BIRDS’ EYE VIEW’S RECLAIM THE FRAME – INFLUENCER PROJECT 2018
4 FILMS. 5 CITIES. 6 CINEMAS
April 16th, and an impressive turnout at St James’, Piccadilly, saw the launch of our mission to draw ever-greater audiences to films by women to showcase a wider perspective of the world. Leading the charge was Birds’ Eye View’s director, Mia Bays and Reclaim The Frame curator & creative producer, Jo Duncombe, with an inspiring ‘TED-like’ talk.
A whistle-stop tour of the country followed, and the number of Birds’ Eye View Influencers (BEVIs) who have so far signed-up (at the time of writing: 03.05.18) is 379 and rising! Here’s what our Super BEVIS had to say about #TimesUp on a one-eyed perspective on the world!
The launch event went well, it was great to see a lot of new faces in the crowd, people that aren’t necessarily already ingrained in the indie cinema community. The general support for the idea behind Reclaim The Frame was well received and people were chatting and networking afterwards; making new connections and generally having a good time! I was pleased to see a reasonable split between women and men in the audience too.
I signed up because I strongly believe in positive discrimination when it comes to gender and ethnic parity in all industries. We need to proactively get behind women in the film industry and demonstrate to venues, programmers and cinemas that female directors or writers can get bums on seats. The only way we can do this is by getting tickets sold and using our networks to spread the word.
I’m hoping that this project will repeatedly prove, through the four films, that these films can sell-out a screening, I’d like to bring new faces to the Tyneside Cinema and be able to trust that the project has a legacy beyond the four films, in that those people who engage with us this year will continue to do so.
Laura Rothwell is the founder of a marketing and PR agency based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Crystallised. They work only in the arts, culture, film and creative sectors. In the Crystallised team, there are six women: 36% of the clients we work with have been in film specifically, from BFI FAN Film Hubs to the BFI’s New Releases Strategy, to marketing for specific films for Curzon and Altitude; including the likes of Suffragette, Mustang, Sonita, Daphne, I Am Not A Witch. She considers herself to be a credible, well-informed, creative marketer and ardent feminist, who strongly believes in the need for positive-discrimination in the workplace and across industries.
SUPER BEVI, NATALIE YESUFU EDWARDS – BIRMINGHAM LAUNCH 23rd APRIL
I decided to get involved in this campaign because I am evangelical about inclusivity – especially in the regions – and especially the West Midlands. More representation means more choice and a broader audience seeing more films by women, which, in the long-term, is better for society… and the economy!
I believe it is essential to team up with other like-mined organisations in the fight for equality of opportunity. “Reclaim The Frame”, was a chance to team up with Birds’ Eye Director, Mia Bays, who, in my opinion, is a powerhouse who shares the same values as me. Furthermore, it was a chance to mobilise the enthusiastic film community in Birmingham who feel marginalised by the lack of opportunities in the region. Like Mia, I want to use my Network to promote films from the female gaze – using Birmingham as a city to showcase these films was a collaboration I could not resist!
I was ecstatic with the turnout for the Reclaim The Frame launch. It was a diverse bunch, and not just from the creative sector – that’s what struck me the most – it’s all about reaching out to people with a love of film. It was refreshing to have an engaging debate about the female gaze – although not everyone was comfortable defining exactly what that was! Nevertheless, it was exciting to see a galvanised community come together to work on a great cause. #TimesUp on a one-eyed perspective on the world!
Natalie Yesufu Edwards is a Birmingham-born producer and actor and owner of Transition Stage Company. She has worked in Independent Film, Theatre and Tv in UK and USA for eight years. Living in New York, she developed an appetite for producing and entrepreneurialism, realising there wasn’t a platform for international visual artist creative graduates to get professional credits. Transition Stage Company facilitated independent film productions, also created the conditions where actors and filmmakers could get their work seen through Events, Theatre and cinema in Manhattan. Natalie returned to Birmingham to complete a Masters in Acting and launched Transition Stage Company in Birmingham with its first Pilot awards show ‘Enter Stage Write’ which was a success with Channel 4 executive commissionaire of Drama Lee Mason as its headline judge
SUPER BEVI, GARY WILLIAMS – MANCHESTER LAUNCH 24th APRIL
The launch event went really well…in typical awful Manchester rain it was great to see such a great cross section of people in attendance…I felt a great kinship with Agnes the actual real-life baby! A feminist in the making!
I’m part of the project because, as Manchester’s LGBTQI Film Club Make A Scene, I’m interested in otherness in cinema whether that’s queer films, finding different (especially camp) readings of film and championing anything that isn’t the dominant gaze or traditionally cis straight male narrative in cinema and TV. That was the phrasing we cracked in this meeting…we’re here to champion the non-dominant gaze.
I’m excited to see some new cinema by new voices and meet new people who are gagging for something different on the cinema screen. We can’t wait to prove there is a desire for women’s voices and stories and an audience waiting for them!
Gary Williams runs Make A Scene the LGBTQI film club based in Manchester, they have been following and promoting diversity in film since beginning their weekly newsletter, social media and website.
Recent film discussions have been around Shape of Water, Ladybird, A Fantastic Woman and Call Me By Your Name and creating debates with members about who is behind and in front of the camera – and whether they are the “right people” to be telling these stories and who could be telling these stories instead.
He is well placed within Manchester’s Independent film scene, have a great relationship with HOME, having worked on grassroots promotion for A Fantastic Woman and 120 BPM as well as having good links with other film clubs, networks and influencers.
SUPER BEVIS, KATHERINE PEBERDY & CHARLOTTE MCGUINNESS – PLYMOUTH LAUNCH 25th April
Our launch event was really well attended, with plenty of lively and enthusiastic debate. Mia and Jo made the discussion accessible and not too academic. It was good to see a mix of genders present.
I was not aware until I started working at Plymouth Arts Centre nearly 5 years ago the huge power difference between men and women in the film industry, and how much more difficult it is for women who want to write, produce and act in films – and I am keen to help do something about it. We will do all we can at PAC to help redress this balance. The first step was our early adoption of the F-Rating, and The Reclaim the Frame is another fantastic opportunity for us to introduce people to some fantastic films made by women, and to empower them to spread the word amongst their friends.
Helping to put together a group of people who enjoy getting together to watch and talk about films made by women.
Katherine Peberdy is a digital creative based in the South West. With a background in digital content production and public relations, and a passion for all things film, she is currently part of the marketing teams at the nationally acclaimed Plymouth Arts Centre and specialist art institution Plymouth College of Art.
She also assists the Rebel Film Festival team with their social media platforms, along with interviewing directors, screenwriters and producers to be published on their website.
Charlotte McGuinness is Marketing Manager at Plymouth Arts Centre, building audiences and raising the profile of its well-loved independent cinema and contemporary art gallery. Her background is in English Literature, Fine Art and Digital Design. She runs her own digital design business, specialising in web design and illustration. She moved to Plymouth in 2012 after several years living and working in the north of England.