Founded in 2010 to celebrate short films by women, UnderWire Festival runs until November 23 and offers a packed schedule of screenings and seminars in East London. We’d especially like to draw your attention to BEV Presents: Short Films to Features this Saturday afternoon at The Yard theatre in Hackney Wick. Moderated by Birds Eye View’s creative director Kate Gerova, this event will discuss taking the difficult step from short films to features, with Strawberry Fields director Frances Lea in lively conversation around such topics as finance (getting it), location (finding it) and distribution (securing it). Individual tickets are a mere £5, or you can book a Saturday Pass for £25, which allows access to a variety of panels, workshops and guest screenings.
UnderWire 2013 starts later today in the Bar at The Yard with an Opening Night Party sponsored by STUDIO, the UK’s first movie magazine for women. As the publication’s founder and editor-in-chief Louise Robina Happé comments: “Having always liked the aesthetic of women’s magazines, readily taking pleasure in flicking through glossy pages of edgy fashion photography, I’ve always had difficulty finding articles I actually want to read… Having happily immersed myself into the world of film and entertainment from as early as I can remember, I have never been able to find a magazine that truly suited me. The laborious task of crossing from the women’s glossies on one side of a bookstore to the entertainment section on the other, only to catch quizzical stares from the surrounding men as to why I was in their turf, just wouldn’t cut it anymore.”
Attendees can meet the mag’s team ahead of the festival’s first shorts reel, the XX Award, which showcases film with female protagonists at their centre. Each of the UnderWire programmes celebrates a different aspect of screen craft, namely Dream Drafters (the Best Writer competition), Leading Ladies (Best Actor), Looking Glass (Best Cinematographer), Ring Masters (Best Producer), In the Cut (Best Editor) and of course Celluloid Sculptors (Best Director). There’s also an ASFF Presents: Best of 2013 selection of the winning films from Aesthetica Short Film Festival, which took place a few weeks ago in York.
The interface between sound and image is very well-represented, with a Celebration of Sound Drinks hosted by the Musicians’ Union and PCAM, followed by a Sonic Sirens competition screening to decide the Best Sound Designer. Supported by Imagem Creative Services, the She Scores programme will award composition, with tickets also allowing free entry to the panel discussion Synch: Matching Music to Pictures, featuring UnderWire’s first Best Composer winner Victoria Wijeratne alongside Imagem’s Synchronisation Management team, Rosie Hill and Rupert Hollier, plus special guests. In addition, Glasgow Short Film Festival Presents Scoring Time will see filmmaker Sam Firth in conversation with composer Fraya Thomsen, discussing the creation of their remote Scottish peninsula piece Stay the Same, which involved distilling 60 hours of footage into a 14-minute “meditation on time, solitude and isolation”.
Rib-tickling experts LOCO present LiveWire at the Yard, an night of live and filmed comedy by women, with their Challenging Comedy afternoon of “discussions, revelations, trade secrets and live workshops” offering further funny action over at Hackney Picturehouse. Shooting People and The Film Festival Doctor respectively host a Crowdfunding Masterclass and Short Film Surgery, while award-winning make-up artist and designer Morag Ross leads a BAFTA Crew Masterclass to talk about her processes and collaborations with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Sally Potter and Derek Jarman.
There’s a raft of thought-provoking chat in store courtesy of Girls on Film in Partnership with Little White Lies at the 71A Gallery. Said strand will tackle four hot button topics – the Bechdel Test, screen space for older women characters, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, representations of prostitution in cinema – while a separate She Shark Industries debate asks Why Are So Many Film Festival Directors Women?
You can explore these subjects, find details of various craft clinics and much, much more by perusing the full festival programme!