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The Empowerment Project

Ellen Rakieten

“Calling all aspiring female filmmakers!”

Imagine seeing that as the headline of a Facebook post from your news feed.
I immediately clicked the link and found myself being exposed to a group of amazing and successful female filmmakers as they were about to embark in their journey called The Empowerment Project.

After working together on a youth filmmaking program, Directors and Producers Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook founded Heartfelt Productions in 2007. Heartfelt Productions started as a way to tell stories, and showcase uplifting, positive content to inspire women everywhere. Joining their team is Director of Photography Alana Fickes, Associate Producer Ashley Hammen and Documentary Shooter Vanessa Crocini. Their current work includes The Empowerment Project where literally a group of five women pack their camera, light and sound equipment, making stops across the country from Los Angeles to Chicago and New York, to interview successful women from diverse professional careers and produce a docu-series about women.

Talk about a lot of work! But wait, it gets better! Along the 10 stops on their journey across the country, they are mentoring one young girl who is interested in filming – experience not a requirement but simply willing to learn and be part of an all-female crew.

Here’s where my Global Girl Media experience kicked into place. As I kept scrolling down this calling for submissions, I found myself applying to be part of an all-female crew for the Los Angeles stop. I was fortunately enough to be a mentee on August 29, 2013 as we interviewed Ellen Rakieten, co-creator of The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of her own Productions Company.

The day was full of setting up camera, sound and light equipment, running over interview questions and of course experiencing what it was like to be part of an all-female crew and interview a successful woman in the media. I was in amazement from how a professional female crew conducts an interview to listening to Ellen Rakieten say “I do not have any regrets in my career.” This was probably one of the highlights of my day, listening to a woman who is already successful in her career and getting the opportunity to learn from her.

As a Global Girl Media reporter, trained in Los Angeles and be able to work with girls from Chicago, Morocco and South Africa, I know there’s a constant need to learn from women who already work in the media. I definitely feel like I enhanced my filmmaking skills and even learned jargon words/phrases in the media industry.

The Empowerment Project is truly inspiring and lives up to its name. I wish the Heartfelt Productions team a successful and fun journey! You are definitely creating positive content for young women like me to look forward to and learn from. Thank you for letting me be part of an all-female crew and can’t wait to watch The Empowerment Project in its final product!

Follow their journey here http://heartfelt-productions.com/

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