For the first time since ancient cultures, where stories were passed down from generation to generation through verbal communication…the world has now found a new, communal space to share and grow its stories that represent humanity. … In other words, stories are no longer simply stories, they are world views that will evolve with discussion, creation, and reviewIn that communal space, here on the internet, Development is linked with an informal, global, transmedial project to increase the numbers of feature films that women write and direct, and that tell stories about women's lives. (I hope that New Zealand will be the first country in the world where women write and direct half of all features. But I’m not holding my breath.)
This blog, and Kyna Morgan’s sister blog over at HerFilm, are as essential to the Development project as writing another treatment for Development-the-movie, and finding partners to work with on its production. So, looking at footage with editor Lala Rolls, going to meetings with Erica, and re-working the website with Meredith Crowe mix with tweeting about the women’s film preservation fund in New York and about global opportunities for women storytellers, contributing on FB and blogs, staying in touch with others who care about women’s movie-making, and feeling appreciative of their responses and support.
I find other filmmakers fascinating of course and they teach me heaps, the women especially.
Campbell X has just finished shooting Stud Life (check out the link for some great pix) and I’ve learned from her marvellous tagline: Who did you wake up with today? Your lover or your best friend? And its expansion:
Stud Life is a light take on the darker side of queer street life in London…a post-modern LGBT She´s Gotta Have It for the YouTube generation.She also recently posted a wonderful alternative to the Guardian’s 100 Power People in Film on her blog—where the banner reads when the lioness can tell her story, the hunter no longer controls the tale.
And I’ve admired Afia Nathaniel’s beautiful funding campaign for her thriller Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls:
From a village in Pakistan, a young mother sets out on an extraordinary and dangerous journey to save her eight year old daughter from the fate of an arranged marriage to a powerful warlord.
And I’ve wondered why, although Afia has some impressive investors, she still needs funding. As does Campbell X. What needs to happen for films like these to find funding more easily?
And there’s lots of reading and thinking involved. Who would have thought that women actors would transform independent filmmaking, so that many strong female stories are making it onto film just because these actors have the clout to get their pet film projects made? What actors might attract funding to projects like Stud Life and Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls, as producers or as actors?
Among stories from and about women filmmakers, a complex mix because each of us has her own realities and her own way of expressing them, my favorite non-fiction of recent weeks—alongside Peter Strickland’s response to the latest Development treatment, and the help two generous and talented mates have given me with my next version of the treatment—is Nicola Depuis’ MA thesis, from University College, Cork, Ireland, entitled: Celluloid Suppression: A Study of Irish Female Screenwriters and their Position in the Irish Film Industry. (I include emails and their attachments in Development's transmedia, especially emails I'd never have got without the connections to women's filmmaking transmedial events.) I was fascinated to read Nicola's thesis because, as Nicola points out, New Zealand is the closest English-speaking country to Ireland on the population index and is an island-country like Ireland, with a secondary indigenous language that is rarely utilized on film. What is different? What is the same? And I was pleased that—thanks to WIFTNZ—I’d also been able to share my PhD Report to the Industrywith her when she was collecting information.