“Find Your Inner Pioneer” program to be held on International Day of the Girl

An interactive educational movie watch party for kids who dream big!

Raleigh, N.C., September 29, 2020 – Director Ashley Maria and producer Lea-Ann W. Berst are proud to announce their collaboration with BIG & Digital, LLC. to support the International Day of the Girl with a third Cinema Learning Challenge program. On October 9-11 kids and their families can take part in a Virtual Field Trip initiative where they can watch Pioneers in Skirts and engage with the filmmakers in the Find Your Inner Pioneer program after the 2-day movie screening is completed.

Museums Partner with BIG & Digital’s Cinema Learning Challenge

“This initiative is really important to us,” said producer Lea-Ann W. Berst. “Kids can connect with relevant social issues on an individual level; experiencing what can affect their ability to believe in themselves and awakening to the idea that they are in control of that mindset.”

And, since museums across the U.S. are looking for sustainable ways to connect with their communities during the pandemic, the filmmakers jumped at the chance of bringing Pioneers in Skirts to be part of the solution. “Cinema Learning Challenge is a global learning program to inspire and connect students to careers and opportunities through educational films and interactive learning,” said director Ashley Maria. “We’re excited to have Pioneers in Skirts offered as an movie option for museum field trips and events supported by the National Academic Content Standards.”

  • Cinema Learning Challenge (CLC) offers ready-to-go online programs to groups, members and global audiences. Museums or planetariums partner with CLC to use these hands-on workshops as a revenue stream.
  • The Find Your Inner Pioneer field trip movie watching program is an interactive program designed for students of all ages. Part of an on-going field trip program with the team behind the award-winning documentary, Pioneers in Skirts, students and educators will watch the film at their leisure starting on October 9 and then participate in a program about “ambition” on October 11.

The Find Your Inner Pioneer program will demonstrate how to counter biases and nay-sayers and provide the building blocks we all need to take charge of our own “Pioneering Path.” In the end, participants will see that the best goals are the ones that are important to us, and that when we personalize our goals, we are energized to keep going!

Three Ways To Be Part Of This Amazing Program

  1. FOR INDIVIDUALS: Kids from all over the globe can book a ticket to watch the movie and be part of the program without any affiliation with a museum or school. Pioneers in Skirts is ideal for kids who dream big, and families who are raising children to think critically and speak up against sexism and gender inequalities.
  2. FOR MUSEUMS: Museums can partner with BIG & Digital to create additional revenue. 
  3. FOR SCHOOLS: Middle or high schools can be part of this educational program! Simply contact the team at Cinema Learning Challenge and book a group screening. 

Anyone interested in participating in this event can learn more and register online at Cinema Learning Challenge.


About International Day of the Girl #IDG2020

International Day of the Girl is an annual global campaign to amplify the voices of girls and stand up for their rights. This year, the theme is: “My voice, our equal future.” Learn more at www.un.org/en/observances/girl-child-day.

About the Film

Pioneers in Skirts is a multi-award-winning feature documentary about the issues that affect pioneering ambition and the ongoing effort to achieve gender parity in our culture. Learn more at PioneersinSkirts.com.

About BIG & Digital

BIG & Digital is a boutique distributor of films for museums, planetariums and attractions in 15/70mm, 4K Digital, IMAX® Digital, Fulldome 4K/8K, Blu-Ray, DVD and now — online and on-demand.

They work with producers and theaters to inspire audiences with intelligent films that leave a positive impact. Learn more at www.biganddigital.com.

About the Filmmakers

Pioneers in Skirts is brought to you from the daughter-mother team of Ashley Maria and Lea-Ann W. Berst.

  • Director, Ashley Maria, is a filmmaker located in Los Angeles, CA. Ashley received her MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and is known for her work on many feature & short films, new media, and television commercials. When not on set, Ashley is a directing instructor at UCLA’s Film School and a sound instructor at the American Film Institute’s Young Women in Film program. She is the recipient of the prestigious Directors Guild of America award, and most recently, she was recognized as the “Best New Director” at the DTLA Film Festival. 
  • Producer, Lea-Ann W. Berst, is a filmmaker and global activation professional located in Raleigh, NC. Her career spans from Technology to Olympic Brand Activation, and now Film. Lea-Ann is known for her work on impact documentaries and building partnerships and tactics designed to deepen and advance the positive impact a film can have on our culture. She is the recipient of various leadership and business awards, including the prestigious IBM Award of Excellence and Triangle Women in Business in North Carolina.

Ashley and Lea-Ann are a team dedicated to the ongoing effort to achieve gender parity in our culture.

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