Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanks To A Few Special X-Files Fans, We Can All Believe...

Two Saturdays from today, in a small theater in Los Angeles, dozens and dozens of fans of The X-Files (or simply, X-Philes, if you will) will turn out for a charity screening of the two feature films and a Q&A with writer Frank Spotnitz and director Rob Bowman, moderated by TV Guide's Erin Fox. It is the first time in ten years that the original theatrical release (Fight The Future) is being shown on the big screen, which means some of the younger fans will be seeing it in all of its true film glory for the first time. Event organizers Patricia Steffy, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Caileigh Scott, and Karen Mendez didn't want to stop at giving them just another screening experience, though, so with a little help from Fox Home Entertainment and Gillian Anderson, they set to work creating a unique event where strangers can come together for a very worthy cause. And perhaps the best part is that these women did not have prior connections to The X-Files; they, too, were just fans who wanted to use the power of their numbers to do some good.

When the idea came to Rodriguez, Scott, and Mendez to set up "Inspired By Gillian" and throw such an event, the long-time fans who were active members of message boards and online groups never expected it to take off in the way that it has. They planned to rent a small one hundred and ninety seat theater at the Regency Fairfax and invite other diehard Philes they knew from those viral communities and have a fun afternoon enjoying their favorite on-screen duo. They recruited Steffy, though, about a month later to help reach out to media outlets because the event was growing dramatically simply through word of mouth and bulletins on MySpace and Facebook (they are handling all of the PR for this event themselves). After contacting one of the executives at Spotnitz' production company, Big Light, for help in getting copies of the film prints, the event was officially on Fox' radar, and even KROQ took notice, announcing the event information on Ralph's Friday afternoon broadcast.

The X-Files screening event will benefit Neurofibromatosis, Inc., which is a charity that fights to educate the public on the nervous system disorder that causes tumors to form on the nerves at any given time. It is a genetic disease, and it is one of the most common (one out of every three thousand births), but it is rarely talked about. It is also a cause that Anderson holds close to her heart, as her brother has been affected by the disease, and it is through her celebrity advocacy that these women even became aware of it in the first place. In fact, Anderson was so impressed with all these women have been able to do, she donated some autographed promotional photos for an online auction leading up to the event, including one from I Want To Believe also signed by David Duchovny. Proceeds from the items go to NF, as well.

And for those who are not local to Los Angeles and therefore can't make the screening, there is a "be there in spirit" party pack available for purchase on the website, which includes a commemorative program from the event and an opportunity to include a personal message in the guestbook that will be sent to Anderson as a thank you for all her help in making the event a success. But those that deserve the real thanks, though, are the women behind this event; they took it upon themselves to use their passion to fuel some real philanthropy and have never asked for a thing in return-- although if Spotnitz or Bowman offered them parts in any subsequent X-Files project, I'm sure they wouldn't turn it down!

Check back here in two weeks for exclusive coverage of this X-Files charity screening!


FoxE said...

Thank you so much for the lovely post, Danielle! Caileigh, Patricia, Liz and Karen are truly an inspiration. I've been to many charity events and met fans of every kind of show, but there is NOTHING like and X-Phile.

I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the event!

Kate, Dating in LA said...

Thank you so much for writing this article! We're keeping all conceivable things crossed that it's a great event for NF-- both in terms of awareness and in terms of a financial boost.