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Seneca Falls takes viewers on a life-changing journey with nine high school girls (and a lone ten-year-old boy) bound for the birthplace of women's rights in America. Part teenage road trip, part stunning history lesson, the film is, above all, an awakening of young hearts and minds.

This one-hour documentary breathes life and relevance into a revolutionary act barely mentioned in history books: America's first women's rights convention, a public protest meeting held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19th and 20th, 1848. The film follows WOWER Power, a struggling multi-cultural teen theater troupe, as they travel from San Francisco to Seneca Falls to perform their original play at the 150th Anniversary Celebration of this groundbreaking moment in American history. The troupe is guided on their journey by director Joan Mankin, a beloved Bay Area actor, who began the project with the girls when she was an artist in residence at San Francisco Community School (a public school in San Francisco) when they were fifth graders.

The troupe joins tens of thousands making the pilgrimage to Seneca Falls from around the world. Exploring sites in Women's Rights National Historical Park, they unearth the still-unfolding story of how women freed themselves, meeting groundbreaking historians and prominent elected officials including former U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. They examine the lives of the ordinary citizens whose courage and determination launched a nationwide movement to free women from the bonds of social, political and legal bondage.

The teenagers' odyssey culminates when they perform their original play on a national stage. In it, an African American girl time-travels back to 1848, gains knowledge and self-esteem, and traveling back to the futures, goes on to become the first woman president of the United States. Becoming media stars in their own right, the young women of WOWER Power take their own place in history, passing on the torch of knowledge and activism to audiences young and old. The troupe's compelling journey, crossing generations, race, class and a continent, is the heart of our documentary.

Why this film?

Until the movement sparked by four friends in Seneca Falls, women in America, regardless of race, were considered property of their husbands or fathers. They could not keep their wages, vote, hold public office, divorce an abusive husband, own or inherit property, sit on a jury, enter into a profession, attend college, or have custody of their children. They were denied all basic rights of citizenship. In some states, it was even legal to whip your wife.

While these truths are shocking enough, even more shocking is the fact that most of us know nothing about this.

Filmmaker Ken Burns put it this way: "Women's history is starkly absent from the American narrative." Indeed, the movement begun at Seneca Falls barely rates a one-paragraph mention in history textbooks. Because of this, the struggle to free women is being erased from our collective consciousness, our collective memory.

Seneca Falls sets out to remedy this.

It's a tale of courageous action in the darkest days for American women and blacks. It's also a tale of some modern-day teenage girls and their dedicated director reclaiming this history and bringing it to life. And it’s a quest to make “Seneca Falls” a household term, so that people everywhere will know what happened there. Women and girls in particular need to possess the knowledge that ordinary citizens like themselves have shaped the country’s destiny and can shape its future.