Senior Distinction Research
Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 // IM496 & IM497
Anna Sule is an IMA and Communication student graduating with a POE in Digital Media Production. She discovered her passion for video production when making YouTube vlogs for fun in High School and College, then decided to pursue video as her career after being hired at the Digital Media Studio in 2019 and taking Video Production I and II with professor Jared Lagroue. For her senior thesis, she wanted to use the IMA and communication skills to explore a topic that is deeply connected to her identity: how women and young girls are portrayed and represented in film and TV.
The Feminine Perspective in Film
While pursuing a degree in digital media production at Juniata College, Anna Sule analyzed mass media and communication in a variety of courses. While learning media production at a liberal arts institution, this student learned the importance of thinking critically about the world of media we consume as society. As a senior capstone project, she furthered this critical analysis by researching and designing with a topic that is crucially important in her future career in media production. With this project, she explores the feminine perspective in film and mass media, and furthermore how the male gaze perpetuates societal views of misogyny and sexism in mass media.
In the form of a limited series with 8 episodes titled Girlhood, Anna Sule creates a story that accurately shows the feminine gaze and feminine experience. With this intention, her story has three necessary elements to align with the feminine gaze: a main character who identifies as a woman and is represented in a realistic way, a realistic depiction of the experience and struggles of womanhood, and a plot that calls the patriarchal society into question. Therefore, the plot of her show is the story of two teenage girls, Sofia and Carie, (who are intended to be accurately cast for their age) are trying to learn to be friends again after years of growing apart through high school and facing their own individual battles, such as discovering their sexuality, bullying, access to drugs, and parental and spousal abuse. Will they be able to put aside their differences in order to be there for each other as they face the scariness of young adulthood? Through this story, you also meet characters such as Dean, who is a 21 year old man who is dating a 15-year old girl, and Hannah, who is a 17 year old girl in charge of raising her young siblings. With the intention of giving the intended audience of young girls access to relatable characters struggling through the same problems that I saw many of my peers face during high school, it is my hope that this story will be inspirational and truly representative for many young girls who most-likely have spent their young-adult years watching overly-sexualized teenage-girl characters who have been played by unrealistic 30-year-old women.
Ryan Gibboney and Hannah Bellwoar