Project Girl is a film series and community inspired by true stories of girlhood. Friends Connie Saltzman, Kate Tolo and Stephanie Bonnier founded the project to “share the candid moments we don’t talk about from our adolescence: the things we deem too embarrassing or stupid.”
“We’re creating a library of stories mapping out the female experience,” Connie told WYSK. “We want to eliminate any taboos so that we are freed from the restraints of how girlhood and the experience of being female-identified is supposed to go.”
Project Girl gathers these narratives directly from personal experiences submitted through their website and at live events. A team of writers then selects and adapts the stories into screenplays. Since their launch in 2017, they have produced five episodes, each reflecting relatable and universal themes such as eating disorders, friendship, body image, sex, pier pressure, self-esteem, etc.
“When we all got together a year ago, we talked about these pivotal moments in our lives, it made us realize that after all these years, there were so many experiences we had where we thought we weird, we were the only ones to experience that,” said Connie. “We realized how necessary it was to collect these stories and capture that lasting effect of a moment to first, acknowledge the shame (it’s not stupid); second normalize the experience (it’s not weird); and third, create community (we all relate).”
All of the episodes are incredible moving and slightly uncomfortable, because they are real and remind us of ourselves, and how difficult being a teen girl can sometimes be.
Over the next few weeks WYSK will be sharing each of the five stories. This first episode is about Holly, which follows a girl feeling out of place and her reaction to a sexual encounter.
“Holly is my favorite,” Kate told us. “It’s about a girl who doesn’t quite feel comfortable at a party but finds herself making out with a guy upstairs anyway. I think we’ve all been in that situation where you’re just ‘going along’ with something and not knowing how or when to say ‘stop’. I love this film for highlighting that complexity.”
Project Girl just released their first animated episode, this follows the recent launch of a new interactive site making it easier for people to share stories and engage. Up next, are another series of films, “to better encompass the full diversity and complexity of the girlhood experience.” Stay tuned!