Dr. Munazza Yaqoob and her students at the International Islamic University, Islamabad’s Critical Thinking Forum spend most of the year researching the role of women in Pakistani society and in cultures around the world. Thanks to the efforts of Fox Studios and filmmaker Jennifer Lee, Dr. Yaqoob and the students got to expand their studies and their perspectives this summer through a special field trip to the Fox lot in Los Angeles.
Fox opened its doors to seven of the university’s top female graduate students on July 13 as part of an exchange organized by Lee and the Women’s Empowerment programs at the U.S. Department of State. The visit, which included a full tour of the studio lot and its operations, gave the students an up close and personal look at the American entertainment industry.
“A trip like this is so valuable for them, because by spending time here, many stereotypes of Americans have been dissolved,” said Lee, who was the coordinator for the students’ visit. “Most of what they know of American life comes from our media, but the diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the beauty of the Fox Studios lot gave them a much more complex view of our culture. They were very impressed with our love for our families and our environment.”
Lee began working with the Critical Thinking Forum after they invited her to campus to screen Feminist Stories from Women’s Liberation, her documentary tracking the achievements of the women’s movement between 1963 and 1970. Lee kept in touch with Dr. Yaqoob for several years and finally partnered with the State Department on a trip to Los Angeles for them to tour multiple cultural sites, including the Fox Studios lot.
Volunteers from across the Fox entertainment businesses pitched in to make the students’ visit a memorable one. They offered a full tour of the historic studio lot and a behind-the-scenes look at production on Bones, from costumes and set construction to post production and sound design.
Photo by Frank Micelotta for PictureGroup