Cat directed + produced the annual PSA for NM Women in Film for the non-profit Enlace Comunitario.
Elance Comunitario, provides intervention and prevention services for those who have experienced domestic violence in the Latina immigrant community. Their Promotora Program works with women who have experienced domestic violence and teaches them personal development, communication and leadership skills to back into their communities and help change social norms. Learn more and donate at https://www.enlacenm.org. This PSA was produced by New Mexico Women in Film, All Girls Media, and Catharine E. Jones. We had a mostly female crew (writer, director, producers, cinematographer, assistant director, editor) and we also had 12 production assistant mentee girls from New Mexico Girls Make Movies on set with us, learning under the supervision of a professional film crew mentor.
Where can you outrun a weretiger? Only in Midnight, Texas. Playing Sheila Barone has been hands down one of the most memorable experiences on set. Escaping danger, busting into a church, and delivering a weretiger all by myself were just some of the highlights. A very welcoming cast and crew, the entire experience was so professional and fun: Rob J. Greenlea, our director kept us motivated and was great to collaborate with, the special effects make-up by Susan Laprelle was spot on and excellence, and to top it off it was also my birthday over the couple weeks we shot and my dear friend on crew, Ashley, had flowers for me in my trailer - a gracious and unforgettable gesture. Watch my episode on NBC Friday November 16th @ 9/8c.
Working on a Vince Gilligan show has been a goal I have held high since 2010. Getting close to being cast a handful of times on Better Call Saul and auditioning for the show into the double digits numbers - it feels like a relief to have been cast. I got to play a Junior Staffer in the D.A.'s office. The team I worked with was excellent! Which of course is expected, right? Working on a Gilligan show means that all details are painted with a fine brush, no broad strokes. So even if my "Nada" didn't make the cut, I have completion. Like the final exhale for finishing the marathon. All experiences provide growth and knowledge. On to the next one!
¡Ya Basta! ¡No mas! Enough is enough. No more.
What does breaking the cycle of domestic violence look like? CHANGE SOCIAL NORMS + Gender Equality + Self-Esteem + Healthy Relating + Consent + Male Allies + Social Justice
Last month I learned all of this from my new friends and fellow creative partners at Albuquerque's Enlace Comunitario. A nationally recognized organization, Elance Comunitario, provides intervention and prevention services for those who have experienced domestic violence in the Latina immigrant community.
Each year New Mexico Women in Film selects a non-profit to produce a public service announcement (PSA) video, as a way of giving back to the community. I was chosen to produce and direct this year's PSA. Honored and humbled by the task, I knew this experience would force me to grow. Navigating the myriad of excellent choices, I was drawn to Enlace. Their mission, staff and welcoming space were immediate winners, though what sealed the partnership is their primary goal of transforming communities through empowerment, leadership, and gender equality.
The story of the PSA focuses on the prevention work of the Promotora Program at Enlace. The program works with women who have experienced domestic violence and teaches them personal development, communication and leadership. They take these skills back into their communities and work on raising awareness of changing social norms, preventing teen dating violence and much more.
A very unique addition to this year's PSA was that for the first time we partnered with New Mexico Girls Make Movies to have about 12 girls on set as production assistants that would be mentored by our crew, which consisted of IATSE local 480 members and students from Central New Mexico Community College. We assembled from different professional backgrounds, ages, nationalities, genders, languages, and experience levels to create story.
I am grateful to have shared the space with the Promotoras, Enlace staff, the wonderful teachers and students at CNM, our compassionate crew, and the truly amazing girls at NM Girls Makes Movies. I want to give a personal shout out to Jules Salinas and Ana Lopez at Enlace, my Co-Producer Barb Odell, UPM Amber LaRae Earls, Christine McHugh at NMWIF, and Jocelyn Jansons at NMGMM.
It was my first bi-lingual script and set. A bucket list moment that I didn't know I had until it was happening. An unforgettable experience that I will always cherish deeply.
The most important lesson Enlace taught me is that to truly prevent domestic violence we have to start with gender equality.
Stand with us - if you want to share in our mission to change social norms and promote gender equality, please share this post, donate to Enlace, attend a Women in Film event and vote for leaders who believe in social justice and basic rights for all humans.
Stay tuned for the PSA to come out in December.
Σε αγαπώ Ελλάδα
I love you, Greece.
That’s my truth.
I have felt this truth in my bones my whole life. I knew this truth well before I knew what to say meeting my father for the first time when I was 18 years old. I knew this truth was greater than the pain of divorce, sexual abuse, and domestic violence that came from the man who gave me my Greek blood.
In this quest of pursuing a career in the arts I chose to make acting my main focus for the first 10 years. Carrying my proud Greek last name of Pilafas with me. My grandmother, mother, brother, and I all have different last names. All of us have different colored eyes. Differences within the fragments that are pieces of the whole. I went by Pilafas and not my mom’s name to remember my father.
But how do we remember what we don’t fully understand?
With so many Me Too stories being shared, I ask how do we take the pain of remembering with us? In our memories, bodies, our cells and for me, in my DNA. It’s pieces of the whole that make us - a fact I have to come embrace as I have become older. I was on a SAG-AFTRA panel about Diversity and Women’s issues, and we discussed how to combat the sexual harassment in the industry. We discussed survival, awareness, support, and education. We heard stories of women using their voices to report the abuse, and stop it before it gets worse. It’s vital to see positive examples of how to handle a situation like this. Though, I poised the question to the group how to do we take the person who inflicts pain or victimizes others with us? Take them with us on our collective path to greater consciousness?
Big picture questions like this have consumed me in the current political climate. The whole of our country’s soul feels weighted down by extremes. How do we take the "bully on the playground" with us? How do we get a greater view past political lines and emotions and proceed with peaceful compassion first? Examining who we give our power to? Our behaviors to each other and what have missed or need to pick up again from history’s lessons?
My husband and I were in search of a greater perspective. With this in mind we embarked upon a month-long backpacking trip through Europe. We visited seven countries. We were reminded not just how big but how old the world is. All that the earth has witnessed and endured. We were reminded of all that we are thankful for, all we take for granted. The trip cracked us open and made us yearn for more and appreciate deeply what we have back home.
How do we cope, heal, wake-up and reconnect with each other and find a sustainable future through each other? My work is to answer this call with creativity and art.
The beginning of my 30’s has been full of moments where I feel myself growing up into who I am meant to be. This trip to Europe was a catapult for that mature shift. I worked with healers to understand the changes happening within and around me. It helped me grasp that visiting Greece was completion to a circle of life I knew I needed to experience. To put to rest with compassion all of the past with my father and to completely honor my Grecian roots with deep love. With all of this divine shift I knew it was time to own my married name of Jones as my identity in totality. I knew the day would come, I just didn't know when. Not until I returned “home” to Greece.
Thank you, Greece
Cat is beyond honored to be selected as the official spokesperson for New Mexico-based non-profit Women 2 Be.
Many exciting events are coming to the 505 for Women 2 Be. I will be posting events and sharing opportunities to make a difference in girls and women's lives around the world. We are graciously accepting donations, please visit our website.
Women To Be's mission:
We distribute ‘kits’ of underwear and washable sanitary pads to girls who too often live with nothing.Access to underwear and sanitary pads contribute to girls’ overall health and success.Our ‘kits’ last up to three years! We also provide a sex ed class and a calendar to help avoid unintended pregnancy.
Bringing a little more Xanadu into the world.