Though women make up 50% of moviegoers, they represent only 17% of creators in Hollywood, outnumbered by men in most roles within film and TV production, from writing and cinematography to production and editing jobs.

To address the gender imbalance and bring more diversity to the screen, AT&T, Hello Sunshine, and Fresh Films have joined forces to create the AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab, an unforgettable opportunity for young women to immerse themselves in a professional film production and learn from industry experts, including Reese Witherspoon.

“Everyone at Hello Sunshine is ecstatic about this program where we can share our resources with young female storytellers and filmmakers,” says Witherspoon, “Hopefully, it will provide young women with the tools to tell their own stories , and ultimately, start a chain reaction that leads to continued access and opportunity for them in our industry.”

“AT&T is excited to collaborate with Hello Sunshine and Fresh Films to support the next generation of female filmmakers,” said Charlene Lake, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, AT&T. “It is critical that we develop a pipeline of talent who will create content that captures diverse perspectives and stories. We’re looking forward to working with the exceptional young women selected for this program and supporting their journey as storytellers.”

Through the AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab, which will be held in Los Angeles July 30-Aug. 6, teen girls will learn the ins-and-outs of storytelling and production as they rotate through all key filmmaking positions – from camera and editing to sound and costume – while being mentored by professionals from Fresh Films, AT&T and Hello Sunshine. Hello Sunshine was launched in November 2016 by Reese Witherspoon in partnership with The Chernin Group and AT&T under Otter Media’s growing portfolio.

Girls 13-18 with a passion for storytelling and creating videos can apply online at www.att.com/filmmakerlab now through June 10 to become one of 20 teen girls selected for the experience.

The program is free and open to teen girls of any experience level. And like in all Fresh Films programs, teen girls in the AT&T Hello Sunshine Filmmaker Lab program will gain career skills and practical experience on a real project. This hands-on, on-set experience will grow the teen’s problem solving, communication, collaboration and tech skills.

Fresh Films’ past summer programs for teens have produced feature film “The Stream” featuring Mario Lopez and Rainn Wilson as well as Emmy-nominated kids’ TV show “Detectives Club.”

“Fresh Films was a great program to work with. I thought the skills they were offering to teach were so priceless,” said Maya Brown, a Fresh Films alum who participated in the summer program sponsored by AT&T in 2017. “AT&T did a great job by sponsoring this program through influencing young minds to invest their time in something productive and magical.”

Future employers of these female movie makers can take note: according to research compiled by Women and Hollywood, the inclusion of more female perspectives at all levels within the film industry results in more diverse and interesting storytelling.

Additionally, female directors consistently employ more diverse production teams and casts, and films with diverse cast enjoy the highest median global box office. In short, bringing voices of women to the industry means making better and higher grossing movies.

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