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The Missfits: An All Girls Robotics Team Takes on Engineering

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“The Missfits” By. Ellie Wen follows an all-girls robotics team based in San Francisco that takes on the male-dominated field of engineering.

The documentary follows the aptly named robotics team, The Missfits, as they confront growing pains, build their robots, and compete in the FIRST robotics competition. The Missfits robotics team is made up of twenty girls from a variety of diverse backgrounds coming from different high schools all around the Bay Area. The Missfits are determined to show other girls how fun and rewarding STEM can be, one robot at a time.

On their own, they are outsiders, misfits, but together, they build each other up, just like they build their robots and embrace their identities.

Ellie Wen, Directors Statement: I met the Missfits robotics team at Maker Faire, a convention that celebrates invention, creativity, and hands-on learning. The girls were speaking to a group of curious kids and I watched in admiration as they demonstrated how their robot worked. I was instantly hooked, like the kids, and knew that I had to make a film about this team and its charismatic, inspiring members.


Representation matters. Throughout my career, these two words have been my guiding light. In all of my work, I represent subjects from diverse backgrounds and tackle broader social issues
through a very specific lens. I strive to tell personal, human stories because I believe that it is truly in the specifics that you find the universal. My goal is to have my films motivate a lasting
dialogue that extends beyond the viewing experience. It is about connecting people and fostering understanding.

With "The Missfits," the robotics season is the narrative centerpiece, but the heart of the film depicts what it is like to be an adolescent girl juggling familial, social, and academic expectations in today’s world. This is the story of how adolescent girls - through their actions and choices - can redefine gender and race expectations for STEM.

Director Bio:

Ellie Wen is an award-winning filmmaker from Hong Kong and Los Angeles. She began her career in Los Angeles where she produced independent films and worked at CAA, CBS Films, and Super Deluxe.

Ellie is an alumna of Film Independent's Project Involve fellowship program. Her first short documentary "Single Mother Only Daughter" premiered on Short of the Week and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. Her short documentary series “Doing Good Business” was acquired by Participant Media's SoulPancake.

Ellie recently received her MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University where she produced four short documentary films.

Ellie's film, "Share," has screened at DOC NYC, Frameline, Big Sky, DOK Leipzig, Outfest, CAAMFest, and was released on The Guardian. For her film "On Mother’s Day," Ellie was named Best Local Filmmaker at the UN Women Global Voices Film Festival. Her film “25 Hours” was a finalist in the WrapWomen and Starz film contest and was distributed on Starz TV and digital. During her final year in the MFA program, Ellie was awarded the UFVA Carole Fielding Student Grant for her thesis film, "The Missfits.”

Ellie now lives in San Francisco and is developing her next documentary as a resident in the SFFILM FilmHouse Residency Program.

You can find Ellie Wen online on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

To follow the journey of the film, please follow The Missfits Documentary on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

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