Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

David Carren

Second Advisor

Britt Haraway

Third Advisor

David Anshen


A Girl and Her Knife is a dramatic screenplay written to promote inclusivity and empowerment of U.S. Chicanas in mainstream Hollywood. Once her grandmother dies, the protagonist, Luisa Fregoso, learns about her family’s history through her grandmother’s journal entries. Luisa’s grandmother, Ana, ensured Luisa became successful as an independent woman who understood she didn’t need love from a man. Luisa learned self-autonomy and self-liberation at a young age, but always struggled with love. Ultimately, her deceased grandmother continues to guide Luisa, but in a dangerous and dark way. The screenplay defies Hollywood’s traditional gender and cultural standards through distinctly written characters. Additionally, A Girl and Her Knife supports the release of new U.S. Chicana narratives through film. Furthermore, the primary objective of A Girl and Her Knife is to increase films created by and for U.S. Chicanas for mainstream distribution.


Copyright 2023 Alyssa Celeste Sandoval. All Rights Reserved.