Women Of The World is a documentary project created by filmmaker and artist Caitlin Mooney, intending to showcase a modern representation of Women in the 21st century.
Attempting to involve over 250+ women, each answering a set of five questions, Caitlin strives to look into the varying viewpoints and opinions of Females from all walks of life, ranging from different classes, age groups, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, political preferences and cultural backgrounds, in order to break down and analyze the bare-bone mechanics of misogynistic belief and female stereotyping, in a predominately Male dominated world.
With the involvement of modern technology and social media, Caitlin intends to document and compile an undefined ‘female’ view on a wide range of societal subjects, with the aim for it to be one of the clearest representations of female opinion documented so far in the 21st century, giving a brief glimpse into the feminine opinions of our current society.
What kind of women are you looking to interview?
I want to document the opinions of all kinds of women, including transgender women, with no restrictions on race, age, social class, sexuality, religious belief, or political preference. I believe that in order to get the clearest representation of varying opinion, as well as to showcase the lack of reality when it comes to trying to stereotype women, it's extremely important to hear the voices of all types of women possibly imaginable. I'd also really like to stress the importance of getting trans-women involved in the project too. I really want to be able to get everyones voices heard, so in light of that, there are no restrictions on the interviewee scouting process.
What are the topics that you're intending to look into?
A wide range of subjects. I want to look into the importance of women's rights, documenting the opinions of both feminists and those who don't consider themsleves as such. I want to give women a safe space to talk about their experiences within our male dominated societies, looking into misogyny, sexual harassment and general mistreatment.
I want to look into the idea that although no woman is safe from misogyny, I think it's interesting how different women view this fact through the eye of their upbringings and lifestyles, and how the differences between women when it comes to age, social class, and cultural experience, influence the initial development of these opinions.
Among the negative aspects, I'd also really love to explore all the reasons why women - no matter their social standings - love being women. I want to be able to showcase a whole plethora of opinion on a wide emotional range, looking at both the good and the bad when it comes to being a woman in the world.
What inspired you to want to make a documentary of this kind?
Many reasons, but there was one instance in particular that I experienced a few months ago, that encouraged me to think more deeply about this project on a grand scale.
I spent some time in 2012 on a female hospital ward in the UK, and one of the major inspirations in wanting to get this documentary made was due to one of the conversations I had there.
Among the women sharing the ward space, there was a Ugandan woman who had immigrated to the U.K. in the 80s, a Pakistani student who came to England to study at university, a working class English single mother, and an upperclass English business woman who was married but had no children.
One evening on the ward, the Ugandan woman overheard me talking on the phone to my friend about feminism, and inquired into my stance as a feminist. This sparked a huge conversation about female stereotyping and our differing opinions about womens rights. All the women listed above got involved in the conversation, and I loved the sheer amount of viewpoints I was able to hear during the conversation.
As the discussion progressed, I began attributing the differences in our opinions to the fact we'd all experienced the same global society from different backgrounds and upbringings.
It really set off a train of thought I haven't been able to shake off since, which was the idea that at the end of the conversation, we all concluded that although we were all each battling the same situations our male dominated society was throwing at us every single day - we were battling the situations from different angles and standpoints due to the sheer fact we all varied so much in cultural experience, age, social class, religious belief and politcal preference.
It was a conversation that genuinely changed my whole entire outlook on how we as a gender should be battling oppression, and it heavily inspired me to look more deeply into what individual females think on a global scale, and that's how "Women Of The World" was born.
How are you going to do this? What steps are you going to take in order to ensure that every woman gets a voice?
I have a set of 5 questions that every single woman who gets involved with the project will have to answer. In summer 2013, I intend to travel around Europe with a production team, and interview women from various parts of the world (not only European countries) face to face and to get their opinions recorded and documented. I already have interviews scheduled with women ranging from established fashion designers, musicians and artists, as well as university professors, journalists, and entrepreneurs. I also have been in talks with various women with no major professions, but major opinions - and I'm really excited to get more interviews lined up as time goes on.
It is impossible for me to be able to visit every continent on earth, as the budget for such an endeavaour would be well into the 6 digit figures. This project is something I've been playing around with for some time now, and during the creation process the question of "How am I going to be get a worldwide viewpoint?" appeared very early on. After many months of debate and budget talks, I finally came to a brilliant conclusion - social media.
A documentary entitled "Life In A Day" inspired me very heavily with this decision. In the aforementioned documentary, they used social media and the internet as a tool to be able to document the experiences of people from all over the world, using online video submissions as the main source that helped them compile the various experiences that make up the documentary. So that's what I'm doing! In August 2013 I will have an entire website set up and dedicated to my documentary, with an easy 5 step process and guidlines for aspiring interviewees to submit me videos of them answering the 5 questions I'll have devised specially for the Women Of The World project.
However, even after the inclusion of both social media and face to face interviews, I know there could still be a limit to the type of women I interact with for the documentary, with the technology needed in order to access social media being difficult for some people to access in different countries - which is why I'm really excited to have various people offering to work on the project with me, who are wiling to film and interview people for the project not only in the Middle East, but also throughout the African continent, which is really really exciting and encouraging when it comes to achieving the projects inital goal. I really want to have a lot of voices heard, and stress the importance of diversity within the interviewing process, so I think this extra bit of teamwork will really help me achieve that
Nonetheless, the idea of incorporating both real life interviews and social media excites me greatly. The internet has been a huge part of my life since my childhood, in the days where I'd endure 20 minutes of dial-up soundfuzz in order to access the sheer amounts infinite information the world wide web offers. Now almost 12 years onward from that moment, I have a huge online network and prominent internet presence, and I feel like it only makes sense to have my love of the internet involved with my first major film project.
