Last Thursday, the lovely Chloe Trayner (producer of the ‘Underwire Film Festival’) came to talk to us at RHUL about the London based ﬁlm festival; she brought along a fantastic showcase of last years ﬁlms to give us a taste of what to expect, as well as answering our questions.
‘Underwire’ is a festival celebrating and discussing short ﬁlms made by up and coming female ﬁlm makers; as well as various screenings, the week long event (19th-23rd) included panel discussions on women's representation in film.
The festival is run almost entirely by women, after being founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell, it focuses on the fact that women still make up a small minority of ﬁlm creatives and aims to help create a ‘more balanced industry’. Short ﬁlms are nominated for female director, screenwriter, cinematographer and editor awards and entries compete to win career based prizes - membership to organisations like ‘Directors UK’ or editorial suite time and training.
Chloe’s showcase of ﬁlms demonstrated the huge variety of films they screen, everything from music videos to a dramatic experimental piece called ‘Stormhouse’ in which the actors never spoke. It was really refreshing that the festival is so inclusive, it seemed to give women a huge amount of creative space and the chance to experiment with their ideas and create any type of ﬁlm they desire. This resulted in some striking pieces, a lot of which focused on feminist or feminine issues or points; pregnancy, women’s career choices, prejudice both against genders and nationalities. The topics stayed with us after hearing Chloe talk, a good demonstration of how the festival is achieving its aims by giving women creative space at the same time as spreading ideas and prompting discussion on signiﬁcant topics.
On top of the captivating nature of the ﬁlms, it was massively inspirational to talk to a woman like Chloe who has done so much with her career by such a young age. Her success is extremely encouraging especially to students studying ﬁlm and media but also generally to women with strong career aspirations, reminding us all that if we push ourselves hard enough we can achieve a huge amount.
Overall, it’s fantastic to see events and organisations in creative industries to begin to tackle the issue of gender bias in media representation of women and supporting people with by giving them a good starting point in their career. Hopefully this mentality and motivation will emerge in other industries.
- Natasha (Communications Officer)
Image at top of page: a poster in grey and pink, advertising the event described in this blog post, with a picture of Kathryn Bigelow behind a camera.