girls run the galaxy.
That's what I learned in 1977 when I first saw Star Wars. The moment Princess Leia schooled Han and Luke for launching a "rescue" with no plan to get off the Death Star, I met a role model for life. She was bossy and bold and inspired confidence in an entire generation of girls and women.
Flash forward to 2017 and I remain a dedicated Star Wars fangirl. I'm now in my mid-40s, and on my way to adulthood I picked up a doctorate in clinical psychology and became a documentary filmmaker. My work focuses on stories of racial and gender justice, and in 2015 after attending my first Star Wars Celebration I was totally preoccupied with the question: Who are the girls and women of Star Wars fandom, and what stories do they have to tell?
LOOKING FOR LEIA is a feature documentary film that explores the phenomenon of Star Wars "fangirls," women and girls who connect deeply to the galaxy far, far away and are unique in the stereotypically male Nerd arena. The film reaches beyond Princess Leia to look at how female fans have shaped and expanded the Star Wars Universe, and how these stories speak to experiences of gender resilience and resistance.
We’re featuring an intergenerational and culturally diverse group of female fans, as well as women who are film buffs and cultural scholars, cosplayers and gamers, artists and authors. We’re talking to women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math); women who use Star Wars in the classroom; women whose career path was shaped by Star Wars; women whose love of Star Wars has helped them battle cancer and live with disability and mental illness; mothers, daughters, and sisters in Star Wars families; women who are rebels and royalty, imperials, bounty hunters, and jedi. Every generation has a Star Wars story, and we're hearing about the original trilogy, prequels, animated series, comics, Extended Universe/Legends, video games, new trilogy, stand-alone films, and conventions.
LOOKING FOR LEIA began filming in March 2017, and we're ready for your help. We're a totally independent, micro-budget film -- we're not affiliated with or licensed by Lucasfilm Ltd. or Disney and receive no endorsement or funding from these companies whatsoever. That means we’re looking at expensive licensing fees and travel costs as we visit cities around the U.S. and (we hope!) at least two cities outside of the U.S./Europe. We need to pay our crew members and a host of post-production artists (did I mention our production team is largely at the intersection of women/LGB/trans/gender non-binary/folks of color?). We need to hire musicians and rent studio space to record our score, and pay for sound mixing and color grading.
There’s a filmmaking adage you might be familiar with: You can have it cheap, fast, or good, pick two. Well, we want to finish shooting this year and have the film finished by summer 2018, and we want it to be really, really good. So while we’ve set a modest campaign goal of $25,000, that represents a fifth of our total budget on this film. And while we hustle like Han to raise the rest of this, if you help over-fund the campaign at this stage we can stop nerf herding and focus on filmmaking!
We've gotten some great press coverage in The Verge, The Mary Sue, El Mundo, and the Nerdist among others, and you can hear director Annalise Ophelian on FanGirls Going Rogue and Unmistakably Star Wars. You can visit our website, facebook, and twitter to stay connected. And of course, Kickstarter backers will be getting exclusive updates and all the best news!
Note: Girls & Women = anyone who identifies as such. Women of cisgender experience, women of transgender experience, masculine of center/butch women, queer women, straight women, people who identify as gender non-binary or gender nonconforming and feel that their story belongs in a film about fangirls. Gender is a big, complex concept: For this project, the shorthand "women" and "female" includes ALL the kinds of women described above.
these are the perks you're looking for
We'll be adding perks throughout the campaign, but check out some of this amazing fan-created art! Huge and special thanks to Whimsy Design & Illustration, Cass Evelyn, Karen Hallion Art, waycooltshirts, nastywomanclothing & Kelly Brinker for the awesome donations!
Risks and challenges
Imperial probe droids. Bounty hunters. Hutts. The galaxy is filled with risks and challenges.
Fortunately, we're a seasoned production team with a decade of documentary filmmaking experience and solid production record under our belts.
Timing is always the biggest challenge for micro-budget projects, the less funding we have, the longer it can take to get things done. So while we hope to keep to our production schedule, life and budgeting can find a way to throw a hydrospanner in the works. We'll keep supporters posted on our progress so you'll always know what's going on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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