Campus Life

Oscar-winning filmmakers to join free labor and women's rights film screening

Event will be co-hosted by Penn State's Sustainability Institute, Center for Global Workers' Rights, LABOR School and WPSU

Oscar-winning documentary filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar will join a post-film discussion of their film that examines labor organizing among women office workers trying to end practices of sexual harassment, unequal pay and lack of opportunities for women to advance in their careers. The discussion will be moderated by Penn State's new LABOR School, which provides education and training for labor unions and workers across Pennsylvania. Credit: Provided by filmmakersAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. (EDT), Penn State’s Sustainability Institute (SI), Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR), LABOR School and WPSU will co-host an online screening of the film "9to5: The Story of a Movement." Afterwards, they will be joined for a post-film discussion with Oscar-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, as well as leaders from the 9to5 labor movement. Those interested in attending can register at

“We're thrilled for the Center for Global Workers’ Rights to be able to co-host this important film and conversation,” said Jinyoung Park, assistant research professor in the CGWR. “Reichart and Bognar's film not only tells the story of an overlooked chapter of the U.S. labor movement, but it demystifies the nuts and bolts of how labor movement organizing works. We are sure it will inspire women to fight for their rights and reclaim their place in the past, present and future of the labor movement.”

The film examines the rise in the 1970s of the women workers’ movement among office workers fighting for better pay, gender equality and an end to sexual harassment. The 9to5 movement served as the basis for the famous "9 to 5" film starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin and the documentary examines the movement’s relationship with that film as well.

Following the film screening, there will be a discussion with the film’s Oscar-winning filmmakers, whose decades-long careers have produced landmark documentary films on labor issues including "Union Maids" and 2019’s "American Factory," which won the 2020 Oscar for Best Documentary and screened at Penn State last year as part of this film series.

“We’re honored to be able to host Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar as part of this film series and to give the Penn State community the opportunity to engage with world-class storytellers committed to social justice,” said Peter Boger, assistant director for community engagement at SI. “Our goal with this film series is to help people see the intersections between social justice and sustainability and to empower our community to take action to address these issues going forward.”

Also joining the post-film discussion will be Kim Cook, a leader of the Seattle chapter of the 9to5 movement and a faculty member in Cornell University’s Worker Institute. The discussion will be moderated by Mary Bellman, director of The LABOR School, Penn State’s outreach program to the Pennsylvania labor movement, providing low-cost education and training programs for workers and their organizations throughout the state.

The film screening is part of WPSU, CGWR and SI’s Intersections: Landscapes of Labor film series, dedicated to exploring the intersection of labor rights with social justice and sustainability issues. All films are free and open to the public. Contact Boger at with any questions.

Last Updated April 15, 2021