The true story of Virginia Walden Ford, a single mother, turned education activist in 2003 as her son struggled in school due to its limited resources. These issues drove her to enroll her son in private school, but that price became too steep to handle. Immediately, she became prompted and determined to change the landscape of the public education system by way of garnering a movement to grant scholarships to low-income K-12 students in the D.C. area for higher quality education.
I was happy to talk with film director R.J. Daniel Hanna on the process regarding the true story of Virginia Walden Ford in Miss Virginia.
“…prompted and determined to change the landscape of the public education system…”
What made you want to make a movie about Miss Virginia and education in public schools?
R.J. Daniel Hanna: I got involved in the project through the writer, Erin O’Connor. I know Erin, she had known Virginia already for several years, and they hoped to make this project together. Erin wound up eventually writing the script because she and Virginia had become so close. I didn’t know about Virginia or anything before Erin sent me the first draft of the script and said, “hey just read this, give me your take, what would you do as a writer, and how do we make this movie better or how do we make it clearer, more emotional etc.” Initially, I got involved by simply giving notes on the script, offloading a bunch of thoughts on it, and then over time. They asked if I would be willing to meet Virginia.