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What a Girl Wants

What a Girl Wants

Duration: 33 min
ISBN: 1-893521-68-0
Date Produced: 2001

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Praise for the Film

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What a Girl Wants

During the spring of 2000, eleven girls aged 8 to 16 from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and two classrooms of middle and high school students were interviewed about their views on media culture and its impact on their lives.

Their insightful and provocative responses provide the central theme of the film, a half-hour examination of how the media presents girls. Juxtaposing footage culled from a typical week of TV broadcasting with original interviews, What a Girl Wants will provoke debate and, ideally, act as a catlyst for change in media content.

Sections: Intro | Teen Products | Premature Toothpicks | Big Ones | Get the Guy | Follow the Leader | Booty Videos | Hey, Let's Have Sex | I Could Be Your Daughter | All Girls Got Killed

Filmmaker Info

Creators: Matthew Buzzell, Elizabeth Massie, Jacob Bricca
Producer: Elizabeth Massie
Editor: Jacob Bricca
Director of Photography: Matthew Buzzell
Original Music: Sean Eden
From CHC Productions
Educational Distribution by the Media Education Foundation

Filmmaker's Bio

Elizabeth Massie | Creator & Producer

Elizabeth Massie is a documentary producer, director and writer. Over the past seven years, she has written and produced shows for more than 35 non-fiction television series, including the top-rated History Channel series, Cities of the Underworld; Lock Up: Inside America's Prisons for MSNBC; A Face for Yulce for TLC (winner of Freddie, Hugo and CINE Golden Eagle awards); On The Inside for Discovery; Lifetime's and many others.

She co-wrote and co-produced Out of the Shadow, a feature documentary about a woman's lifelong battle with schizophrenia and the mental health system. The film was aired on PBS affiliates nationwide and was featured in People magazine. She also was the writer for Emmanuel's Gift, a feature doc narrated by Oprah Winfrey which tells the inspirational story of Emmanuel Yeboah, a disabled cyclist from Ghana. The film received the 2006 Media Access Award for Outstanding Documentary.

Massie founded CHC Productions with partner Matthew Buzzell in 1999 to create provocative documentaries about complex social topics, with a special focus on women's issues. Their first film, Who Cares About Girls?, was selected by the Council on Foundations as one of the 10 best foundation-funded films of 2000. This film explores the impact of media culture on the self-esteem of pre-teen and teenage girls.

Massie holds a MFA in directing from the American Film Institute.

Film Festivals

Press Reviews

Praise for the Film

"Bravo! This is the best video I have seen in a long time; very subtle and deeply moving."
- Mary Pipher | Author, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

"Like Killing Us Softly 3 or Reviving Ophelia, What a Girl Wants presents, in teen girls' voices, another glimpse of how the media diminishes the value of young women. Here is the opportunity for educators to begin a dialogue with younger students on the impact of self-serving media messages."
- Jane Baer-Leighton | Chair, English Dept. | 7-12 Amherst Regional High School

"...a good tool to use in classes on sociology, women's studies, gender, or media to portray how media truly does play a huge part in the way young girls see themselves in relation to what they see on the screen."
- Journal of International Women's Studies

"A simple indictment of the images of girls in teen media, and these images' impact on young consumers."
- Films for the Feminist Classroom

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