Project VoiceScape: Meet Filmmaker Julia Levy

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View the full Project VoiceScape documentary short films and vote your favorite until Sept. 30, 2011!

Project VoiceScape is a partnership with Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV to mentor today’s best young documentary filmmakers. Keep up with news from the filmmakers and their mentors on the Project VoiceScape blog.

View a clip from Julia Levy’s Project VoiceScape documentary The Fifth Star

Julia Levy is in a rush to finish her Project VoiceScape film before leaving for college at the end of the summer. A first draft of The Fifth Star was completed during her participation in Reel Grrls, an organization focused on teaching filmmaking skills to girls in the Seattle area. Reel Grrls is an Adobe Youth Voices partner site, and it was through this connection that Julia first learned about the Project VoiceScape competition.


Julia Levy - Project VoiceScape

Project VoiceScape filmmaker
Julia Levy

The Fifth Star tells the story of women’s suffrage in Washington State. The title is a reference to the suffragist practice of sewing a star on an American flag for each state that recognized women’s right to vote. Washington was the fifth state in the Union to pass women’s suffrage legislation, making Washington the fifth star on the suffragist flag.

Julia was inspired to make her film last summer, as the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Washington State drew near. Julia was surprised at how little coverage the anniversary was receiving in mainstream media, and wanted to make a documentary to reach out to teens like herself, who were unaware of the struggle for women’s suffrage.

“So far, Project VoiceScape has been a whirlwind!” says Julia, who passed up a summer program focused on media justice in order to complete her film. “I’m really glad I got this opportunity. I’ve learned so much throughout this program.”

Rose Rosenblatt 
Marion Lipschutz

Julia’s mentors are Rose Rosenblatt and
Marion Lipschutz (Live Free or Die,
The Education of Shelby Knox)

With the expert guidance of her Project VoiceScape mentors, Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz (Live Free or Die, The Education of Shelby Knox), Julia has extended her film, conducting additional interviews and adding archival footage to enrich the visual experience.

“I hope my audience will understand that what women did mattered,” says Julia. “I want people to know that women fought for our rights and that women have to keep on fighting.”

Follow the progress of all the Project VoiceScape filmmakers and their award-winning documentary mentors, along with videos and more behind-the-scenes coverage, at the Project VoiceScape blog.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.