Kate Chaplin: Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy dives into the #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party

A few years ago I was asked to give a presentation on what it’s like to be a female filmmaker and I was too busy being a filmmaker that I didn’t think about the female part, so dug into my own experiences and I researched other fantastic female directors and I found a lot of connecting dots. I also found a lot of work needed to be done.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy's #DirectedbyWomen Film Viewing Party - Hamilton County, Indiana, USA

DBW: Kate, I’m so excited that Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy has jumped in to plan a #DirectedbyWomen Film Viewing Party for the greater Indianapolis area this year. We want to hear all about it, but first can you share about Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy? Great name, BTW!

KC: We’re super excited to spread the amazing movement of #DirectedbyWomen. Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy (G3) is a new non-for-profit organization whose mission is to help women and girls navigate our galaxy for the betterment of all. We have a variety of programs; monthly discussion groups, craft nights, and a book club. Coming in the year is a podcast and workshops. We really wanted to do an event to introduce ourselves to the larger community. We love our name too. We’re super geeky so it is a take on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

DBW: What inspired you to put together this #DirectedbyWomen Film Viewing Party? Can you share what films and other events you have planned?

KC: We were inspired by the fantastic work #DirectedbyWomen does. We are all about support women in all aspects of their life. Film is an amazing medium that reflects back our culture and teaches us to walk in others shoes for a few hours. An event like this supports women and women directors. It’s a win-win in our opinion. Because of the wonderful databases, especially the DbW database, we had a lot of films to choose from. Because our goals are Support, Education and Empowerment we choose 3 documentaries. Reel Herstory: The Real History of Reel Women (Director Ally Acker), Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (Director Kristy Guevara Flanagan), and She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (Director Mary Dore). I’m proud to say these were our first 3 choices and delighted all 3 filmmakers said yes. After each film we’ll have discussion questions to see the audience’s take away from the films and encourage discussion and action.

gals guide to the galaxy poster

Along with the 3 films we are showing, we are also having two expert panels of wonderful women filmmakers from all experience levels and backgrounds. Our first panel is “What it’s like for a female director” where our ladies will talk about the success and obstacles they’ve faced as well as inspire more female filmmakers. Our second panel is “How to make your own movie” this panel is exciting as we have a variety of paths of filmmakers, one of our panelists started making films in her 70’s, another at age 16.

Also at the event we’ll have a silent auction to support G3 and our programs. We have items being donated by the community that you can bid on. Awesome stuff is coming in from film tickets and posters, to comics and superhero video games. It’s wonderful to see the community coming together offering their support.

DBW: I love that idea. If people want to contribute items for the auction, how can they do that? And is the silent auction online? How can people bid on items? Let’s get the energies flowing!

KC: If companies, organizations or individuals want to donate items or services for the silent auction email galsguidetothegalaxy@gmail.com. No donation is too small or too large. We are thankful for them all! Gift cards are the most popular; tickets to events are second. People also love unique opportunities like touring a private home, or coffee with a local celebrity. The auction will be at the venue only. We’ll have a wonderful table with all the items up for bid, a sheet with a starting bid suggestion. If you are interested in an item write down your name and your bid, if someone wants to bid higher they list their name after yours with their bid, come back and check your bids to see if you are still the highest, if you’re not, add your name to the list again with a new bid. Bidding will end at 5:45pm.

If we have any items not bid on or have too many we might have an online auction after the September 10th event.

DBW: Who do you think might enjoy taking part in your celebration? What’s involved? Are tickets available in advance? Are you in need of volunteers?

KC: I’m biased, but I think everyone from age 12-112 would enjoy the celebration. Who will get the most out of the event are women and girls who are just starting out making films or thinking about making films. We’re offering a lot of history, support, networking, and call to action on why it’s so important for more female filmmakers to share their voice with the world.

Tickets are available now on www.galsguide.org. They are $25 online. They will be available at the door on the day of the event for $30. We do have limited seating so we recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible through our website.

We are looking for volunteers! Perks for our volunteers are a private screening of the films (because they will miss the movies due to helping out), a Gal’s Guide scarf – we don’t dig t-shirts so we hand-make galaxy inspired scarfs for our volunteers. They also get our undying love and support. Interested volunteers can email us at galsguidetothegalaxy@gmail.com.

DBW: As the global film community gears up for this September’s month long #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party, there’s still time for people to put together events – large or small. Anything you can share about the process you and your team went through as you put this program together that might help others take the plunge and put together events of their own?

KC: Venues can be seen as the first hurdle. We were lucky because of our relationship with Launch Fishers. However I encourage organizers to look at libraries, lodges, and private homes as well. I think would be a super cute screening party is a backyard screening party with a sheet, a projector and amazing films under the stars. Invite the neighborhood! The next hurdle is what to show. We are paying for public performance rights because we want to support female filmmakers financially as well as publically promoting their work. We are in a position to do that but not everyone is. There are local female filmmakers who just want to have their work seen in which case I encourage all female filmmakers to at least have a house party and show one of their films to join in on the celebration.

DBW: You’re a filmmaker yourself. And you’ve been active in encouraging women and girls to make films. How has your experience been informed by your community activism?

Kate Chaplin
Kate Chaplin

KC: I have completed 17 films. I have one out now (Wig’d Out) and one in post (Shoki’s Bag) then I’m retiring to focus more on G3. A few years ago I was asked to give a presentation on what it’s like to be a female filmmaker and I was too busy being a filmmaker that I didn’t think about the female part, so dug into my own experiences and I researched other fantastic female directors and I found a lot of connecting dots. I also found a lot of work needed to be done. I took (and still do) a lot of flack for my activism for female voices film. I have to take it in stride because if I help one girl who like me heard, “Filmmaking is for men” or “You won’t succeed because you’re female” and show her that her voice is needed and valuable then it’s all worth it. It’s important to me because I have two daughters and I see their faces in every person I talk to. I want to see everyone succeed at their passion and never believe nay-sayers.

DBW: Anything else you’d like to share?

KC: Gal’s Guide is new. We officially formed in May so we could use any and all help getting the word out about this event. We want to get to a place where we can do a DbW event every year and have them grow with more films, panels and discussions. Any help, even if you are not in the Hamilton County area, you can donate the ticket price ($25) to G3 and it will go right into the event costs of venue, screening fees, food, marketing etc.

DBW: Can’t wait to celebrate with you. See you in person on September 10th.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy

Get your tickets online today!  Visit the Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy Directed By Women Hamilton County Viewing Party Facebook Event Page to keep up on news, indicate you’re going, invite friends, etc.