helped me develop more confidence. It led me to develop more of an interest in social issues; I am now majoring in social sciences at PSU, wanting to pursue a career in social service work. If given the opportunity to be a part of another short film, I would do that. POWGirls broadened my interest in that medium. I would definitely say it’s a worthwhile program to check out!
POWGirls Alumni: Raine Shank
Now I attend the University of Oregon and I am double majoring in Journalism and Cinema Studies hoping to pursue filmmaking in the future. Having POW girls on my resume I have been able to say I have experience on set and I knew how to set up a light kit or hold a boom mic. Among the many opportunities that experience has given me, most notably it allowed me the rare opportunity to make a short film and a TV show for UO’s School of Journalism network, DuckTV. Usually freshmen are not selected as producers but because of my experience in film from POW girls they took a chance on me and my other freshmen friend! The experience in POW being geared toward young girls and non-binary youth is an incredibly valuable experience. As I pursue film I learn more and more about who typically dominates the industry. I also learn more and more about the value of people who differ from that type of person. Learning about being a woman in film in a room full of older men is not nearly as inspiring as being in a room full of other underrepresented young people. I am so appreciative of what the POW workshops, instructors and other participants have taught me about film and the world!
I attended my first POWGirls workshop in my freshman year of high school. I was just getting into film at this time. POWGirls was a low pressure space for me to feel out the entire process of filmmaking and get my hands on some equipment. It was so great to get to experience this in a community of girls and non-binary youth. There was never any pressure to be at a certain skill level and I always was comfortable enough to ask questions. I felt that I could explore all that I wanted to.
Now I just finished my freshman year at The Evergreen State College studying film. In this year I made a short film titled "The COLOR Pink." I decided to host a screening of my film to a community of women when I was home for the Summer. It ended up being an amazing event, better than I could have ever planned. As I got to share my proudest work from the year with these great women, I asked them to share with me what they were proud of from the year. This group of 20 women opened up and shared some incredible experiences. One woman had traveled to a new country and forced herself to attempt to learn a new language in a couple months. Another had left her good paying job in New York to travel across the United States visiting as many national parks as she could. One of the most inspiring was a mother who simply spoke of her eighteen year old daughter as what she was most proud of. All these amazing stories were shared because we all felt comfortable to do so. Just like in the POWGirls workshop I experienced four years prior. I hope to keep finding myself in and creating these spaces full of women and feminine who are connecting and exploring because anyone who experiences this knows it's powerful.
In seeking this space and an internship for the Summer, I reached out to Tara. She was just as excited as I was to be an intern for POWGirls. I'm so lucky to have my first real experience in the field of business and filmmaking as part of such an amazing organization. One that allows me to help young girls and non-binary feel confident and comfortable. When women are given a comfortable and safe space, from my experience, something great will always come of it.