The diversity of fandom in the Star Wars community is something we at Fantha Tracks celebrate, we were delighted to hear the news that the Looking For Leia project was being made into a six episode docu-series that will explore Star Wars fandom from a female point of view.
It’s with great pleasure we welcome Annalise Ophelian the director of Looking For Leia back to Fantha Tracks for the second part of our interview, this time we focused on the hopes, plans and dreams for the project!
FT: What is your ultimate goal or hope when people see the final series?
AO: I think there is a huge group of multigenerational fans who have never seen themselves represented in fandom discourse, and there’s something powerful and important about being seen. Throughout this project I’ve heard the theme that representation isn’t just inspiration, it’s fundamentally permission to exist. I think folks who live at the intersection of margins quietly carry this burden with us everyday, and when it’s lifted, when we’re given that glimpse into a story that mirrors ours, it’s hard to overstate the positive impact that has. So I’m tremendously excited for audience to get to celebrate women in Star Wars fandom, and to learn more about participatory fandom and the ways it is creative and joyous and compelling. I also hope that folks come away from the series with a greater appreciation of fandom as something worthy and real, I think so many media portrayals of fandom hinge on this lonely maladjusted fanboy stereotype that is reductive and harmful to fans of all genders. Audience is smarter than that, and we’re long overdue a project that examines fandom as a site of creativity, joy, and resilience.
FT: Is there something that you will take away from this project that will use in the future?
AO: I’ve tapped into fan community I never had before starting this project, when my fandom was something I held in isolation and didn’t really share with others. And the women I’ve encountered in fandom have created these beautiful fan families, and thanks to them I now feel connected to these families all over the world.
Can you think beyond Looking For Leia? Have you any plans, hopes or dreams?
AO: My partner of 11 years StormMiguel Florez is also my filmmaking collaborator, and we’ve got two projects in the pipeline: I’m the director of photography StormMiguel’s film The Whistle, which is about secret codes used among Albuquerque dyke youth in the 1980s and is currently in post.
I’m doing principle photography on my next documentary this June, which is about Sean Dorsey Dance, a ground breaking modern dance troupe that blends movement with social impact story telling. We’re co-directing that one, and we’ll start post-production on that project immediately after wrapping on Looking for Leia.
FT: When the production is over and the film is ready to debut what are your plans?Have you thought about how to celebrate the premiere?
AO: I’m working on that now and look forward to being able to announce this, I’m hoping to have news by the fall. I can’t share the plans right now because we’re negotiating and in the works.
FT: Finally, what’s the best advice you can give could give someone who may be struggling to embrace themselves and their fandom?
AO: There’s pride in loving something. Your fandom is evidence of your fundamental capacity to love a story, to connect with characters and dream yourself into another world. People can get kind of toxic in on-line spaces when they’re really passionate about a thing, but there are on-line and IRL spaces where your fandom will be seen and appreciated. Reach out. Find your people. You believe in magic, and that makes you magical.
A huge thanks to Annalise for giving the interview at such a busy time! Check Fantha Tracks for further news about Looking For Leia series.