The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Joins Women and Girls Leadership Campaign on PBS this Fall

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(New York, NY) — The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announces a partnership with the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc. (AWFJ) — an association of professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media — for its the three-year national PBS campaign Women and Girls Lead. AWFJ joins the growing list of organizations to support the multiyear engagement campaign, which aims to educate, focus, and connect viewers with more than 50 acclaimed documentaries, as well as through nationwide community and educational events. 

“AWFJ is honored to partner with the Women and Girls Lead initiative to help raise awareness about the work of the heroic women featured in the selected documentaries, and to amplify their voices so that they may inspire others. We strongly believe in and support the important and very timely work of the Women and Girls Lead initiative, and the work of all the filmmakers whose documentaries are included in the program,” said Jennifer Merin, president of AWFJ. 

The multiyear initiative launched its first broadcasts on October 11, 2011 with Women, War, & Peace on PBS. A five-part series executive produced by Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan, and Gini Reticker, the documentary series examines how women have been disproportionately affected by modern conflict as well as their unique role in brokering peace. 

“Over the next nine months, we are launching the first wave of more than 50 documentaries that tell incredible stories of courage and leadership about women and girls from around the world,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS president and CEO. “But beyond the national PBS broadcasts, Women and Girls Lead will take this content directly to communities through our groundbreaking engagement and education programs. Our goal is that these unforgettable films will spark not only conversation, but will also ignite meaningful change in the lives of women and girls everywhere.” 

Several other programs from the Women and Girls Lead catalog are premiering, including We Still Live Here — Âs Nutayuneân (November 2011), which chronicles the resurrection of the native Wampanoag language of southeastern Massachusetts, the first time a language without remaining native speakers has been revived in this country. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock (February 2012) tells the story of a woman’s life and the public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Unconventional, revolutionary, and egotistical, Daisy Bates reaped the rewards of instant fame, but paid dearly for it. Strong! (June 2012) features Cheryl Haworth, the 5’8" 300 pound champion American weightlifter. The film chronicles her journey and the challenges that this unusual elite athlete faces, exploring popular notions of power, strength, beauty, and health. For a complete list of the upcoming broadcasts visit:

Broadcasts in 2011 and 2012 will be accompanied by nearly 1,000 community screening events, in partnership with some of the world’s leading organizations supporting women and girls leadership development, health, education, and prosperity. Women and Girls Lead is supported by an advisory board led by CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison and consisting of media, policy, and cultural luminaries including actors Geena Davis and America Ferrera, Queen Noor, fashion designer Eileen Fisher, and PBS President Paula Kerger. 

Rounding out the list of partner organizations on Women and Girls Lead is CARE, Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), Girl Scouts of the USA, International Rescue Committee, Points of Light Institute, Women for Women International, Women's World Banking, and World Vision. 

About Women and Girls Lead 
Women and Girls Lead is a multiyear public media in support of the issues facing women and girls. Combining independent documentary film, television, new media, and global outreach partnerships, Women and Girls Lead amplifies the voices of women and girls acting as leaders, expands understanding of gender equity, and engages an international network of citizens and organizations in acting locally and reaching out globally. By building a pipeline of some 50 public television documentaries and integrating content from partners across radio, commercial television, and beyond, Women and Girls Lead offers another model for public media to serve its mission in the 21st century, connecting key stakeholders to sustain productive dialogue and participation on the most critical issues facing local communities, the nation, and the world. For more information please visit:

About the Alliance of Women Film Journalists 
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc. (AWFJ), a not-for-profit corporation, is an association of professional female movie critics, reporters, and feature writers working in print, broadcast, and online media. AWFJ is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s perspectives on film and to supporting work by and about women — both in front of and behind the cameras — through intra-group promotional activities, outreach programs, and by presenting the annual EDA Awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (the best and worst) by and about women in the movies. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: Voleine Amilcar,, 415-356-8383, ext. 244

Posted on November 7, 2011