ESPN announced the launch of W. Studios, a new content generator that creates, produces, and amplifies women-centered storytelling.
“In 2010, espnW was launched with a passionate eye toward serving and elevating women and women’s storytelling, and for the past 12 years, it has done just that. W. Studios is an expansion of the espnW brand – curating, creating, producing, and amplifying narratives about women that further diversify the storytelling within ESPN,” said Allison Glock, Executive Producer. “We look forward to creating stories that are authentic to the female experience and widen the lens of opportunity for all.”
In partnership with Google to give women athletes the recognition they deserve, the first project under the W. Studios umbrella will be the W. Studios Fifty/50 Shorts Presented by Google, five short films centered around the fight for women’s equality across the sports and cultural landscape. The films present a diverse line up of creatives and content that speak to viewers from a place of authenticity and boldness, both in the story and in the method of storytelling, all helmed and executive produced by women. The films will premiere June 1 on ESPN2 as part of the “Fifty/50 Initiative,” and will be available on ESPN’s YouTube page.
- “Home Field” directed by Allison Glock, with Kate T. Parker
Follows the lives of three teenage girls playing soccer on a team made up of refugees in Clarkston, Georgia, a city known as the “Ellis Island of the South.” The film tracks their lives on and off the field as the team and the sport help this group of tenacious young women find community and purpose in a new home.
- “Let Noor Run” directed by Shayla Harris
A profile of Noor Alexandria Abukaram, a 17-year-old cross country runner living outside of Toledo, Ohio, who after running a personal best in a race in October 2019, was disqualified for wearing a hijab. Following the incident, she started an initiative, “Let Noor Run,” to protect runners like herself, spearheading a state senator to write a bill that would do just that.
- “The Rule of Sedona Prince” directed by Bethany Mollenkof, executive produced by Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts presents an intimate, unvarnished portrait of rising basketball and viral media star Sedona Prince, who found fame beyond the court for using their social media platform to expose gender inequalities during last year’s NCAA Tournament. The film explores the highs and lows of social media fame; how being an athlete has transformed in today’s age; and the challenges Prince faces as they represent across so many audiences — sports, feminist, queer — while struggling to remain at the top of their game.
- “Girls Got Game” directed by Elizabeth Lo
Complexity, one of America’s most prominent and oldest esport organizations, recently launched its first all-women’s professional team of gamers: GX3. The four young women recruited to play the game valorant for GX3 participated in a bootcamp at the company’s gaming headquarters in Dallas, where the film followed them, plunging us into the dynamic, groundbreaking, and rarely-seen world of female gaming, a space often openly hostile to women gamers.
- “Make a Splash” directed by Bonni Cohen
The Splash recreational basketball league is made up of women over 85 years old. This poignant, life-affirming film tracks the origin of the league and how it evolved with the passing of Title IX. Funny, sweet, disarming interviews with current and former members shine a light on the improbable success story of Splash, the barriers to sports many of these women faced in their youth, and the lasting, life-changing value of being part of a team.