Meet Hansi Oppenheimer the ultimate fangrrl and founder of SqueeCon


Hansi Oppenheimer is the creator of Squee! The Fangirl Documentary Project and the founder of SqueeCon. She dropped by our offices to talk about her passion for all things pop culture and what is on her horizon.

Hansi Oppenheimer is a woman of many talents. Not only is she a documentarian but now she is adding con impresario to her list of credits. We were fortunate enough that she was able to take some time from her busy schedule to sit down with us at 1428 Elm.

Find out what motivates her and why she is passionate about film, fandoms and empowering artistic women.

The Interview

The Fangrrl Chronicles

1428 Elm: How did you get the idea for the Squee FanGrrl Project?  

Hansi Oppenheimer: Looking back, I can see I was always a fangrrl (I lost it when I got a signed photo of Adam West as Batman at 6 years old) but I only became aware of it while I was making my feature documentary, Color Me Obsessed, an oral history of The Replacements as told by their fans (released in 2011).

I spent a lot of time on the old message boards in the early 2000’s, finding other fans and meeting up with them at shows. That film took almost ten years and I vowed that I’d never make another film again but a few years later I had an idea about exploring what it means to be a woman in fandom.

The internet had become a war zone where females were often belittled for being fans but I had found a lot of communities of women where we bonded over our fandoms, supported each other and ended up becoming close friends.

I was thrilled to discover a sisterhood of women in fandom and see all the transmedia women that were creating fanart, fanfic, fancrafting, ‘zines etc. Despite the stereotype of screaming teenagers, there are many women in fandom that are academics, teachers, librarians, writers and creators.

I wanted to show that being a fangrrl could be an empowering experience and to encourage other women to not be ashamed of their passions. That’s where the title Squee came from- it’s fangrrl speak for expressing joy or delight.

You Have to Love What You Do

Hansi Oppenheimer (Cont.): Although women have been the unsung heroes of fandom since the Golden Age of Hollywood, there isn’t much recorded, although that is changing with the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) and with the many academic Fan Studies programs becoming more popular.

My work in documentary is grounded in oral histories, so this seemed like an important and interesting area to explore. I realized after 10 years on The Replacements doc, I had better love the subject because I might have to live with it for a decade or more.  I started shooting for Squee! in 2012 and so far, I’m still fascinated with all the different aspects of it, so it’s become an umbrella under which I can explore many aspects off fandom and pop culture.

I initially was going to make a feature but after a lot of trial and error, I discovered a few other women (Chinisha Scott, Lynn Zubernis) that work well with me to create the short form episodes of what became the Squee! web-series. Although Squee! has now become an all-encompassing title for my vlogs, con coverage, celebrity interviews and of course SqueeCon.

Pop Culture Runs Deep

1428 Elm: Tell us about your background in filmmaking.

HO: I grew up around film and TV. My father worked at CBS and my mom ran a prop shop. I’ve been making art of one kind or another since I was a kid. In my 20’s I was hanging out with the Abstract Expressionists at Mickey Ruskin’s bars (he owned Max’s Kansas City among other venues) making Fluxus kinds of works, collecting pieces from different artists based on a prompt and packaging them together.

I’m actually still making the same kind of work, often collecting fan-vids from people and then editing them together into a narrative. In the early 80’s, I started playing with 8 MM & 16 MM film and then with video.

I went to film school in my 30’s and ended up as the TA for two documentary filmmakers. My first short documentary Riding The Broom explored Wiccan love spells and I got a distribution deal with Hypnotic which was the internet arm of Universal Pictures.

Color Me Obsessed did fairly well and can be seen on Amazon Prime. We’ve had a few offers for distribution of Squee! but I prefer to own and control my work, at this point.

Our two episodes of Squee! Identifying As A Fangirl and Squee! Costuming, Cosplay & Identity have screened at dozens of festivals and we’ve received 2 Best Documentary Awards and multiple Semi-Finalist awards.

Additionally, I often screen them at cons and present panels on women & fandom. My bio and our screening laurels can be seen at this link.

The Rise of SqueeCon

1428 Elm: SqueeCon is coming up in over a month. What inspired you to create this event? It is a pretty substantial undertaking.

HO: Honestly, it kind of fell in my lap. My niece lives close to the venue and pitched a screening of Squee!. They loved the idea and once we discussed it, I felt that it was a great opportunity to help support & promote other women’s work.

We have a number of amazing cosplay guests attending  and performances by Cat Smith & Tea Time For Mad Girls, screenings include footage from Annalise Ophelian’s docu-series about women in Star Wars fandom; Looking For Leia, Alana King’s short Wayward: The Documentary about the fan campaign to get a spin-off of Supernatural with stars Kim Rhodes & Brian Buckmaster, a premiere of our new Squee! episode about women characters in media and how they inspire us as well as a block of short films by women.

We will also have vendors, a bar, a food truck and nerd karaoke to close out the evening. I’m hoping to make this a success so that we can travel around the country and create a network to support & promote fangrrl works in other areas.

We are accepting submissions for short films by women, femmes and female identifying creators at Film Freeway. Tickets can be purchased at here. And if anyone would like to be a vendor or performer they can email

Event Info:


  • 12/1/18 1-9 pm
  • Lyric Hall Theater
  • 827 Whalley Avenue
  • New Haven, CT

Future Plans

1428 Elm: What are your future plans for your web series and SqueeCon?

HO: We are closing the three-webisode arc that featured cosplay with the episode that will screen at SqueeCon. We haven’t quite settled on the topic for the next three but are considering the topics of transmedia and alternative narratives.

SqueeCon – we hope it’s successful enough to take it on the road and appreciate any support in spreading the word, buying tickets, being vendors or submitting films.

Related Story. SqueeCon hits New Haven in December: All creators and fans on deck!. light

Thank you to Hansi Oppenheimer for spending time with us. You can follow her on Twitter @troubledgirl, on Facebook and on Instagram @squeefilmmaker for further information.

What do you think about Hansi Oppenheimer and SqueeCon? Will you be attending? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below. We want to hear from you.