BFI Bursary Award- Screen Arts Institute. 13th March.

This week we had to make production folders for another group member's film and then pitch it to a producer. The making of the production folder was a huge learning curve. It is a big document, filled with images, comparable titles, an overview, scintillating loglines as well as budgets and return estimates. Not my natural territory. I was making a folder for a coming of age film about a young girl who falls for an elusive woman. It is an auteur, art house film through and through and while researching I realised how competitive this field of film making is. It is hard to get it seen by the right audiences. But this film has a genuinely unusual and unique story and tone  and it was my job to create a selling document that reflected this. There are great comparable film titles out there, female auteurs such as Andrea Arnold and Clio Barnard have been making exquisite examples for years. Breaking down a one million budget was a bit more of a challenge, discovering what Zoe Kravitz would actually demand for this film was an interesting insight. But it was certinaly thought provoking to be considering  financing and audience territories at such an early stage of the development process. Might one want to rethink a role or a setting to try and lure in more finacning or regional funding? My film is also an art house film, but as a female led, raucous comedy, I think that there is a large audience out there who are starved of such films. My colleague created an amazing production folder for my film, citing comparable titles like Appropriate Behaviour, Bridemaids and Frances Ha, all female led films which performed extremely well at the box office. Then we had to pitch it to a producer, which was a very interesting excercise. I am planning to write, direct and act in this feature film, a bold move but one well trodden in film history. However I quickly learned when pitching that I have to get use to exuding an extra terrestial level of  confidence in order to pacify the sceptical, male film industry. This is not something which comes easily to me and the systemic bias against women in the industry means that it can be very hard to convince others, and even at times yourself, of your ability to lead a project. But I know producers out there who are championing and nurturing female film makers and so I was not disheartened, in fact it was useful to be reminded of the uphill struggle that getting the finance can pose to any filmmaker, regardless of gender, ethnicty, age and all the other barriers out there for us. It was a great training excercise.