Going to the movies can be a special experience, especially when the story you see on screen reflects your own life in some way. And one inspiring teenager from Florida is determined to give as many young girls as possible that special movie experience.
14-year-old Taylor Richardson has raised over $21,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to send an lucky group of young girls to see the upcoming female-led fantasy film A Wrinkle In Time, which hits screens this month.
The film is based on the classic science-fiction fantasy novel by Madeleine L'Engle, and has been brought to life on screen by a team of talented female filmmakers, many of which are women of colour. It’s directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Jennifer Lee (who wrote the Frozen screenplay) and stars A-list names like Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon. Young actress Storm Reid plays the lead.
You might ask, ‘What’s so special about a movie that it requires a GoFundMe campaign to buy tickets?’ Well, many people – including Taylor Richardson – believe that representation on screen is super important to the next generation of kids, specifically minorities who don’t always get a chance to see people like themselves in starring roles. Some of these young girls mightn’t be able to afford, or have access to, the cinema, so Taylor wants to make it possible for them.
“I decided to do the Wrinkle in Time campaign because, in my opinion, representation matters, and I wanted all girls, especially girls of color, to know that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up,” Taylor told “Good Morning America.” “They can also struggle and have flaws and still be successful in life.” Taylor’s initial goal on the GoFundMe campaign was $15,000 to buy private screening tickets for 1,000 girls to see the film. She raised $101,139 in total!
That success might come from the fact that she’s done all this before. When Taylor was 9, she raised enough money to send herself to space camp. And last year, when Taylor was only 13, she set out to raise enough money to send 100 young girls to see Hidden Figures – the 2016 Oscar-nominated film that tells the inspiring true story of three amazing black woman working at NASA during the 1970s. Taylor surpassed her goal back then too, raising enough money to buy 10x more tickets than she’d originally planned. The support behind Taylor’s campaigns shows that her desire to help young girls experience the power of representation on screen is widely shared. "It's important that girls not only look at the stars but take the steps to reach for them," Taylor wrote on her original GoFundMe page.