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It’s time to fall madly in love with films #DirectedbyWomen

It's time to fall madly in love with films #DirectedbyWomen

How many films #DirectedbyWomen can we celebrate in a 15-day worldwide film-viewing party? We’re about to find out. Starting September 1st, film lovers around the globe are invited to turn their attention in a joyous, celebratory way to the work women film directors have been bringing into being from the earliest days of cinema to the present. There’s so much out there to explore and enjoy. Let’s celebrate!
We’re film lovers. What’s more satisfying than discovering the work of a filmmaker whose approach to cinema sets us back on our heels and makes us ask ourselves what ELSE is possible? That can happen at any time, but when we pool our focus and come together during this compressed period of time with the clear intention of noticing, discovering (or re-discovering), relishing, sharing and celebrating, something truly exciting starts to arise. This is an incredible opportunity to look with fresh eyes as a global community. 
When I put this invitation out into the world over a year ago now, I had a feeling this was going to be fun, but I’ve been completely blown away by the response. I’ve lost track of how often someone has written to say, “THIS IS AMAZING!” then followed that up with an announcement of bold plans to highlight and celebrate the work of women film directors. This is a grassroots, do-it-yourself party. Everyone’s invited to make their own events: everything from one individual watching one film by a woman director all the way to multi-day film festivals. I’m hearing reports of family movie nights and house parties. Film lovers are programming screenings in multiplexes, art houses, libraries and classrooms. There’s a screening happening in a motorcycle shop, one in an Irish pub in NYC and another in an airplane hangar! 
Cinemas and film series are bringing their regular programming into the party. Indiana University Cinema has dedicated all their programming during the 15-day party to films #DirectedbyWomen, with filmmaker visits by Penelope Spheeris, Ja’Tovia Gary, Stefani Saintonge and Hannah Fidell. Existing festivals like the Portland Film Festival in Oregon and Scalarama in the UK have joined in to bring the work of women directors forward during their events. And film festivals are forming in response to the #DirectedbyWomen invitation, including a three-day film festival in Middletown, Delaware; multi-day conferences with workshops and screenings in Barcelona and Madrid; and a multi-city festival in India. 
Online activity is heating up. Virtual film-viewing parties are arising, giving film lovers in different parts of the world the chance to enjoy and talk about films, sometimes with the film directors joining via Twitter or Google Hangout. Bloggers are gearing up to post about women directors every day. Twitter chats and other online conversations are in the works. Let’s get some vibrant conversation going about the films and the filmmakers themselves. 

Looking to explore works by women directors? I’ve been creating a resource that highlights women film directors from around the world. It offers access to social media and film-related links that can help film lovers discover filmmakers for themselves. At the moment there are a little over 7400 directors on the list. It’s just the beginning. The list can be accessed here: I love it when people help share their knowledge. This Google form makes it easy:

Ways to connect and share online during #DirectedbyWomen include:

–Hashtag #DirectedbyWomen when posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
–Global Map. When adding your public events to the map, remember to tag with #DirectedbyWomen:

–#DirectedbyWomen Film Viewing Party Tumblr:
–#DirectedbyWomen Facebook events pages:
Join #DirectedbyWomen, a Worldwide Film Viewing Party: September 1-15, 2015. I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Barbara Ann O’Leary is an avid film lover who delights in helping people expand their film viewing possibilities. She serves as Social Media Specialist at Indiana University Cinema. 

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