Zada Clarke – Rocket Girl

In this cinéma-verité style full length documentary, we follow the story of a young American girl, Eleni, as she navigates adolescence while pursuing her passion of building rockets. Set in California and Virginia Beach, we witness her journey over the course of three years, as she combats social and cultural pressures telling her to focus on anything but her scientific pursuits. By combining an honest depiction of the awkward and timeless coming of age story, with a peek into the competitive, male dominated and intense community of rocketry, this film weaves together a story of what it means to be grow up, to have a goal, and to pursue it against all odds.

With the help of the Lang Opportunity Award, our film has gotten IFP fiscal sponsorship, two Go-Pro’s which have been used to capture the rockets launching into the air, as well as a crowdfunding campaign manager that has helped us create a social identity and begin networking. We have been connected with Girls in STEM organizations and are creating a grassroots campaign so our film has an on the ground impact. It’s hard to write a reflection when we still have so much work in front of us, but I feel like our film has a strong ground on which to keep building from.

Going forward, we have a final shoot in Los Angeles in the beginning of June in which we will be setting off rockets in the Mojave Desert. For this shoot we will have a drone, a few more crew members and eight rockets in total. Four years ago the director, by herself, filmed our protagonist in the same desert launching rockets and now we are returning to capture how time has passed. This is very exciting and will be an emotional ride!


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