It was tough. It was beautiful. It changed these girls in 1965 forever.
Interview with Director Maxine W. Davis
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
The first Girls Outward Bound School Course in America was held in 1965. I was one of those first 24 girls. I wanted to know if one month in the wilderness affected the other women as it had me – for the better.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I have heard from many women who’ve seen Women Outward Bound. Sometimes, after Q&A, they come to me with moist eyes. Many have strong memories of great experiences when they were girls and allowed to get dirty and use their bodies. Other women jealously remark “I wish I had done that!”
Girls in the audience can’t believe pre-Title IX most schools had no girl’s sports teams. Some find it odd that girls weren’t “physical” in the early 1960s as they are now.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Women Outward Bound shows how people, girls and women in particular, can learn resilience and grit. How people learn to work in a team and overcome tough challenges – both physical and mental.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Women Outward Bound (WOB) is a documentary over 10 years in the making. Archival B&W film and contemporary video (plus stunning aerial shots) are blended to tell the story of how one month in 1965 changed the lives of 24 girls – mostly for the better.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
In the last nine months WOB has screened at ten film festivals, large and small. At the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), it was included in of “Best of Fest.” In Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (JDIFF) it was one of three finalists in the Documentary category.
WOB received BEST DOCUMENTARY at the Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival and BEST FILM in the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. BEST FILM was also awarded at the Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival and BEST HISTORY at the “Artemis Women in Action Film Festival,” in Beverly Hills, CA.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback on WOB has been more than I expected. I’ve heard from individual women and Women’s Studies Departments asking to purchase a DVD copy to integrate intotheir curriculum. A church group is currently planning a screening for their congregations.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I hope Women Outward Bound will be seen by all audiences to learn the history of “women in motion” and how time in the wilderness can teach perseverance.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We are looking for sales agents and buyers, distributors and festival directors to take Women Outward Bound onto large screens and small and niche audiences for video-on-demand.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
The impact of Women Outward Bound will be to show girls and women there was a time when athleticism and sport were generally unaccepted in the US. They’ll meet one group of women who broke stereotypes.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Would you have gone to this one-month wilderness school? Why or why not?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Melody Gilbert is currently traveling with her production The Summer Help and shooting a follow-up documentary on her documentary. Maxine has returned to making historical documentaries through Every Life is a Story LLC.
Interview: November 2016
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Film Title: Women Outward Bound
Logline: It was tough. It was beautiful. It changed these girls in 1965 forever.
Length: 62 minutes
Director: Maxine W. Davis
Producer: Maxine W. Davis & Melody Gilbert
Writers: Melody Gilbert & Maxine Davis
About the Director and Producers:
MAXINE W. DAVIS, Director/Producer is a storyteller who has been making video biographies for 10 years. She has worked the film industry in for 33. Her short films have broadcast and been in film festivals. This is her independent documentary debut as a director.
MELODY GILBERT, Writer/Producer, is an Emmy award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who has over five independent feature-length documentaries including: A Life Without Pain, Whole, Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story, and The Summer Help. The Documentary Channel has called Melody “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema.”
O’Shaughnessy Foundation, Minnesota Women in Film & Television(MNWIFT) Independent Feature Project(IFP)