We are always excited to hear about the development of filmmakers’ audience engagement plans and to see how ideas and energy from residencies have transformed into film campaigns. I recently received an update from Dawn Valadez with Going on 13 that I thought I’d share.

From Tweety Bird to Bow Wow, double dutch to chat rooms, Daddy’s girls to first deceptions, watch as Ariana, Isha, Rosie, and Esme let go of childhood and fumble — or sprint — toward an uncertain future. This is puberty and for each of these girls of color, it’s a whirlwind of change and new choices. Without flinching, Going on 13 enters their world as they negotiate the precious, precarious moments between being a little girl and becoming a young woman.

Going on 13 is currently playing on PBS stations and is accompanied by an interactive social networking site for girls. This gives viewers an effective and safe online portal to upload and share short responses—via text, photos, and video—as well as interact with each other about the topics they care about most. With the help of Girls Inc. of Alameda County and Michelle Halsell of Missing Pixel the filmmakers conceived, designed, and created a site that will help Going on 13 engage with a larger audience.

The filmmakers have also been chosen for an ITVS’ pilot Project 360 program, a multiplatform exhibition and promotion initiative, for which they created a fantastic new behind-the-scenes video. Watch Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Dawn Valadez meet up with two of the girls–– now 18 years old––from Going on 13, find out where they are now, and see them turn the tables and interview the filmmakers.

Sharon Lamb, Author of Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes, said about the film, “Every topic I am concerned about, every topic I teach about, appears in the film…subtle, moving, nuanced, powerful, and right on!” If you have a girl in your life, or you work with them I urge you to watch Going on 13 and consider how you can use it to inspire those around you.

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