Girls State premieres at Sundance Film Festival

Posted On: Monday, 05 February 2024
GS participants

By Jennifer Donovan, Staff Writer

The much anticipated documentary filmed during a session of ALA Missouri Girls State premiered on the big screen and is coming soon to a TV near you!  
American Legion Auxiliary members and ALA Girls State alumnae know how transformative, educational, and inspirational the ALA Girls State program is. Soon, everyone will have the opportunity to get a glimpse inside one to witness it for themselves.
Following in the footsteps of the 2020 documentary Boys State, the documentary Girls State premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Boys State directors Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine also are behind Girls State. Moss and McBaine describe the film as a sibling, not a sequel. 
In an interview with Drew Taylor from The Wrap, McBaine said they always wanted to make Girls State, but the question was when and where. They first considered Texas again but chose Missouri as the filming location, partly because the state is politically complicated, said McBaine. In the documentary, participants featured held views across different areas of the political spectrum, allowing voices from multiple sides to be heard.
The film was shot in 2022, which was also the first year that ALA Missouri Girls State and The American Legion Missouri Boys State were hosted on the same campus at the same time, but as separate programs. This naturally led to comparisons between programs in the documentary.
Hot-button issues of the day are often top of mind during sessions of ALA Girls State and ALA Girls Nation. During the 2022 ALA Missouri Girls State, a big political topic was making headlines as participants arrived on campus: News of the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade was being reported, giving audiences a real look at viewpoints on the issue from today’s youth.
There have been great reviews from film critics so far. The film has received a 100% rating on film rating site Rotten Tomatoes. Girls State will be available for streaming on Apple TV+ beginning April 5. If you missed Boys State, it is still available on Apple TV+.
Learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program here

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.