Girls Like Us

A film by Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio

1997 | 57 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 99554


An ethnically diverse group of four working class girls strut, flirt, and testify in this vibrant, affecting portrait of teenage girls' experiences of sexuality. Filmed in South Philadelphia and following its subjects from the ages of 14 to 18, GIRLS LIKE US reveals the conflicts of growing up female by examining the impact of class, sexism, and violence on the dreams and expectations of young girls.

Intimate interviews and candid footage introduce Anna, whose need for freedom in a new culture conflicts with her parents' strictness; De'Yona, who dreams of a singing career while coping with family tragedy; Raelene, who confronts violence and issues of self-esteem as a teenage mother; and Lisa, who faces the differences between the feminine roles of her Catholic upbringing and her own wishes. In documenting the friendships, challenges, and triumphs of these four young women, acclaimed filmmakers Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio have created something truly rare: a searingly honest, inspiring depiction of girls' experiences that provokes reaction from and dialogue between educators, parents, and young women alike.

GIRLS LIKE US was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


"This extremely powerful film is unique in its depth, honesty, and seamless integration of education and audience social awareness."

Charlene Clemens Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project

"I highly recommend Girls Like Us as a refreshingly frank and honest portrayal of girls' voices and viewpoints."

Wanda Robinson The Education Trust

"Few films offer such rich human material- fewer still are timely enough to serve as ideal conversation pieces for young women facing similar decisions."

Godfrey Cheshire Variety

" **** Highly recommended. Editor's choice."

Video Librarian


  • Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Cultural Programming
  • Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary
  • Health Sciences Communications Association, Best of Show & Gold Award
  • National Educational Media Festival, Golden Apple Award
  • Chicago International Film Festival, Gold Plaque
  • Athens Film and Video Festival, Best Doc
  • Charlotte Film and Video Fest, Best Doc
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Award
  • IFC Stranger Than Fiction Series


Jane C. Wagner

From cinema vérité to impressionistic documentaries, Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane C. Wagner's critically acclaimed work has been screened and broadcast in countries throughout the world.

Their collaboration began at Stanford University's masters film program, where DiFeliciantonio made her directing debut with the student Oscar-winning Living With AIDS, which was one of the first films on the subject to be nationally broadcast on PBS. Since then, Wagner and DiFeliciantonio have tackled a wide range of subjects - such as sustainable energy, teenage sexuality, child abuse, war time rape, LGBT civil rights, social justice, art and science - garnering dozens of top honors, including two National Emmy Awards and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary. (8/14)

Tina DiFeliciantonio

From cinema vérité to impressionistic documentaries, Tina DiFeliciantonio’s critically acclaimed work has been screened and broadcast in countries throughout the world. Along with her partner Jane C. Wagner, she has tackled a wide range of subjects—social justice, human rights, teenage sexuality, child abuse, sustainable energy, art, science and ethics—garnering dozens of top honors, such as two National Emmy Awards and two Sundance Film Festival Awards, including the Grand Jury Prize.

DiFeliciantonio began her professional career after graduating from Stanford University’s Master’s Film Program, where she made her directing debut with the student Academy Award-winning LIVING WITH AIDS, which was the first film on the subject to be broadcast on PBS. Over the years, her intellectual and creative collaboration partnership with Wagner has matured into a dynamic partnership that is sustained by a shared vision and passion for storytelling. Having worked in countries throughout the world, including Senegal, Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, India, Japan, China and Turkey, their films have been aired on P.O.V., Sundance Channel, Showtime, HBO, TLC, MTV, SyFy, USA Networks and foreign television.

Support for their work has come from organizations that include the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, NEH, ITVS, AFI, and Sundance. In addition to serving on the board of directors of media non-profits, DiFeliciantonio enjoys jurying film festivals, participating on funding panels and guest lecturing. She is actively involved in community service in New York City and is the co-parent of an active ten-year-old boy named Luca. (03/14)


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