#DirectedByWomen 2nd Year Global Viewing Party

 (A talk with #DirectedByWomen’s creator, Barbara Ann O’Leary)

I: Hello Barbara, thank you for taking the time out to give us more insight into this year’s #DirectedbyWomen Global Viewing Party. Congrats on a second year! First, tell those who are new to “#DirectedbyWomen” what it is and explain the Global viewing party.

B: Thanks! Great to share with you about the #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party, a monthlong celebration of women film directors and their work that’s co-created by film lovers anywhere and everywhere in the world. The celebration runs from September 1-30, 2016. It’s a grassroots, D-I-Y movement to build a deep culture of appreciation within the film community while having a lot of fun. Everyone’s invited. How you choose to participate is up to you. It can be as simple as watching a film by a woman director and tweeting about it. You might throw a house party and invite friends to watch women directed films with you. Organize a screening in your community or ask your local movie theater to program films #DirectedbyWomen. Invite women filmmakers to participate in your events. There are so many possibilities! As long as your events focus on celebrating and appreciating women film directors during the month of September – and, of course, respect intellectual property rights –  that’s all it takes to join in. There’s a #GlobalCalendar where participants are welcome to list their Film Viewing Parties (and related activities):http://directedbywomen.com/events.

I: Wow! Thanks Barbara. What can people expect to see this year in comparison to last year?

B: We’ll have to wait to find out. People are starting to share what they’re planning, but, if this is anything like the first time we did this last year, there will be many surprises. It’s non-localized, so people hear about the party online or from friends, get excited about joining in, and then do whatever they want. Last year I am sure we never heard about all the #DirectedbyWomen activities because there was just so much going on! And that’s fine. The important thing is knowing that this is a concentrated period of time when we come together in celebration of the abundance of work that women film directors have produced.  Something I think is particularly wonderful about the Worldwide Film Viewing Party is the sense of connection film lovers feel as they experience/celebrate on their own or in one location all the while being aware that many other film lovers in many places around the world are joining the celebration and turning their attention to the work of many other women directors.  It’s invigorating.

I: Indeed, we celebrated women directors last year for the global viewing party, and it was truly inspirational. Barbara, we know that people, especially women directors and filmmakers, are extremely excited and grateful for an event and movement like this. What was your inspiration behind “#DirectedByWomen”? What motivated you to bring this great idea to life?. 

B: The idea sprang into my mind one day over 2 years ago now.  I’d been focusing my attention on balancing my film viewing so that I’d watch an even number of films directed by men and women over the course of a year.  And during that year I started gathering up names of women directors – just to help myself have work to chose from when I was ready to watch something each day.  But the list grew and grew.  And I started to become keenly aware that there were actually a LARGE number of women who had directed motion pictures.  And I wanted to do something to honor and appreciate each of them… but that was much too large a task for just one person.  Also I’d been noticing that a lot of people in the film community weren’t aware of even a small fraction of the women who had directed… and I thought it could help people wake up to the richness of what women directors have been bringing into the world if we were to CONCENTRATE attention in a compressed period of time.  Once the idea showed up I realized I HAD to do it.  I knew I needed to extend the invitation and see what happened.  I started tweeting and sharing on Facebook and went from there!  In September 2015 film lovers/makers from many countries joined in and we had an amazing time.  I thought it would be a one time thing, but so many people wanted to do another that we decided to repeat the experience in 2016, but spread out and claim the whole month of September this time, so that’s what we’re doing.  EVERYONE’s invited to join us!

I: What do you want people to take away from #DirectedByWomen? What’s the overall goal?

B:  The intention is to notice, experience, relish and share about films by women directors… to ACTIVELY and JOYOUSLY celebrate the abundance of films #DirectedbyWomen… and to weave strands of connection in an ever growing global film community grounded in a deep culture of appreciation.  The vision is to fall MADLY IN LOVE with women film directors and their work. And above all to have fun!

I: Can you further explain how others can participate in the #DirectedByWomen Global viewing party? What can they do to make this, yet another, great year?

B: Claim the celebration as your own.  The most important thing is to feel welcome.  This is YOUR party.  Dive in and co-create this joyous experience with us.  Invite friends, family, and film lovers in your life to join us.  Be bold.  Be creative.  Be celebratory. Surprise yourself by exploring work by film directors you may never have heard of before! Be amazed. Share your discoveries so others can relish the experience with you/us.

I: At last, where can people find out more information about #DirectedByWomen? What websites and social media pages should they visit?

B: Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/directedbywomen/ – and Twitter –https://twitter.com/DirectedbyWomen.  We’re using the #DirectedbyWomen hashtag.  And here are a few resources that I hope will help…

#DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party Invitation:http://directedbywomen.com/were-throwing-a-worldwide-film-viewing-party-and-youre-invited/

#DirectedbyWomen #GlobalCalendar: http://directedbywomen.com/events/ Find events… and add some of your own!

#DirectedbyWomen Women Who Have Directed Film – 9255+ directors and counting:http://directedbywomen.com/en/directedby.html

#DirectedbyWomen Conversations (Interviews): http://directedbywomen.com/category/conversations/ More interviews on the way soon!  The vision is to share a LOT of new interviews on the website during the Worldwide Film Viewing Party.  I’d love some help creating these interviews… so please reach out if you’d like to be involved.

I: As always, thank you so much Barbara. This year will certainly be amazing!

B: Thank you.  I can’t wait to celebrate with you again this year.  So appreciative of your wonderful support these past few years. You’ve been part of the global celebration right from the beginning!

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