Girls State – Co-directors Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss

From the award winning team of Jesse Moss (The Overnighters, The Family) and Amanda McBaine (Boys State, The Mission) comes their latest riveting documentary GIRLS STATE. The film follows 500 adolescent girls from all across Missouri as they come together for a week-long immersion into a sophisticated democratic laboratory, where they organize a Supreme Court to consider the most contentious issues of the day. Among the many questions posed in this sibling follow up to their 2020 Sundance Grand Jury prize,  BOYS STATE, what would American democracy look like in the hands of teenage girls? What political and social issues would they focus on? How will the concurrent BOYS STATE session, being held at the same Missouri school, be perceived by these young women? GIRLS STATE is a political coming-of-age story and a stirring re-imagination of what it means to govern, follows young female leaders — from wildly different backgrounds across Missouri — as they navigate an immersive  experiment on how to build a government from the ground up. Co-directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss joins us for a spirited conversation on  their plan to follow up Boys State with Girls State when the opportunity presented itself, how they decide which projects to pursue and the genuinely disappointing differences between the two STATES.


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About the filmmakers – Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss have been filmmaking partners for 20 years. They directed “Boys State,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Apple Original Films and A24. The film won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Best Nonfiction Film and received DGA and Emmy nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. Their previous film, “The Overnighters,” won the Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by Drafthouse Films and Netflix. “Boys State” and “The Overnighters” were both shortlisted for the Academy Award® for Feature Documentary. Jesse also directed “The Family,” a five-part series for Netflix, as well as the “Payday” episode of the Netflix series “Dirty Money.” Other projects include documenting Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for president in, “Mayor Pete,” was released by Amazon Studios. Their latest project “Girls State” for Apple, as co-directors and producers, An upcoming project is an independent film about the reintroduction of wild bears in the French Pyrénées.For more go to:


95% on RottenTomatoes

“As the film itself unfolds and grapples with the reality of the two programs occurring on the same campus, “Girls State” comes to the ironic, though semi unfortunate conclusion, that the girl’s program and its quality are intricately tied to the boys.” – Ariana Martinez, TheWrap

“An incredibly moving, worthy and welcome chronicle of the strength, adversity, and determination of these young women. Watching this documentary leaves you with so much hope for the future. Inspiring.” – Nathan McVay, HeyUGuys

“Moss and McBaine use a squad of cinematographers, which means they get good coverage as events unfold, and a firm editorial hand from Amy Foote ensures the film moves smoothly from one arc to the next.” – Amber Wilkinson, Screen International

“While it’s reassuring and hopeful for the future watching these discussions take place with the girls listening and supporting one another, Girls State also has the added layer of exploring the inequalities between the programs regarding gender” – Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth

“How some of the young leaders in “Girls State” not only handle but also leverage their disappointments provides one of the documentary’s richest lessons.” – Lisa Kennedy, Variety