Championing Women’s Voices in Film | BirdBox.film Club | 7th April 7.30 pm

The number of women working in the industry reached a historic high in 2019, but men still outnumber women four to one in critical roles.

Women made up 20% of behind-the-scenes roles on the top 100 domestic grossing films of 2019, a sharp uptick from 16% in 2018, a study by the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University revealed. However, when it comes to critical jobs like the director and cinematographer, men continue to dominate.

Our event ‘Championing Women’s Voices In Film’ consisted of an all-female panel hosted by Urvisha from our friends at Big Picture Film Club. We wanted to shine a spotlight on the women making films in modern Britain, talking about the challenges women have faced in existing and succeeding in the industry. What is the industry’s view now, given all the cultural and societal change we have endured over the last year? What can we do as individuals and companies to create a more level playing field for people of all genders and backgrounds to enter and succeed in the creative industries?

Panel: 

Victoria Thomas – Writer / Director of House Party, Recipient of 1st Round of First Flights Short Film Fund.

Jane Gull – Director of My Feral Heart 

Urvisha – Big Picture Film Club Host  

Kirsty Bell – Founder of Goldfinch, Director of A Bird Flew In

Sadie Frost – Producer, Director and Actress

Trinity Tristan – Artist, Writer, Production & Costume Design 

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them”

As part of our Championing Women’s Voices In Film event, we have selected 6 films from female filmmakers that showcase the trials and tribulations of strong women from a whole plethora of walks of life.

A Private War

1 hr 50min | Biography, Crime, Drama

“Bravery is Not being Afraid to be afraid” – Marie Colvin 

Celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin(Rosamund Pike) is a woman who is as comfortable downing martinis with high society’s elite as she is staring down warlords and fleeing from gunfire. Driven by an abiding desire to bear witness and give voice to the voiceless, Colvin charges into danger, continually testing the limits between bravery and defiance.

Precious

1 hr 50min | Drama

“I’m gonna break through or somebody gonna breakthrough to me.” Precious 

Precious is an award-winning American drama film about an overweight, abused, illiterate teen. The movie was based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Precious starts the journey from oppression to self-determination when she has been offered to change into an alternative school under the guidance of Ms Rain. Now she has a chance to change her life. 

Precious received six nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Daniels, and Best Actress for Sidibe. Mo’Nique won the Best Supporting Actress award, while Geoffrey Fletcher won Best Adapted Screenplay, becoming the first African-American to win a screenplay award at the Oscars. 

Soufra

1 hr 50min | Documentary 

“There is no work in Lebanon and no future. Women spend all day at home. I feel like I am in prison” Mariam AlShaar

Mariam AlShaar is just one of the refugees living South of Beirut in Lebanon; she has spent her entire life in the 69-ear-old Burl El Barajneh refugee camp. Her inspirational social entrepreneurship changes her and many others’ lives. She launches a successful catering company called “Soufra” and then expands it into a food truck business with a team of fellow refugee women.

Soufra is far more than just a catering business. It has had a profound impact on women’s lives. Before, many of them say they felt hopeless, rarely leaving the camp. Now, they feel confident and excited about the future and are leaders in their community.

Whitney

2hr | Biography, Documentary, Music

“I wanted to show the world she wasn’t just this beautiful girl with the best voice who pissed it all away – I also wanted to understand myself how this blessed, talented person wound up dead. I never understood it – and I was there”. Nicole David

The documentary explores the life & death of one of the best-selling women recording artists of all time/actress -Whitney Houston, with never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive recordings, rare performances and interviews with the people who knew her best. More than 1,500 tapes of archival footage were found, including 250 masters, 2,000 stills and footage initially discovered on YouTube with Sam Dwyer as archive producer. Private footage was gathered from all over the world, including Japan, the Netherlands and Los Angeles.

My Feral Heart 

1hr 23min | Drama

‘There’s a lot to like here, including the thoughtful portrait of disability, director Jane Gull’s knack with performers of all ability, and the shimmering cinematography by Susanne Salavati’ The Guardian

Luke, an independent young man with Down’s syndrome, is forced to live in a care home after his elderly mother passes. He struggles to settle there, both frustrated at having his wings clipped by its rules and unimpressed by his new housemates. His disappointment with his new home soon turns to wonder when Luke discovers a way out and begins to explore the surrounding countryside. When he is caught sneaking out by Pete, a troubled young man who tends the gardens at home, the two strikes up an unlikely rapport: Pete covers for Luke, and in return, Luke helps Pete clear the park. On one illicit excursion to the adjoining field, Luke discovers a young girl desperate for his help.

Sylvia 

17min | Short

‘A remarkable piece with a fantastic central performance, Sylvia is a short film much like its namesake: reliable, not faultless but in pretty good condition, and able to provide you with a fantastic journey. ‘ UK Film Review

A loving family set off in their car on what seems like a carefree family outing. They sing, stop for ice- creams and play eye-spy. However, it becomes clear that this isn’t a happy outing after all and only once the car arrives does the actuality of the narrative fully manifest.

Comment

  1. So good to see you shining a spotlight on woman in the industry and well done in the supporting research. I’ll look forward to watching these films.

    +1
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