“Girls Just Wanna” is a short film directed and edited by Stephania Dulowski aka Fania. The film was released on International Women’s Day and serves as a gentle ode to the young women who shape New York with their own unapologetic vibrancies. It follows women from across the city through different neighborhoods, landscapes and seasons as they walk through life, pass time on stoops and hangout in apartments.
Her work is intimate, between the editing and her direction, each shot captures the emotional life of the performer as they dance and stare into the camera opening up their soul for you to receive. The three-minute film is scored by a melancholic rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” performed by singer-songwriter Hanna Ashbrook adding a dream-like atmosphere.
Fania was born in Canada to Polish parents and later brought to Oklahoma, where she was primarily raised. Originally pursuing photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fania discovered her love for filmmaking and her desire to showcase women through a school related project. The video project was focused on female inmates at the Cook County Jail back in Chicago, where Fania would work closely with the imprisoned women and interview them to tell their stories. This experience inspired Fania to tell women’s stories and pushed her to continue exploring filmmaking. She had discovered that she loved the collaboration process of film and from there she began exploring editing and directing.
During the creation of “Girls Just Wanna,” Fania knew that to accurately represent women in New York she needed to invite actresses of all backgrounds and experiences as well as non-performers. She found her cast through social media, actively looking for women outside her immediate friend group, “Representing New York women in my film meant that I need to include a diverse range of women not just in terms of ethnicities.”
She is passionate about helping change the way society chooses to capture and view the complexities and the diversity of womanhood in film, in an honest and authentic manner, hoping that her work offers a new point of view people can learn from, as Fania said “I’m hoping people see the complexity of femininity, the warmth, and darkness of it.”
All images courtesy of Fania.
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