In short, what are you trying to achieve?
Well, a number of things. I want to break the barriers down on what it means to be a woman. I want to prove that there is no defined way a woman can be. I want to give women a safe space to express their grievances and loves of society, without feeling like their opinion is going to be altered and edited to fit a certain requirement. I want to give the chance for females from all walks of life to know that no matter what, no matter what they've been through or where they are, that they aren't alone in their oppression and mistreatment. But most importantly I want to be able to give voices to those in countries that don't normally get media attention in western society, and give women a chance to be heard, understood, and related to.
Rather than leave too tight of an agenda, I want to leave space for women to bring forth their opinions no matter their lifestyle and beliefs. There is no bias to the documentary other than that it is female opinion and female opinion only. I want to explore all types of thought imaginable, hopefully resulting in everybody who watches it coming to various conclusions on the subjects explored, with the overall hope that the documentary stimulates conversation, and opens up a new forum for global community progress.
I'm trying to raise £8,200 in order to fund this project, which is a pretty modest but accurate budget.
£4200 is the largest portion of the budget, breaking up into 3 sections:
- Production Equipment and Rental fees.
- Wage for my production team that will join me in traveling across Europe.
- Digital memory resources - this includes camera memory cards, an online cloud storage system (50gb) and external hard drives. This is one of the most vital and expensive parts of the budget. Since I am getting a large portion of the footage for the documentary from online submissions, I'm making sure that I will have the means to store and back up all of the videos and interviews acquired, with no room for accidental loss.
£3000 is the next part of the budget, breaking up into 3 sections:
- Costs for travel, which will predominately be via coach, with a one-way plane journey in order to meet the dates arranged with interviewees.
- Costs for hostel stays and other types of shelter
- Basic living costs (food + water, intercity transportation, insurance)
With the rest of the budget breaking down into:
- £600 towards what's needed to cover the Indiegogo fees, as well as the credit card/paypal withdrawl fees.
- £400 emergency, in case of accident, need for immediate travel, and loss prevention.
Here is how it's going to go:
- April 2013: If I manage to raise the money needed, I shall receive the funds around the 15th of April, and begin to organize my budget accordingly.
- May 2013: Schedule my interviews, arrange dates for meetings with my production team, and organize all the production materials needed for shooting. Also book the coaches and hostels in the cities we decide to shoot in.
- June 2013: Finalize the dates, prepare everyone for shooting, and prep my brain for the journey ahead.
- July 2013: Start filming! The cities we intend to visit include but are not limited to: Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Budapest, Lisbon, Vienna and Helsinki. A large portion of the interviews will also take place in Paris, which is close to where my parents are currently living, and none of the money raised will be going towards that stint of the journey. This will span over 3 weeks (before my 20th birthday on July 26th)
- August 2013: Have all the rewards affiliated with the donations listed above, packed up and sent to their respectful owners + Launch website needed for video submissions.
- September - November 2013: Sifting through hours upon hours of footage, and the beginning of Editing, Editing, and more Editing.
- December 2013: General online release of the documentary, as well as a limited edition DVD run.
- Spring 2014: Have the documentary fully prepped, package and ready for 2014 film festival submissions.
And Finally, an explanation as to why you should believe that I am the person to create and complete this documentary:
This project is something that I have spent copious amounts of time focusing on over the last 15 months. The biggest inspiration behind the idea, stems from a mixture of my life experience, my opinions, and my interests. Essentially, this documentary is a combination of two things I am deeply passionate about: femininity, and cultural understanding. I feel that through my upbringing and past experiences, I am the perfect person to make a documentary of this topic and scale.
Growing up, I was raised by a single mother in a house with four sisters. I had a predominately female upbringing that really shaped the way I view society today. As a self-proclaimed feminist, with a huge fervor for women's rights, I feel like I have the capacity and capability of producing a thought provoking documentary of high quality, dedicated solely to exploring female thought in the modern world. From 10 years old onward, I traveled and lived in a huge number of different places. I have lived in North America, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and have visited 90% of Europe, and am extremely experienced in discovering new places and analyzing new cultures.
When I was 14, I became extremely interested in the media of film and documentary making, and my biggest ambition in life is becoming a world renowned filmmaker. Now I am 19, and I feel like making a documentary of this magnitude could really give me a huge start in making a mark on our contemporary society, contributing to the change in the world that I'm passionate to see within my lifetime, as well as giving me the experience needed to fuel my ambition further. Making films, provoking thought, and analyzing the world are my deepest passions, and I feel like the time and dedication I have put into this project thus far, and the effort I will need to put into it in the coming months if funding goes well, will really cement these passions into place, forever.
Most importantly, I am extremely curious to see what kind of conversation and change I could stimulate through making a documentary about women on such a grand scale. By making Women Of The World, I feel like a lot of the questions and theories I have about our current society could be answered through it's creation, and it's eventual completion wouldn't only give people a chance to view the women of the world and their opinions, but it would also give me personally the chance to gain a better insight into my own questions and understandings of the world around me, and that reason alone is a major contributor toward my motivation for the project.
It doesn't stop at funding - even if you cannot donate to the project, there are many other ways you can help out! Share the link to this page on your facebook, blog or twitter accounts. Get your friends to check out the page and discuss the idea with you. Stimulate conversation in your workplace, university or school about the project. And of course, if I get complete funding, you will eventually be able to be a part of the interview process! (With updates on that coming shortly after the final pledge date).
If you're interested to know more, or want to talk to me about the project, feel free to contact me.
Big Shoutout to Contact Lens for letting me use their music in the Introduction Video above. And to all the girls who have helped me out over these last few months, you're all absolute stars <3
Thanks for reading and an even BIGGER thank you if you've donated. x