McMaster Goes to Moscow with Double Barrel Studios


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by Deborah McIvor

What began as a single conversation about women in the world of technology has evolved into a global movement with tangible results: the G(irls) 20 Summit. And now, McMaster University has joined that conversation with an engaging mini-documentary produced by Hamilton’s very own Double Barrel Studios.

Women in Engineering: Our Global Future, created for McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering, explores the wealth of career opportunities that await young women in scientific and technological fields.  Filmed and produced locally by Double Barrel Studios, this video is now taking a trip abroad to be shown on an international stage.

On June 17, 2013, delegates at the fourth annual G(irls) 20 Summit in Moscow, Russia, will view this engaging video as part of the official program. Established in 2010, the G(irls)20 is an organization that promotes the economic empowerment, education and entrepreneurial training of girls and women globally. The Summit brings together delegates, who are all girls, aged 18-20, from each of the G20 countries and the African Union for open discussion, leadership cultivation and entrepreneurial development.


As the only academic partner of this year’s G(irls)20 Summit, McMaster worked with Double Barrel Studios to create an original, thought-provoking video exploring the pressing global need for women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or ‘S.T.E.M.’ careers. Double Barrel’s founding partners Roslyn ‘Roz’ Allen and Lee Hillman have brought their years of experience as filmmakers to the table to collaborate with McMaster University once again on an engaging outreach project.

“We entrusted Double Barrel to communicate our values and our vision, and to work collaboratively with us to share our unique story with the world,” says Arlene Dosen, manager of recruitment and communications in the Faculty of Engineering. “It was a distinct pleasure to work with Lee and Roz and the final product was indeed worthy of an international stage.  Lee and Roz are consummate professionals, and I would work with them again in a heartbeat!  ”

With a top-notch team of professionals such as cinematographer, Christoph Benfey, or director of photography, Tyler Tekatch, Double Barrel Studios has a wealth of expertise in the film and broadcast television industry to draw upon.

“When we were asked to work with McMaster Engineering on this mini-documentary, we were excited at the possibility of creating a piece that would inform and inspire audiences,” says executive director, Roz Allen. “It’s always a pleasure to produce engaging, forward-thinking material, especially when the message is this important. McMaster and the G(irls) 20 Summit have succeeded in highlighting the countless possibilities for women who take on leadership roles in our society. We couldn’t be more pleased to have brought this message to life on screen!”

Hosted by Elaine Kunda, member of the McMaster Alumni Association Board of Directors and lead advisor of the G(irls) 20 Summit, this ‘mini-doc’ intends to inform and inspire women who may become our future engineers. In the video, McMaster faculty members Heather Sheardown, Saideh Razavi and Sarah Dickson examine the reasons why there are fewer girls in these fields and share insights into the economic and social benefits of recruiting women into them. And engineering students, like Trinette Wright, share their passion and commitment to solving the world’s problems.

Elaine Kunda is impressed with the end results of this collaboration. “Our original plan was to video tape a basic ‘Q&A’ with some faculty and students from McMaster Engineering, but Double Barrel Studios came in and took our simple idea and turned it into an amazing short documentary. It is wonderful to see how they brought our idea to life!”

The G(irls) 20 Summit will include special guest speakers such as Arianna Huffington (founder of The Huffington Post), Jennifer Buffet (NoVo Foundation president) and Lauren Bush Lauren (founder of FEED). The G(irls) 20 Summit delegates will spend several days in workshops (June 15 – 18) with two days learning from presentations and panel discussions that will be livestreamed on . The delegates will have the opportunity to view the McMaster video and to draw their own conclusions about what can be done to open up economic possibilities for women around the globe. They will then engage with the concepts and finally, spend a day developing a communiqué that will be presented to the G20 Leaders Summit in Russia in September 2013.

“Attracting women to scientific or technological fields is a challenge for most G20 countries,” says Kunda. “I think the video raises topics that will stimulate an engaging discussion and it will resonate with girls and women who see it.”