Seeking to buck the white male status quo, a group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists launch a news startup asking who’s been omitted from mainstream coverage, and how to include them
BREAKING THE NEWS
DAVID CARR AWARD FOR TRUTH IN FILMMAKING - Montclair Film Festival |BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY - El Paso Film Festival |OFFICIAL SELECTION - Tribeca Film Festival
Journalism • Diversity and Inclusion • Women and Gender • LGBTQ+ • Inequality and Equity in the Newsroom • Reproductive Rights • Abortion
Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 99 minutes | Language: English with English subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Directors: Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston & Chelsea Hernandez | Producers: Diane Quon, Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston & Chelsea Hernandez | Editors: Jamie Boyle & Kristina Motwani
Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora wanted to do something radical about the white men dominating newsrooms. “70% of policy and politics editors are men, almost all of them are white,” says Emily. “These are the people deciding which stories are told, who is telling them, and whether they will be on the front page or the back page, if they get there at all.” So, Emily and Amanda along with Editor-at-Large Errin Haines and a scrappy group of fearless women and non-binary journalists band together to buck the status quo and launch The 19th*, a digital news start-up. Named after the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, but with an asterisk to acknowledge the Black women and women of color who were omitted, the 19th’s work is guided everyday by the asterisk - asking who is being omitted from the story, and how can they be included. Errin Haines covers politics and race, including the first national story on the killing of Breonna Taylor. Emerging Latina reporter Chabeli Carrazana is based in Florida and reports on gender and the economy. LA-based Kate Sosin, a nonbinary reporter, covers LGBTQ+ stories, including the large number of anti-trans bills becoming law in states around the country. The film documents the honest discussions at The 19th* around race and gender equity and inclusion, revealing that change doesn’t come easy, and showcasing how one newsroom confronts these challenges both as a workplace and in their journalism. But this film is about more than a newsroom. It’s about America in flux, and the voices that are often left out of the American story.
Heather Courtney is a Guggenheim fellow and an Emmy® winning filmmaker. She won an Emmy®, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award with her film Where Soldiers Come From. Heather was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab. She has directed and produced several other documentary films including award-winners Letters from the Other Side and Los Trabajadores/The Workers, which both focused on immigration issues, and were broadcast nationally on PBS. She has received awards and funding from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, the Austin Film Society, the Fulbright Fellowship and the International Documentary Association.
Chelsea Hernandez is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. She directed and produced BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM. Named as one of Texas Monthly’s “10 Filmmakers on the Rise,” she is an 8-time Lone Star Emmy winning director, producer and editor. Chelsea has worked for ten years in the documentary television and film industry on such projects like PBS national broadcast special, Fixing the Future, hosted by David Brancaccio of NPR’s Marketplace and directed by Ellen Spiro (Body of War, Troop 1500) and national 6-part series Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine directed by Hector Galan (Children of Giant, Chicano), United Tacos of America an 8 episode series on El Rey Network and most recently on That Animal Rescue Show a 10 episode series for CBS All Access. From 2013 to 2016 Chelsea was editor and co-producer of Arts In Context, a documentary series produced at KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and distributed by NETA, broadcast in 80% of the PBS markets nationwide. Beyond television work, Chelsea has directed and produced various documentary films including the 2018 SXSW Texas Short Jury Winner An Uncertain Future, a commissioned project with Field of Vision and Firelight Media. She made her feature directorial debut in 2019 with Building the American Dream which premiered at SXSW and recently had its national broadcast premiere on PBS.