For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, NY (July 29, 2010) — WXXI will host a free Summer Film Series, featuring four documentaries that highlight stories of women and girls who are making real changes on critical social issues in their communities. The series begins Tuesday, August 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held at WXXI's Studios (280 State Street, Rochester, NY). Films will be followed by group discussions, which will explore youth self-esteem, cultural identity, crime, and life choices. The screenings are free, open to the public, and reservations are not required. To learn more, visit <> or call (585) 258-0200.

WXXI’s Summer Film Series builds on the success of the station’s Community Cinema screening series —a groundbreaking free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens, which was held in the spring 2010.

The series lineup includes:

A GIRL’S LIFE (Tuesday, August 17, 2-4 p.m.): Rachel Simmons, who has been studying girls’ relationships, behavior and psychology for more than a decade, goes back into the field to introduce audiences to four typical teenage American girls. The girls tell their own deeply personal tales of dealing with issues like cyber-bullying, body image and violence. Simmons also interviews parents, psychologists, teachers, and social workers. As viewers trace the thorny new challenges girls face, the girls themselves reveal an inspiring supply of strength, energy, smarts and support for each other.

THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX (Thursday, August 19, 2-4 p.m.): Texas teenager Shelby Knox joins a youth group on a campaign for better sex education in Lubbock high schools. As Shelby is swept into the fight, she begins to question her deeply conservative Southern Baptist upbringing. When the campaign broadens to include a fight for a gay-straight alliance, Shelby must finally confront her family and a local youth pastor in this coming of age story.

BRONX PRINCESS (Tuesday, August 24, 2-4 p.m.): Rocky Otoo is the Bronx-bred teenage daughter of Ghanaian parents. This is her tumultuous coming-of-age story, set in a homeland both familiar and strange. Her precocious — and very American — ideas of a successful, independent life conflict with her Ghanaian father's traditional African values. Reconciling her dual legacies becomes an unexpected chapter in this unforgettable young woman's education.

GOING ON 13 (Thursday, August 26, 2-4 p.m.): Using a mix of intimate interviews, cinema vérité, and stop-motion animation, Going on 13 chronicles four pre-teen girls’ coming of age, and shows us a reality far more complex than what we are used to seeing in the media about pre-teen girls and urban girls of color.

WXXI's Summer Film Series is made possible through a grant from the Independent Television Services (ITVS) Engagement Initiative. Other cities participating in the nationwide screening series include Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Louisville, New York, St. Louis, and Denver.

About ITVS Engagement

Through community engagement campaigns, Community Classroom, and our flagship Community Cinema program, ITVS works to bring communities together and connect them with information, resources, and opportunities for education, engagement, and action. For more than 18 years, ITVS has been a leader in community engagement programming that transforms film and public broadcasting into a powerful resource for individuals, communities, and organizations working on key social issues around the country. For more information about ITVS Engagement, visit

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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