The film I directed as my graduate project starring Emilie Degioanni and Umer Farooq will be screening in Manchester on the 11th of September as part of Scalarama- Directed by Women month in Gullivers NQ at 7:15pm thanks to Film Vault Manchester.
Facebook Event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/446978798804388/
and you can find out more here: http://filmvaultxl.wixsite.com/filmvaultpresents/news
I hope to see you there! The event is FREE!
An exploration of the feminist zine community in Manchester.
A quick update post about the screening of my film Translucent which is at an LGBT short films night hosted by the Nottingham Alternative Film Network called “Translucence” on the 20th of September at 8pm in the Lord Roberts and costs £5.
“Translucent is an uplifting, unobtrusive exploration of self-identity that discusses being transgender in a way that seems highly refreshing and open.”
Sadly, I cannot attend but I hope you will make it if you can!
Here is my latest short film Sybil which I wrote, directed and edited. It is based on an old English folktale called “Bearnshaw tower and Lady Sybil”. This is the first fiction film I have written and directed. I was inspired to make this when I saw The Tale of the Princess Kaguya at the cornerhouse a few months ago, which is based on the oldest Japanese folktale in known history. I went home and did some research into the lesser known English folklore. I came across the story of Lady Sybil and adapted it into an original, modern story. The film ended up being quite experimental. The main themes in Sybil are that of escape, fantasy and entrapment. It was important for me when writing to not give the protagonist dialogue, I wanted to give a more key focus on the sound design and visual aspects of the film which is something I really wanted to try. I did some research into how I wanted to add in the more fantasy style elements to the film visually, such as using the projector, lighting and a rotating star light for children. I was inspired by a youtube video showing how light and colour changed perceptions and shape of the human face and wanted to experiment with that.
To be honest, the film did not turn out the way I wanted due to mistakes, time and equipment failures but we did our best!
On Saturday the 30th of May my film Translucent will be screening at Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. It is screening in a section called “A World I call Mine” which has a selection of short films. Some of the big films screening at the festival are The Way He looks, Love is Strange and Appropriate Behaviour. It’s so exciting to have my film playing at this festival alongside these great LGBT films.
Translucent will be played at 2pm on 30/05/15 in the Goethe-Insituts (Max Mueller Bhavan) Venue. Which is next to the Jahangir Art Gallery.
Although I am not able to attend the festival I hope that if any of my readers live in Mumbai you will go and support the festival!
A full list of the films showing and more information can be found here:
I am currently working on a short fiction film with the working title “Sybil”. I went to Lyme Park in Stockport earlier today to do some test & preliminary shots for the film which we are shooting next week.
The film is based on an old English folktale called “Bearnshaw tower and Lady Sybil”. I look forward to sharing it with you!
Another farewell film from Studio Ghibli as Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday) calls The Tale of the Princess Kaguya his final film. Today I went to a double bill screening at the Cornerhouse with Morayo to see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (English subtitled version), and Isao Takahata and His Tale of the Princess Kaguya which is a documentary about the making of the film.
Based on a famous 10th Century Japanese folktale titled The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, which is considered the oldest existing Japanese prose. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya centres around a tiny princess who is found by a bamboo cutter inside the bamboo, she turns into a baby and is raised by him and his wife. It’s a tragic story about life and regret that is very much rooted in Japanese culture.
Like Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises it was a very personal project for Takahata. The animation was beautiful, I’ve never seen anything like it. They used messy, rough lined sketches to animate the characters and bring them to life against watercoloured backgrounds. Breaking away from Studio Ghibli’s usual cel animation technique, Isao Takahata explained in the documentary that this was to give the animation passion. The style definitely worked for this film as they could show the character of Princess Kaguya with so much spirit and life. The film is completely unique in its style and mesmerising to watch. The documentary was incredibly interesting, it showed the animation process and all the set backs production had. The film took 8 years to make because of how different the animation is in this film but they definitely ended up making something special.
I loved the character of the Princess Kaguya. She was such an interesting character, longing to live life to the full. She, as a character was very relatable and had a lot of depth and personality which was great to see. She spends much of the film locked up in frustrating traditions and customs that she is desperate to escape from. The whole film was very human centred, it was about human emotion, life and desire.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It’s very different to other Ghibli films but very beautiful.
On Saturday the 28th of February my film “Translucent” was screened at the Queer as Film event in London. This was the first time the film had been shown outside of my University plus I did a Q&A afterwards. There were 7 short films shown in total all with a theme of LGBT. There was a range of funny and sad films, some silly and others far more dark and serious. Queer as Film was founded in 2009 by Robert Gershinson and Craig Ford and was hosted by comedian Tom Allen.
The event was really great, laid back and had a friendly, supportive atmosphere which made me slightly less nervous to do the Q&A after the screening! The other films shown were good, a particular favourite being “A Little bit Country” by Amy Coop which compared coming out as a country music fan to coming out as gay which was very funny and poignant.
For my film “Translucent” I got a really good response, and I’m very happy with how it went. I’m grateful to the people at Queer as Film for selecting it! Below is my Q&A.
Written and Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (who is nominated for 2 Oscars for this film), Birdman tells the story of a washed up former blockbuster film star best known for playing an iconic superhero called “Birdman”. It follows the rehearsals and previews leading up to his opening night on broadway. It focuses on his relationship with his family, his ego and art. When I first came out of seeing this film I was slightly speechless, I had no idea what my opinion of it was. I think that Birdman is one of those films you really have to let sink in and process.
Filmmaking wise, it was incredibly interesting due to the long shots following the actors down the winding corridors of the theatre and clever editing techniques, the whole film felt like one continuous shot and in that way it brought you deeper into the film and made you feel more connected to the characters. The cinematography was fantastic, especially the colouring and lighting. Another interesting element was the soundtrack which was almost exclusively drums, which kind of felt like a drum role up to the pinnacle moment on opening night of the broadway show in this film. It also felt like a drum based street performance which is reflected in the film a few times when the characters are walking through the streets of New York and I thought that was really different and innovative.
One of the most interesting themes I found in this film was the idea of a true actor. There’s a lot of talk about truth in this film, about being honest with what you are. This is highlighted by Edward Norton’s character Mike (Oscar Nominated) who feels true on stage but false in real life. Protagonist Riggan (Michael Keaton) struggles with this because he wants to be seen as an actor but is seen as a celebrity. Although it’s not explicitly mentioned it’s about the film industry and whether you’re a real actor if you appear in a superhero epic rather than for example indie films. So I definitely think the casting of Michael Keaton, former Batman was a great choice. Current actors and films are mentioned such as Iron Man which again brings you closer into this world and makes you think upon this idea of true acting and the notion of “selling out”. Michael Keaton’s Oscar nominated performance in this film is fantastic, he shows this struggle with his ego incredibly well and the father-daughter relationship portrayed with Emma Stone (also Oscar nominated) was also very believable and compelling.
The most talked about scene in this film is Riggan’s monologue about critics. This occurs after an important critic says she’ll destroy his play without even viewing it because she hates who he is and what he stands for in terms of culture (again sell out vs true acting). He talks about how critics just slap a label on art instead of talking about the technique and meaning. I think this is what resonates with a lot of people when they come to review this film because it’s something everyone who has ever reviewed art has been guilty of and I think it’s interesting to see that highlighted so poignantly in this film.
The film is definitely full of surprises and gets very strange at times but it is a very interesting watch.