New EmpowHERd Voices Women’s Filmmaking Program

EmpowHERd Voices is a nine week documentary filmmaking program for women age 18 and older. This project is designed to empower and amplify the voices of aspiring women filmmakers in the Central Valley. This project is intended to provide training, guidance and support to local women interested in telling their stories through media. Over the course of nine weeks beginning in April 2024, ten participants will learn the process of video production and, by the end of the program, will have produced their own short documentary film centered around a woman in their community. The final films will be shared at a public screening over the summer. Participants do not need to have any prior filmmaking experience.

Want more information?

We hosted a virtual Q&A session to answer any questions about the program, application process, and CMAC in general. Watch the virtual Q&A session below.


Want to show your support for the Empowherd Voices Program? Donate today and be a part of the community that uplifts untold stories of the Central Valley!


Meet the Team

Andrea Franco

Community Engagement Coordinator

Alex Carrillo

Teaching Artist

Angelica Hernandez

Teaching Artist

Program Timeline


EmpowHERd Voices is a women led and focused cohort designed to encourage women to become documentary filmmakers!

Over the course of 9 weeks, participants will meet weekly for lectures and ultimately complete a 5-minute short documentary that feature stories of powerful women in California’s six-county Central Valley. Each filmmaker will prerecord an interview to introduce their film at the Showcase.

Women aged 18 and over who live in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Merced, or Mariposa counties are eligible to apply.

No, a CMAC Membership is not required to participate in the program.

There is no fee to apply. Applications are due by midnight on March 25, 2024. You may submit as many applications as you like. Each film concept must have its own complete application.


This program is for the production of new, non-fiction material. We will not accept completed films or work that has been publicly viewed. You may use footage that you already have on hand, but the film itself must have been completed for EmpowHERd Voices this year.

We are looking for films that are authentic, original, non-fiction, short documentaries that will be around five minutes in length. The stylistic or artistic approach and techniques are at the discretion of the filmmaker.This cohort is specifically designed to help women create a documentary, whether it is their first or their tenth. We ask that you can at least show us a “proof of concept,” and that you are passionate to share the story of why this woman inspires you.

For the purposes of this program, applicants must be a resident of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Merced, or Mariposa counties. Further, your story must be about a person, place, event, or activity in at least one of those counties.

Selected participants will be notified by April 1, 2024.

The selected participants will be required to:
  • Adhere to deadlines set by the teaching artist regarding scripts, production schedules, rough drafts, etc.
  • Present rough cuts and participate in weekly mentoring sessions.
  • Work on their documentaries on their own schedule.
  • Submit your final film to CMAC by the established deadline.

Yes! This program is open to women in the Central Valley who are interested in learning the art of documentary filmmaking. Prior experience is not required.