Underwire Film Festival/Visit from Chloe Trayner
Last Thursday, the lovely Chloe Trayner (producer of ‘Underwire’) came to talk 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 includes panel discussions (one of which femsoc are hoping to attend on the 23rd).
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 directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and editors 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 included a huge variety, everything from music videos to a dramatic experimental piece called ‘Stormhouse’ which included no speech. It was really interesting to see such variation and refreshing that the festival is so inclusive, it seemed to give women a huge amount of creative space and chance to experiment with their ideas and create any type of film they desire to. 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. They all stayed with you after hearing Chloe talk and really made you think which just shows how the festival is achieving it’s aims by giving women creative space at the same time as spreading knowledge and thought about significant topics.
As well as the inspiring nature of the films we were shown, 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 girls 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 people creating events and organisations to begin to tackle the issue of gender bias in the film industry and really giving people a good starting point in their career. Hopefully this mentality and motivation will emerge in other industries.