Twin Cities Film Fest initiative encourages girls to pursue filmmaking

The Twin Cities Film Festival is underway and this year organizers are hoping to crack Hollywood’s boys club with a new initiative designed to encourage young girls to become future filmmakers and directors. 
A recent study shows women directed only four percent of the top grossing movies in the past decade.

6th grader Hannah Taylor is hoping to change this narrative.

Taylor is one of several young girls invited to the first-ever filmmaker academy taking place during the film fest. The students are viewing short films, networking with directors and getting a crash course in movie making.

“It kind of inspires me to do something similar to that,” Taylor says.

Director and producer Andrew Putschoegl is an Oakdale, Minn. native and Tartan High School alum living in Hollywood.  His recent films, “Yvonne” “NERDGASM” are showing this week. He says students should be encouraged to pursue filmmaking as a career, now that there are fewer barriers for entry into the business.

“You can shoot [video] on the phone, you can edit it on the phone and now you can upload it on to YouTube and find an audience,” Putschoegl says.

8th grader Victoria Raysor-Kessel now says she wants to consider a Hollywood career because the people here are giving her exposure and an opportunity she's never had.

“It's teaching us what are the possibilities and what we can do,” Raysor-Kessel says.

Organizers hope to open up this film academy to all youth at next year’s film festival.