Futures Talks to Producer Mikaela Beardsley
We're proud to announce that Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity aried this past week on PBS. The four-hour broadcast event based on New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s best-selling book profiles courageous women throughout the world who are confronting oppression in extraordinary ways.
We were lucky to hear from the film’s producer, Mikaela Beardsley, when she previewed footage of the documentary at our Y Factor summit in April. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley interviewed Mikaela about her work on Half the Sky. Here are a couple edited excerpts from their engaging conversation:
Joel: Tell us a little bit about why you got involved in the project.
Mikaela: I’ve always really cared about how we look at women. Five years later, having thought so much about it, I’ve realized that it’s a way to look at how we all look at ourselves. What is the way we are treating women saying about the world that we live in? Ultimately, I think that’s what the power this content holds for me. Showing other people in this country how violence against women operates in other places can become a way to see it in ourselves.
Joel: What affect do you think Nicholas’ writing has on the situation he’s covering? Is it measurable?
Mikaela: It is measureable if you believe—and I think everyone here does— that these organizations, one by one, do affect lives. Through his columns, Nicholas has generated tremendous support. Doubling, tripling, times ten, very small organizations’ annual budgets. This is why we all believed that it was worth it to raise money for the film and put these stories on television.
Joel: What is the next step?
Mikaela: We have a lot of opportunities for activists here and elsewhere to use our content. Really, that was the entire driving purpose of this project. To create compelling content that people working on these issues could use to further their goals whether it’s fundraising, advocacy, or both.
For more information on this primetime event, and the international movement that it has launched, please visit: www.halftheskymovement.org.