BridgeUp:FILM is an after-school scholarship program for young women in high-school. It was founded as a part of the Glassbreaker Films initiative at the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2017. Now more than ever, it has become evident that representation and accuracy matter in the media. BridgeUp:FILM aims to provide a diverse group of high school girls access to the world of visual storytelling by teaching them professional video production and reporting skills. By providing them with professional resources and strong mentors, BridgeUp:FILM hopes to empower girls to speak their truth and tell their own stories.
Women and minorities continue to be grossly underrepresented in leadership positions within the film industry. Although women make up 51% of the U.S. population, their voices and their stories continue to be ignored. Women are underrepresented 8 to 1 among film directors and 4 to 1 among film writers. BridgeUp:FILM aims to bridge the gender gap in film-making by empowering young high school girls with the resources and confidence to become their own storytellers.
In its first year, BridgUP:FILM reached out to various high schools and after school programs in the Bay Area. A diverse set of high school girls with varying levels of experience in film-making came together, after school, for 10 weeks from March to May. BridgeUp:FILM Scholars were taught lessons in video production, quality video shooting, sound and visual editing and interviewing. A pivotal part of BridgeUP:FILM is the mentorship provided by the Glassbreaker Films "Filmmakers-in-Residence" to the Scholars. These Filmmakers-in-Residence are young women embarking on their film-making career who are engaging with, empowering and cultivating the next wave of filmmakers. The program ends with a showcase of the Scholars' final projects/videos and Magic Grant awards which allow these high school girls to continue their newfound, or already established, passion.
Keep up with their stories here and follow them on Instagram @GlassbreakerFilms.