American Psychologist William Moulton Marston penned the first Wonder Woman comic in 1941 as an alternative to what he called the “blood-curdling masculinity” of comic books. (Joyce, 2008)
Rather than physical brute, Wonder Woman wielded a golden lasso that required anyone in its grips to obey and tell the truth. Her weapon of choice was a creative extension of Marston’s research on deception, which also informed the modern polygraph.
For the next 70 years, Wonder Woman inspired countless young girls and boys to embrace a kinder, more compassionate type of power. She became an enduring icon of the U.S. women’s movement and remains one of the longest running comic characters ever published.
The WONDER WOMEN! documentary will bring the superheroine home to revisit her psychological origins when the film screens at the APA Convention in August. If you plan on attending the Convention, join us for the screening Sunday, August 10th at 9:10am to discuss the effects of mainstream gender representations on our collective psyche.
The 4th Annual Cinema Tropical AWARDS has honored WONDER WOMEN with the Best U.S. Latino Film award. We are proud to share the prize with MOSQUITA Y MARI by Aurora Guerrero. Congratulations to all of the winners.
Best Feature Film: VIOLA (Matías Piñeiro, Argentina)
Best Documentary Film: EL ALCALDE / THE MAYOR (Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini, Diego Osorno, Mexico)
Best Director, Feature Film: Carlos Reygadas, POST TENEBRAS LUX (Mexico)
Best Director, Documentary Film: Jose Luis García, LA CHICA DEL SUR / THE GIRL FROM THE SOUTH (Argentina)
Special Jury Mention: Ignacio Agüero, EL OTRO DÍA / THE OTHER DAY (Chile)
Best First Film: TANTA AGUA (Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, Uruguay)
Best U.S. Latino Film: MOSQUITA Y MARI (Aurora Guerrero) & WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES (Kristy Guevara Flanagan)
Thanks to the Kevin Smith Movie Club you can now watch WONDER WOMEN! on iTunes.
“Chosen by the man himself, the Kevin Smith Movie Club presents Wonder Women. Blazing her own trail in a sea of supermen, Wonder Woman was sexy, powerful, irresistible, and the only game in town. An exploration into the generation of super heroines, WONDER WOMEN provides a rare insight into the history and influence of female heroines in pop culture.”
We were first encouraged to create a game at the BAVC Producers’ New Media Institute. Our research found that half of girls ages 8 to 12 play games online. The most popular “girl games” center on themes like cooking, shopping, makeup, and dating, and the default protagonist of most other games is a white male. This lack of representation discourages girls and women from participating in the gaming community – as either consumers or creators.
While making the film, we became aware of how few women occupy leadership positions – fewer than 15 percent! – in politics, business, government and the media. Despite the gains of the women’s movement, we still live in a world where girls are rarely protagonists, let alone shown as strong, smart, or bold. Girls are constantly bombarded by messages and media representations that put them into narrow, stereotyped boxes and limit their choices. Too few girls have risen to be leaders in business, politics, government, or media.
Our hope is that WONDER CITY will undermine these problematic stereotypes and gender limitations by immersing players in a world that represents a more realistic diversity in race, gender, and body image. By empowering tweens to adopt their own superhero identity, they become agents of their own values.
With the help of the non-profit, Games for Change, an organization that facilitates the creation and distribution of social-impact games, we were able to connect with game designer Naomi Clark, who truly understood our vision. We brought on board Tamarind King, the up-and-coming illustrator who did our brilliant title sequence and ending credit animations for the film. We were ecstatic when we found out that ITVS wanted to fund the pilot episode of the game. We then hired the rest of our team!
As filmmakers, it has been an incredible experience to see this game come together and to lean more about development process. We connected with an amazing writer, Phoebe Harris Elefante, who has a great ear for teen characters, and a lead illustrator, Melody Lu, who has brought our vision to life. And of course, we’d be nowhere without a brilliant programmer, Justin Fargione, to make all our gaming dreams come true. We are truly excited to bring to you WONDER CITY.
Wonder City launches May 1st! Discover the super inside you!
We’re thrilled to announce a special online, interactive screening of WONDER WOMEN! on April 24 at 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET, on ITVS’s OVEE website (that’s Online Video Engagement Experience). Join director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan as she live chats during the screening and participates in a discussion with viewers from around the cyber-world.
Great Hera! Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines will have its national broadcast on Independent Lens Monday, April 15, 2013 on PBS.
Make it a special night at your house with your family and friends! KAPOW!
Go online to check channels and times for your area.
