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Women’s Perspective: Filmmaker focuses on female creative energy

While Hollywood is looking to get more women into the director’s seat, Catharine Pilafas is blazing her own trail.

The New Mexico resident has been a staple in the local film and TV scene for years.

As her acting career has grown, she’s taken a slight turn into directing.

And it all started with directing the her husband’s book trailer for “Vendetta of Felipe Espinosa.”

“I’m an actor and I’m a director,” she says. “When I’m directing, I can feel the creativity channeling through me. It’s like divine guidance. And when you open yourself up, you just want more of it.”

Last spring, Pilafas again sat in the director’s chair and created “Pinky Promise,” for the international Flicks4Chicks contest.

“My team, Lumos Productions – Amy Baklini, Lauren Myers, and Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin – had a month to make a film, with this following prompt provided by F4C: two co-workers of different ethnicity learn something new about each other at an office work party,” she says. “And the story needed to pass the Bechdel test, which is two named women on screen not talking about a man.”

She won best director.

The accolades keep rolling in for the filmmaker.

Pilafas won first place for the “In (H)er (D)irection Film Competition from the Chimaera Project.

The organization created a contest for female filmmakers to make a two-minute film about why they direct, what unique qualities they bring to directing and challenges they have faced as a female filmmaker.

The Chimaera Project’s advisory board includes Anjelica Huston and Octavia Spencer.

“I’m pretty floored by the whole thing,” she says. “It’s important for female directors to get some recognition.”

Pilafas won a cash prize, which she is putting toward another project with Glamour magazine.

Her second film, “Seagull,” is gearing up for the festival circuit.

The film is an all-female World War II drama that once again passes the Bechdel test,” she says.

“It will screen at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience Women Who Rock block on June 10,” she says. “Ultimately, my on-set experiences on set, and working alongside male but most predominantly female crew, I have come up with a mantra for my projects: to champion female creative energy at every turn. ”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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