Directing My First Film

Trail Blazing Women of TV and Film

“This is the first time my daughters have seen a film with an all woman cast, that was also made by women,” were the words of Candice Hope Baggett, one of the winners of our 2016 DNK Presents inaugural Women’s Adventure Contest. I realized that it was the first time I also saw a film where the characters were all based on real women, showing their unfiltered stories, stepping outside their comfort zones, overcoming fears, and making lasting friendships along the way.

When Kate (my wife) and I decided to take a risk and make a film documenting the winners of our contest we began our research on other outdoor adventure films that were based on women. From Independent films to Hollywood we discovered there were very few films that shared this content. Even long standing Banff Mountain Film Festival has been asking, “Where are the women (in film)”? Their audiences have been seeking more gender-based categories but the fact is they receive so few submissions from women or women in adventure films they can’t make a separate category. Read more on this topic here:

The women I’ve outlined below have made and will continue to blaze the trail for women on TV and in film. There are so many more to list, these are just a few that came to my mind and who have had a great year in 2017.

From left to right Lena Waithe, Reese Witherspoon, Jenji Kohan, Patty Jenkins, Chelsea Handler, and Sarah Moshman Images curtesy of Buzzfeed, Moviehole,, Hollywood Reporter, and Twitter

Lena Waithe — Actress, Producer, Screenwriter — Most recent “Master of None”

Made history when she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series notably for the episode, “Thanksgiving”. You can see her acceptance speech here:

Patty Jenkins — Writer, Director — Most recent “Wonder Woman”

Grossing $409 million at the box office and $813 million world wide, Jenkins just signed on to direct the sequel of the mega film.

Reese Witherspoon — Actress, CEO Pacific Standard — Most recent “Big Little Lies”

The hit women led HBO series won 8 Emmy’s, 5 Gold Derby Awards, 3 Golden Trailer Awards, a Television Critics Association Award, and has had several nominations, see them all here:

Chelsea Handler — Comedian, Author, Talk show host — Most recent “Chelsea”

Hander’s show, “Chelsea” is not just funny and entertaining, it’s also educational. New York Times best selling author, Handler has developed her platform on Netflix to show everyone what we can do to save this country. Join the movement:

Jenji Kohan — Writer, Producer — Most recent “Orange is the New Black”

Orange is the New Black has become Netflix’s most popular television series; it is the first series to receive Emmy nominations in a comedy and drama. The show has been renewed for 2 more seasons. See the latest trailer for season 5 here:

Sarah Moshman — Director, Producer — Most recent “Losing Sight of Shore”

Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker, you can now watch Losing Sight of Shore on Netflix, it is also downloadable on iTunes and Amazon. Everyone has a Pacific to cross:

Through their work these women have influenced me to take risks, and not be afraid of doing something that no one else is doing. I hope to someday meet and thank them for having courage, not giving up, and for filming, creating and being badass, strong, and forceful women in the film industry. I’ve learned invaluable lessons from directing and producing my first documentary, and will continue to bring trail-blazing women to the big screen so you can experience adventurous women.

Schedule your screening, and learn more about “Live Adventurously” here:

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