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Documentary to feature 11 influential Minnesota women

An African-American filmmaker is sharing the spotlight with 10 other influential women in new "Shot of Influence" film.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Entrepreneur Gabby Reece says she noticed something was missing as the community responded to George Floyd's murder.

"In the media, a lot of men were being portrayed as the go-getters, as the frontline workers, the hard workers for what's going on in the community; founding foundations," Reece said. "I wanted to portray women to say, 'Hey, women are also doing this work.'"

As founder of cultural center Women Who Influence, she decided to create "Shot of Influence," a documentary featuring influential women. One such woman is Alex West Steinman, co-founder and partner of the Coven, a workspace in Minneapolis and St. Paul with a growing digital community.

"What we've built here is really a space about representation so you can see yourself starting a business because the woman next to you is starting a business and maybe she looks like you," West Steinman said.

"Shot of Influence" also features Jasmine Brett Stringer of Carpe Diem with Jasmine, Amanda Brinkman of Small Business Revolution, Anahita Champion of Twin Cities Mom Squad, Arielle Grant of Render Free, Shawntera Hardy of Fearless Commerce, Nancy Korsah of Black Business Enterprises, Mikki Morrissett of Minnesota Women's Press Magazine, comedian Shannan Paul, and writer and public speaker Alexis Yeboah.

 "The women who are part of this documentary, they're not just one skin color, one race, or from one background," Reece said. "It's different communities coming together as one to amplify and promote the voices of women."

Reece's film is backed by Minnesota Women's Press Magazine, and she turned to LinkedIn to find her film crew. Maddie Briggs is director of photography and Kristoffer Hernandes is video editor and assistant camera operator.

"We've gotten to learn so much about each other and now they're like family to me," Reece said.

"I have learned so much," Briggs added. "I can't even say enough how grateful we are to be a part of it. Just the different spaces and the different women, getting to talk to them."

As they worked on the film they decided to feature one more influential woman: the filmmaker herself.

"I'm going to be the 11th member of the band," Reece said with a chuckle. "Just sharing my story and sharing my expertise and I do want to mention the great thing about the documentary is everyone is at a different age level and different career and different maturity so that's one of the great aspects of it. We all bring different expertise and different levels."

"Shot of Influence" premieres May 21 at the Icon Theater in St. Louis Park. Reece says proceeds will go back into the community to help women-owned businesses grow.

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