March 29, 2012

Fundraiser will benefit ‘Girls Make Movies’ camp

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A weekend fundraiser that will focus on female filmmakers associated with Southern Illinois University Carbondale is designed to defray costs of a weeklong residential summer camp for high school girls interested in film.

A “Girls Make Movies” benefit screening is from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, March 31, in the Communications Building sound stage, room 1116.  Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for SIU Carbondale students with student identification.  The admission price includes refreshments.  There will also be an auction.

This year’s camp is July 8-13.  The $90 cost includes instruction, room and board, materials and activities.  Registration dates are still being determined.

The event will feature the first public screening of highlights from the first two years of “Girls Make Movies” workshops, along with work by female SIU Carbondale faculty filmmakers and alumni of the cinema and photography program.

A goal of the screening is to help keep the residential camp affordable for participating students, said Clare Mitchell, assistant dean of student affairs in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Fifteen girls from area high schools participated in each of the first two workshops. The camp is for girls who will enter high school this fall to current high school seniors.

The Illinois Broadcasters Association Foundation is again assisting with funding for the camp, Mitchell said.

The weeklong workshops began in 2010 in an effort to achieve greater balance in the number of male and female media makers and wanting “all of my students to feel comfortable and skilled behind the camera,” said Angela J. Aguayo, an assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography.

Aguayo, along with associate professor Susan Felleman, and assistant professors Michele Torre and Sarah Lewison, were among those who helped set up the program in a faculty-driven initiative.  Cade Bursell, an associate professor also in cinema and photography, joined the camp instructional team last year.

“We needed a space for young women to find their voice and feel empowered behind the camera before they arrive on a college campus,” Aguayo said.

Lewison said a “larger direct benefit” of the workshop is that it gives young girls “an opportunity to do work that addresses and elevates the value of their voices and their experiences, and further brings the issues that women uniquely face in our society to a central position.”

The workshops offer participating high school students the opportunity to learn about filmmaking and enhance their skills with the assistance of female SIU Carbondale faculty, graduate students and undergraduate filmmakers.  The camp also highlights the opportunities available for females in the film and video industries.

For more information on the fundraising screening or the camp, contact Mitchell at 618/453-4308 or by email at