Speaking as the deliverer of a keynote speech at MipDoc 2016 in Cannes, France on Saturday, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock divulged his trio of women-centered and women-powered projects that he’s been working on, Variety reports. The triple series–Present Tense, Sexish, and What We Teach Girls–are all designed to be released for the web through Disney’s online-streaming service, Smartish, which as Spurlock quickly pointed out, is the way of the future.
“No matter who you are, what you produce,” said the filmmaker, “your production strategy has to contain a digital strategy. If it doesn’t, you will go the way of the Dodo.”
Spurlock has no plans to exile himself to ancient times, and he urged the crowd to do the same, regardless of financial fears of self-supporting a personal project.
“As long as you don’t lose money making digital content, you’re winning,” said Spurlock. Of course, he noted, it doesn’t hurt to make a little money as well. After all, companies like Netflix or even on air networks like Comedy Central are always sniffing around for web series to purchase. For example, Broad City–coincidentally enough, a female-driven show–began as a YouTube series by stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.
Spurlock’s Present Tense wraps this digital-prominent concept with girl presence in more ways than one. On top of being an online-streamed show headed by Awkward‘s Jillian Rose Reed, Present Tense strives to illuminate different global perspectives on digital storytelling. The series will take a look at how female reporters around the world express their opinions and find truth in their own ways. Above all, the show will give a platform to explore femme voices that Americans, especially a majority of Americans that tie themselves to the national mainstream, often overlook entirely.
Sexish, however, will focus less on the profession of women and more on how they view their bodies and their sexuality. The show could not come at a better time–with battling headlines surfacing every day in the American news cycle over Kim Kardashian’s controversial nude selfie versus her ownership of her body, as well as plus-size model Ashley Graham making the cover of Sports Illustrated versus thin model Cheryl Tiegs calling the cover unhealthy, the topic of women’s bodies and how they should be viewed is so ingrained in the national conversation that not a day goes by without at least two front-page headlines incorporating it somehow.
Spurlock is producing Sexish with his label Warrior Poet, which has created famously talked-about projects in the past such as Super Size Me. To Spurlock, this will be the first ever instance of a body-centered show that doesn’t pit women against one another over their shapes or their sexualities. While that is not entirely true, what Spurlock means to prove with Sexish is that there can be a venue for women to talk about their bodies and what they do with them in a positive light.
As for What We Teach Girls, Spurlock intends to display exactly what the title suggests. Again with the guide of Warrior Poet, the show aims to educate the world on how young girls are pushed into accepting gender labels and sexual restraints, especially in comparison to how liberally young boys are treated. For this project, says the filmmaker, Warrior Poet will side with a to-be-named-later producing company to largely market this series in particular.
For Spurlock, the goal is to create content designed for up-and-coming, college-educated millennial women, who the filmmaker says will practically run the world in five years at least. To him, what other content providers need to do is exactly what he’s doing–really look at this misunderstood demographic and design television specifically for them. The real young women, and not just the stereotype.