Carnegie Mellon University

Maggie Mertz

Maggie Mertz

Adviser: Sharon Dilworth
Majors: Global Studies, Creative Writing
Minors: Film Studies, Animation and Special Effects

Breathing Words

Produced by an all-female production team and starring two female protagonists, Maggie Mertz's project, "Breathing Words," will address issues surrounding the film industry's lack of gender equality and representation in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. The film will center on a deep and career-driven friendship between two women from opposite ends of the globe who find an unexpected understanding and acceptance in each other. "Breathing Words" will be a short film that will explore the reciprocal relationship between language and culture, the desire for deep connection and the universal nature of human emotions.


Mertz is a storyteller, writer and filmmaker, and she has created and produced films since the age of 10. In the spring of 2016, Mertz founded Momoka Studios, a female-driven and minority-oriented film production team. Through the support of the Undergraduate Research Office, she produced two short films that won the Artistic Excellence awards at the 2017 Meeting of the Minds. She contributed to an interactive documentary in Cuba in the spring of 2017, interned as a videographer while studying abroad in Copenhagen in the spring of 2018 and currently has two additional projects in post-production. Starting in the summer of 2018, the production of "Breathing Words" will be Mertz's largest undertaking so far in her career.