Nevada Theatrical Premiere of Impact Documentary “Pioneers in Skirts” Scheduled for November 30, 2022

Los Angeles, CA, Release: October 26, 2022. For Immediate Release

Pioneers in Skirts filmmakers will be attending the premiere at the Galaxy Theaters on Nov 30 at 1pm. Even though the screening is part of an educators-focused event (ACTE CareerTech Vision 2022 conference), the event is Open To The Public. The filmmakers are also hosting a workshop on Dec. 1 to show educators how to host a successful and productive film screening that can positively impact their students.

The Nevada theatrical premiere of the latest Ashley Maria Productions film Pioneers in Skirts, which is currently broadcasting in the U.S. on PBS & public television, will take place November 30, 2022 at 1pm PST at the Galaxy Theaters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pioneers in Skirts is an inspiring film about the obstacles that can get in the way of a woman’s pioneering ambition, and what we ALL can do about it.

Hosted by NCWIT Nevada, the movie will be part of the ACTE CareerTech Vision 2022 conference being held November 30-December 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“As school districts look to engage and encourage a more diverse student population to consider non-traditional careers, the film, Pioneers in Skirts, is a great way to start conversations with all students, educators, and families/caregivers about awareness and opportunities in STEM and Technology careers for female, under-served, and underrepresented students!” said Snehal Bhakta, Nevada Affiliate Coordinator for NCWIT.  “The bonus part of the film are the conversations relating to being an ally, advocate, or sponsor to inclusion, access, equity, and diversity work that many school districts are continuing to address.” 

In a portrait of perseverance and determination, the Pioneers in Skirts filmmakers, Ashley Maria and Lea-Ann W. Berst, follow the journeys of 3 unforgettable girls on a robotics team, their fathers, and Lily, a woman fearful her pregnancy news will fault her raise negotiations. The film uses Ashley’s own story as a female director in Hollywood as the through line, and also features fellow pioneering women and topic experts who have solutions to share.

We shot the film during a time the entire world was transitioning into a full awareness of what it means to feel bias and sexism,” explained Ashley. “The culture around us moved from being in denial, then in shock and anger — and for some, being on defense.

With knowledge about the topic being a rollercoaster of emotions, the team realized they had to weave in humor to lighten the mood.

It’s a film about the inequalities that are impacting and shaping a woman’s career,” added Lea-Ann, “so we had to think outside the box for the film’s message to really sink in. We did this through humor and powerful & relatable stories.

Today, viewers watch the film and find themselves empathizing with the characters. Some see that they are not alone. Many feel inspired – they see their role in the solution, and they feel motivated to act.

3 unforgettable girls on a robotics team

Television icons Joan Darling (Mary Tyler Moore, MASH) and Norman Lear (All in the Family, One Day at a Time) help set the story of what has been happening to women in Hollywood. Female directors, including recent Emmy award winner Bridget Stokes (A Black Lady Sketch Show) and Brea Grant (Torn Hearts), add their personal experiences to the storyline. Successful business women, like Cinnabon’s Kat Cole (Undercover Boss), Moz’s Sarah Bird, and Juleps Jane Park, also add their unique perspectives of overcoming adversity.

The film also features interviews with two organizations focused on quantifying the issues — The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and The American Association of University Women (AAUW) — as well as many statistics that provide a realistic picture of how far women have to go in order to achieve true parity in their careers.

Movie Trailer

The daughter/mother filmmaking duo chose the ACTE CareerTech Vision 2022 Conference in Las Vegas as their Nevada Premiere to put a spotlight on how the film can help educators teach students about the culture around them and how it can shape the way students think about themselves and their careers.

Attendees at the ACTE conference are focused on finding innovative ways of expanding opportunities for students to explore, choose, and follow career and technical education programs of study and career pathways.

And, because of requirements of the main federal funding source (Perkins V) for high school and postsecondary CTE programs, attendees are required to address gender imbalances.

Females are scarce among high school CTE students concentrating in well-paying fields, such as information technology (32%), science (26%), and manufacturing (16%), according to a 2017-2018 analysis of federal Perkins data.

Ashley and Lea-Ann
The daughter/mother filmmaking duo!

Perkins V requires states to evaluate how well they meet their own targets for improving the gender makeup of CTE programs,” described Lea-Ann. “But many are not meeting their targets and are trying to figure out why.”

“We’ve seen that Pioneers in Skirts helps to provide an answer as to why,” added Ashley. “Film can be a powerful instructional and motivational tool in the classroom. When students watch Pioneers in Skirts, they experience the perspectives of people who are outside of their current world view – and as they process what they have seen, they also have an opportunity to self-reflect about their own lives and how they feel about it.

When teachers watch the film, many tell us they’re seeing how they need to change the environment in the classroom, too,” shared Lea-Ann.

The November 30th showing of Pioneers in Skirts will be the second time the film has been featured in Nevada. The Nevada Women’s Film Festival (NWFFest) featured the film online during their 2020 festival; granting Pioneers in Skirts the prestigious Spirit of Activism Award.

November 30, 1pm PST, Premiere Screening tickets are available for non-ACTE members. Email the Nevada Affiliate of NCWIT at info@ncwitnevada.org for details!

Moviegoers will see Pioneers in Skirts on the big screen with the filmmakers, be part of a post-screening audience conversation about the film, and have a chance to personally meet the filmmakers and receive a signed 11×17 movie poster! Popcorn, beverage, and sweet treats will be served.

Pioneers in Skirts is a family-friendly film.

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About NCWIT Nevada:

The Nevada Affiliate is a part of The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), which is the only national non-profit focused on women’s participation in computing across the entire ecosystem, helping 1,400 organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing support, evidence, and action. NCWIT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, chartered in 2004 by the National Science Foundation. Find out more: ncwit.org.

About ACTE: 

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities. Find out more: acteonline.org. For more information about the ACTE portion of the movie premiere: ACTE Event.

About NWFFest

The Nevada Women’s Film Festival is a project of the Nevada Women’s Film Collective, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The festival is supported, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. NWFFest is made possible by support from Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a FilmFreeway Gold Festival, and is IMDb-qualifying. Find out more: www.nwffest.com.

December 1 event session:
If participating in the ACTE CareerTech Vision 2022 conference, attendees have access to the session the next day: Using Film to Foster Meaningful Discussion – An Educator’s Guide — a 45-min session where educators will learn how to organize and use the power of film to positively impact and inspire students.

Contact info:
Name: Lea-Ann W. Berst, Producer
Organization: Ashley Maria Productions
Address: 3183 Wilshire Blvd #196A29, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Email: pioneersinskirts@gmail.com

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