Director: Katie McEntire Wiatt
Katie McEntire Wiatt first explored film production as a student at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. At Dreyfoos, not only did she learn to edit on one of the first non-linear editing systems, but she also learned the fundamentals of cinematic storytelling. After college, Wiatt pursued a love for education and teaching. At the same time, Wiatt continued her passion for filmmaking by working as a producer and editor on various projects with Indie Atlantic Films.
After several years of teaching, Wiatt decided to pursue full time production and documentary filmmaking. Combining her love of filmmaking, storytelling, and education, Wiatt began to fully develop the concept for Fly Like a Girl. Wiatt makes her feature-length directorial debut with the documentary Fly Like a Girl. Wiatt is a member of Women in Film & Television-Florida and is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She resides in Lakeland, Florida.
A note from Katie:
It was during my time as a primary school teacher that I first developed the idea for Fly Like a Girl. I saw first-hand the gap in confidence young female students felt in the classroom, especially in relation to STEM subjects. I remember one student in particular, she was struggling with a math problem. She said, “Ms. Wiatt, girls just aren’t good at math.” This student’s statement had a profound effect on me. Perhaps because it reminded me of a math teacher I had in 5th grade who told me, “Some girls, like you, just can’t do math.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a very common experience for many young girls.
A recent study in Science Magazine found that young girls are less likely to think their own gender is smart. In order to change this narrative, it is crucial that girls and women see people like themselves, achieving great things in their fields. This is especially important in careers that young girls may perceive as being “for boys.”
While I was teaching I became more interested in learning about aviation, particularly how women have been involved historically and currently. I saw Patty Wagstaff and several other aerobatic female pilots perform and read a variety of books on historic female aviators. I also went to lectures and talks from female leaders in the STEM and aviation world. I was shocked to learn that according to the Federal Aviation Administration, of the active pilot certificates in the United States, approximately 7% were held by women. Only 4.4% of commercial airline pilots in the United States are women. From the Wright Brothers to Amelia Earhart, history is filled with bold and brave aviators. However, if you ask someone to name as many female aviators as they can think of, most would only be able to name Earhart. There are many women beyond Amelia both modern and historical that have played an important role in the aviation world.
All of these moments instilled in me a passion to help change how young girls and women perceive themselves and what they have to offer not only the male-dominated world of aviation but our world as a whole. This led me to want to direct a film that showed women in roles that are often perceived as male careers. I decided that aviation, with its diverse and exciting opportunities, is an excellent vehicle to tell this story.
Fly Like a Girl brings the real-life stories and accomplishments of female aviators to light.From a lego-loving young girl who includes female pilots in her toy airplanes, to a courageous woman who helped lead shuttle missions to space. It is my hope thatby hearing first-hand stories from girls and women who dared to aim higher, that this film will inspire those who no longer want to be passengers.
Producer: Andy McEntire
Andy McEntire founded Indie Atlantic Films in 2006. He has worked in video and digital media production for over 10 years and has produced films for clients all over the world. McEntire has directed TV shows and commercials throughout the US. He has also created films for nonprofit organizations locally and worldwide. McEntire is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University and is a member of the Imperial Polk Advertising Federation and Film Florida.
Producer: Matthew Wiatt
Matthew Wiatt’s background is in traditional broadcast television. He was a producer for the PBS national television series "Animal Attractions TV" and has worked on national TV series for ABC, PBS, Travel, Disney and other networks. At Indie Atlantic Films, Wiatt has helped produce films for commercial and nonprofit clients. Wiatt is a graduate of Flagler College and a member of the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.