New Cal Poly Women in Film and Television club highlights women in media
English sophomore Jenna Dierkes has always had an interest in film and a strong desire to work in the industry one day. When an advisor directed her to the Cal Poly Women in Film and Television (WIFT) club, she knew she had to be a part of a community that shared this common interest.
WIFT is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about the gender gap within the media industry. At Cal Poly, the club is defined by its main goals: to support its club members, create a supportive learning environment for all and teach its members the basics of television and film.
WIFT is a great resource for those who are looking to start a career within the film and television industry, according to Dierkes. She said she felt that she was at a disadvantage without a strong community of fellow film lovers, and was searching for a way to get her foot in the door.
“There aren’t very many resources for people interested in the film industry at Cal Poly or San Luis Obispo in general,” Dierkes said. “I know a lot of people that want to get into filmmaking or are just interested in media but they don’t really have an outlet for it.”
This club provided her with that space and got her started with her current internship at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival.
Club meetings vary from week to week, but Dierkes said one of the club’s favorite activities is hosting industry professionals. In the past, they have held Q&A sessions with the executive director of the San Luis Obispo Film Fest, Wendy Eidson, and Jill VanLokeren, a producer for Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk.”
Other club activities include learning about a certain director or roles within the film industry, along with television and film-making techniques.
WIFT also hosts events involved in the local community. On one Wednesday every month, they hold a movie series at The Palm Theatre called “Women on Wednesdays,” which showcases films either written or directed by a woman.
“I think WIFT is a really cool opportunity for anyone interested in film, just because we connect with industry professionals and get to learn [about] their experience,” Dierkes said.