Chicago-based filmmakers drove across the country to find inspiring women

8d7e4ef4b3d16c2c7c8fa59548f52b6c.jpeg - In 2013, Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook packed a minivan with camera equipment and a film crew and drove from Los Angeles to New York, capturing the stories of 17 remarkable women along the way: an astronaut, a brewmaster, an architect, an admiral and more. The road trip lasted a month. The impact, they hope, will last a lifetime.

They turned the stories into a documentary called "The Empowerment Project," and they've spent the past three years showing it in high school auditoriums and college lecture halls, in cities across the country, in countries around the world — from Haiti to Holland, from Rwanda to Australia.

On Tuesday, it was released on iTunes and Amazon.

"The film encourages girls and young women and young men to think about what they would do if they weren't afraid to fail," Cook, who lives in Lakeview, told me.

In preparation for the road trip, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. When the campaign reached its goal, they asked the 404 people who'd pledged money to tell them whom they'd like to see profiled. The suggestions poured in.