Wonder Women! traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
JOIN US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
If you’re on Twitter, use the #WWDocBroadcast hashtag or @WonderWomenDoc in your tweets.
The hero is a key archetype in Western culture, yet heroes have almost invariably been male and white. Twenty-eight centuries since Achilles — arguably the first superhero — the classic heroic archetype remains unaltered: displaying the so-called “masculine” virtues of strength, courage, assertiveness, leadership, physicality, and sometimes violence.
Why are these characteristics considered “heroic”? What happens when women engage in ways of thought and behavior traditionally confined to “masculinity”? Why do most superheroes show little or no talent for communication, family, or empathetic caring? Why aren’t these values considered heroic, and how do our ideas about heroism reflect our culture’s values?
Throughout March we screened the film at public events across the country, including free Community Cinema screenings sponsored by ITVS (the Independent Television Service). So far we have recieved wonderful feedback on the film, as audiences have responded to the unique exploration of women’s history and pop culture in WONDER WOMEN!
At the Community Cinema screening in Chicago, viewers had the chance to create costumes for themselves, as they invented new superheroines and superheroes. Here’s one viewers take: “My characteristics of a hero would definitely be perseverance; somone who’s not afraid to make a stand and someone who can admit they’re scared, but can do what needs to be done anyway.”
Renee Gasch, Engagement & Education Coordinator for ITVS, wrote this account about a screening on International Women’s Day. 200 enthusiastic high school girls in Oakland, California watched the film and then answered the question Community Cinema partners have been asking audience members across the country, “What would your superpower be?”
We’ve been particularly gratified at the impact the film has had on young audiences. One Community Cinema viewer said it was the first time she ever heard her 12-year-old daughter use the word “empowering” in reference to herself.
Kristy recently screened the film for high school students participating in the San Francisco Film Society’s Youth Education Program. And we were proud to have the film included in the Tribeca Film Institute’s Youth Screening Series in New York City. Kelcey spoke at that event and had the opportunity to meet the students, who also got to create their own superheroes.Watch this short video about that event and see how the students identified the amazing super-women in their lives.
Be sure to be a part of our television broadcast premiere, by tuning in to Independent Lens on your PBS station on Monday, April 15 at 10 p.m. (Check your local listings, as time and date can vary by PBS affiliate.) If you miss the PBS television broadcast, Independent Lens will be streaming the film on their website for free for a month. Gather your family and friends and make it an event! Superhero costumes are optional, but recommended.
For more than a year now, the WONDER CITY team has been developing the characters and environments players will meet as they begin this epic journey of self-discovery and empowerment. With only a few weeks to go until launch, we want to share some of our still-in-development concept art and show you what we’ve been up to!
In WONDER CITY, you have the power of the universe at your fingertips – but that doesn’t make high school any easier! In Episode 1: Origins, you discover your own powers, and uncover a nefarious plot to identify and enslave budding superheroes like yourself! All while navigating the complex sea of friendships, academic achievement, and the small acts of everyday heroism that define who you are.
Here are a few samples of our Player Character, or “PC”. First and foremost, we wanted her to embody the range of beauty we see in women and girls in our real lives, and in the mirror.
And here are a few members of our supporting cast: your best friend, Buffington Cloud Saint-Claire; the boy next door, Alfred Sotai; and the coolest science teacher ever, Ms. Pauli Planck:
But not everyone in WONDERWORLD is your friend… Meet Laleh Theadikitus, the girl you just can’t seem to get along with!
Perhaps the most exciting part of Episode 1: Origins will be discovering the super inside of you, even though having powers doesn’t always work out the way you want!
We can’t wait to launch the game, and meet the super YOU!
Kristy recently had the opportunity to speak with students through San Francisco Film Society’s Youth Education. The program introduces students to the art of filmmaking and celebrates both the differences and the shared values of the many cultural groups that make up the global community.
Since 1991, the SFFS Youth Education program has reached more than 95,000 Bay Area schoolchildren and 3,000 teachers from more than 350 educational institutions.
We’re ecstatic to announce WONDER WOMEN! took home the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Spokane International Film Festival! Kristy also won the Most Promising Filmmaker award. Thank you SpIFF and everyone who came out to see the film!
WONDER WOMEN! also screened at the Victoria Film Festival. Film character Trina Robbins traveled to British Columbia to be part of a screening’s Q&A. She also participated in a book signing/meet-and-greet with fans and a did recorded interview with CFUV, 101.9 FM.
Here’s a fabulous picture of Trina and some fans at the WONDER WOMEN! screening.