July was immersed in the riot grrl scene in Portland and motivated by its DIY ethos, and she began an effort that she described as "a free alternative distribution system for women movie-makers". One of July's reasons for starting the project was to apply the concepts of Riot grrrl into the film making world. The idea was to connect as many women artists as possible, let them see each other's work, and foster a sense of community. Participants sent a self-made short film to July, who mailed back a compilation videotape containing that film and nine others – a "chainletter tape". When it began in 1995, the project was called Big Miss Moviola but was soon renamed Joanie4Jackie. July also credits the project to the loneliness she was experiencing at the time, but felt she learned from the project immensely, saying “that was my film school”. July's first film, Atlanta, appears on the second tape of the series. July continued to run the project for years, handing it off to the film department of Bard College in 2003.