The Construct: Female Laborers and the Fight for Equality

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) | Film Feature


Blue Peel Productions

1 Campaigns | Hawaii, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $6,375 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

45 supporters | followers

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A team of international female filmmakers capture the compelling personal narratives of Burmese female construction workers, giving a voice to the women physically constructing development in what has been until recently one of the most isolated nations in the world.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story

Now is the time to look at women’s rights in Myanmar. The Construct will examine how, if at all, a country led by a woman has had an impact on the lives of the women who live within it.


In November 2015 Myanmar elected Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy into power after 53 years of military rule. The recent ability to speak freely in a globalized setting offers Myanmar a unique opportunity to give females in the country a voice. Too often have countries across the world developed at the hands of men, leaving women unheard and powerless. When a woman is at the helm of the country, how does it impact the lives of everyday women? The Construct will focus on one of the most literal senses of development – construction, and how these women represent the fight for gender equality in the country as a whole.


Female construction workers are widespread throughout Myanmar. They illustrate a contradiction in gender equality, as their occupation seems like a sign of progress, yet they are exploited as cheap labor by the men in charge. Often women turn to construction work as a last resort to support themselves and their families. We aim to examine the cultural and socio-economic forces that impact female construction workers as a lens for women's social status as a whole. We will follow the stories of a select number of women to center the film around female journeys on a personal level.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

First Aid Kit

Costs $30

First aid kit to make sure we stay safe and are prepared for any medical issues that don't require professional attention.

Water Purifier

Costs $50

Water purifier so we can have clean water without buying plastic water bottles.

Humidity Detector

Costs $20

Humidity detector so we can make sure our equipment stays safe!


Costs $20

These reflectors will help us even out lighting, very important for our mostly outdoor locations.

Pelican Case

Costs $70

Waterproof, humidity proof case to protect camera gear from monsoon season.

Festival Fees

Costs $1,000

Funds for festival entrance fees so that we can show our film and hopefully win some awards.


Costs $1,500

Food for our crew of 5 people over two months.


Costs $1,000

Funds for the Seed & Spark distribution package that includes ....


Costs $2,000

Living expenses for two while we edit the film.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm Lens

Costs $500

To improve image quality!

ND Filter

Costs $70

ND filters reduce the amount of light that can pass through the lens, allowing for more options when manipulating the exposure.

Additional Camera Batteries

Costs $200

Additional camera batteries to make sure we can film for full days.

Additional 64gb Memory Cards

Costs $150

Additional memory cards so we can store all the wonderful footage we capture.

External Hard Drive

Costs $60

External hard drive dedicated just to this project that will be one of two hard drives that store our footage.

Ninja Assassin 4K Recorder

Costs $830

Allows us to record in 4K for gorgeous, high quality footage.

About This Team

Early in 2016 Jalena Keane-Lee and Elizabeth Wilkins formed Blue Peel Productions, a narrative and documentary production company with the goal of empowering women both behind and in front of the camera. Our double empowerment model relies on the creation of innovative and engaging storytelling with a social impact. Women are vastly underrepresented in the filmmaking industry, which has left our culture lacking any female voice. We aim to rectify this inequality through creating films made by women about women.


Jalena Keane-Lee (Director) has experience both in front of and behind the camera. As a host for the international TV show Eco Company, Jalena interviewed environmental activists around the country. As a production intern for CNBC she wrote articles that involved reaching out to experts from a wide variety of disciplines. Jalena has written, acted in and directed a number of short narrative films and currently studies Film and Political Science at Wellesley College. She also has experience in international relations, travelling to Cambodia as an American Youth Leadership ambassador and serving as a 2016 Albright Institute for Global Affairs Fellow.


Elizabeth Wilkins (Director of Photography, Editor), also known as Bets, is a young filmmaker and environmentalist. Her expertise is in cinematography and editing, with additional experience in producing and directing. Most recently, Elizabeth studied at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. Elizabeth will be graduating from American University in December 2016 with a BA in Film and Media Studies, and a minor in International Relations with a focus on Environmental Sustainability and Global Health.


San Yae Aye (Producer, Translator) is an accomplished Burmese cinematographer and producer. She is a member of Tagu Films. They have also created content for, among others, The Wall Street Journal, USAID, and UNOPS. San Yae Aye will translate and help to coordinate locations and interviews.


Our documentary is mainly intended for a western audience, and will be produced to raise awareness and provide insight into the lives of Burmese female construction workers. This is an extremely exciting time to be offering an insight into Burmese life, as the country has been shut off from the rest of the world for so long.


We hope to make a film that Burmese audiences will enjoy as well. Lin Sun Oo, the founder of Tagu Films, said in a recent Ted talk that, “A country without documentaries is like a family without photo albums.” We are proud to be working with Tagu films and contributing to their mission of increasing international awareness through documentaries about Burmese life and culture.

Current Team