“Dream, Girl” Documentary Encouraging Women To be Ambitious


Earlier this year we connected with an awesome female-driven website based out of New York called Feminist Wednesday, who also featured us as part of their series profiling women who are creating their own platforms and brands to encourage women. The creator of the site, Erin Bagwell, is also a filmmaker and is currently raising money on Kickstarter for a new documentary called ‘Dream, Girl’.

Kickstarter has become an awesome space for especially female filmmakers and creators to put their ideas out into the world and have their audiences connect with them directly. Kickstarter and other similar platforms have essentially cut out the “middle man” or gatekeepers, and are allowing important messages to get to the right people.

One of those messages is to “dream big” which is what this documentary is all about.

“Women are starting over 550 businesses a day and are the fastest growing sector of our new economy. There’s never been a more exciting time for female entrepreneurship. This film’s mission is to celebrate women in leadership and inspire the next generation of girls to dream big,” says the film’s press release.

Learning from other ambitious women is a great place to start for inspiration. Since this is something we firmly believe in, women supporting each other, we chatted with Erin and asked her what she hopes every woman will get from watching ‘Dream, Girl’.


Introduce us to you, Erin Bagwell the creator of ‘Dream, Girl’!

Hi! I am the Executive Producer/Director of “Dream, Girl”, the documentary film that will redefine what it means to be a boss by showcasing the inspiring stories of female entrepreneurs.

What specific things motivated you to make this film?

I started a blog last year called Feminist Wednesday as a way to share positive feminist stories and experiences with my friends. The blog allowed me to meet and interview so many inspiring women, and I was particularly inspired by the struggles and triumphs of female founders. I am a huge business nerd and love hearing about the intricacies and experiences of starting a company…mostly because I consider myself to be entrepreneurial. I was meeting all these great women, and found myself incredibly inspired by their stories. I wanted nothing more than to understand their stories and share them on a large scale.


The impact of media, especially video, is incredibly powerful in shaping our society. We can’t be what we can’t see. I want to showcase all the amazing things that female entrepreneurs are contributing to our culture and economy, and in doing so, inspire the next generation of leaders.

It is geared toward women, specifically entrepreneurial women, what kind of message are you hoping to share?

Women-owned companies are the fastest growing sector of our economy. Women are launching 550 new businesses a day! Women aren’t sitting around waiting for the products, perspectives, and pay gaps to dissipate on their own- they’re taking charge and making it happen for themselves. We need to start recognizing female leaders for the powerhouses they are.


The women you have profiled so far are quite diverse. You have two women who attended something called “Ice Cream University”, a woman from West Africa who started her own fabrics company, and many more. How did you track down these women?

I found one on Instagram, one through my mentor, and another through a friend. Everyone I meet gives me the names of female founders that have inspired or influenced them. I have a rolodex of empowerment at my fingertips. It has been really awesome to have the women and men I tell about the film get excited and say “This sounds awesome. I know someone who’d be perfect for the film!”

You recently interviewed Reshma Saujani from ‘Girls Who Code’ which is one of the most well-known companies helping girls get interested in tech. What bits of wisdom did she have to share?

I am a huge fan of Reshma and it was a real honor to interview her. My favorite part of her advice was to “be authentic”. Your intentions and positivity will carry through in everything you do and make your work more meaningful. This is definitely something I try to think about and live by everyday. It makes your job more fun, allowing you to focus on what you really want to do, whether that’s starting a business or making a movie.


With the recent viral popularity of the ‘Women Against Feminism’ site, how do you hope this film and the women portrayed will break down any negative stigma surrounding the word ‘feminism’?

I love feminism and I love being a feminist. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of the inequalities in our culture, and given me a positive and proactive outlook on how I treat the world. However, when I tell people I am a feminist the reaction is always the same… they look at me like I’m a vampire and I might attack them. But then when I tell them I am producing a film about women entrepreneurs, and boom! Everyone is on board. It’s actually quite baffling. I think it’s time people start getting over the F word. Female empowerment is feminist, feminist is female empowerment. You can’t have one without the other.

How do the current representations of women in fashion, advertising, media and the corporate sector hurt women?

This is a great question. Essentially when we view women as objects and sexually objectify them in our advertising, television, or film roles, we are telling the world that the woman is an object that is disposable. Our subconscious takes these images (which have been forced down our throats ad nauseum) and applies them to real life situations.

Now I know what you are thinking. Advertisements don’t affect me, I know they aren’t real. Guess what-statistics show that the more we think advertising doesn’t affect us, the more susceptible we are to it. Think about it: women where the first computer programmers, then we started seeing the Silicon Valley computer boom. Programming was originally was thought to be a great job for a woman because we are stereotypically “patient and detail oriented.”

Now we don’t see a lot of girls who code, and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that we don’t see them in the media. Also, when we treat women as objects in ads and in the media, we show them that their value is in their appearance. This is nothing but harmful. We have such high numbers of eating disorders, depression, and anxiety in our girls today. It’s time value them as people and as equals.


Why do we need more women in leadership in all industries?

I can probably think of a novel’s worth of reasons, but here are a few which immediately come to mind:

– Less objectification in our culture. Women controlling the message equals less women and men viewing women as objects (which prevents and diminishes depression, eating disorders, and a whole slew of other issues).

– Helpful and amazing products for women (like period undies at Dear Kate)

– Better role models for young girls

– No more pay gap

– No more glass ceiling

– More opportunities for women to succeed in business, especially at female run companies, because most women aren’t going to limit work opportunities based on gender

– More equality in the home if both parties are working together


In your opinion, how do men become part of the conversation in regards to feminism, equality and female representation?

I think men can become part of the conversation by getting involved, asking questions, and listening. I think it’s easy to not see inequality as a man, because female oppression doesn’t happen directly to you. As such it’s not something you experience on the day to day. But I think it’s important not to isolate men from the conversation because they can be such amazing advocates for change in their companies and communities.

I’ll tell you an amazing story about male feminists- my closest group of friends in Brooklyn are all guys and we were at a dinner at 2am eating chicken fingers and talking about feminism (because I am always talking about feminism). One of them was asking questions about it and getting a little defensive because I was not articulating a point and the other person said: “Dude, have you heard of #notallmen because you are doing that”. And I swear my brain exploded and it was the most glorious moment of all time. They were working on feminist concepts together and I was just blown away.

Where can people find out more about the film and donate?

You can find all the Kickstarter links at our website DreamGirlFilm. Check it out, donate if you can, and share it with your friends and family.

Erin Bagwell is an award winning videographer from Buffalo, New York. She has worked in advertising for the past four years, where last summer she founded Feminist Wednesday. Keep up with her documentary on Twitter and Facebook



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  2. Cannot wait to see this documentary! Just backed the film on kickstarter!

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