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TO MARK International day of friendship, HERE’S BETSY finlay-SHEIL’S Tribute.

Updated: May 10, 2023

 ‘Tribute to friendship’.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”  

Céline Sciamma

International Day of Friendship is a day to appreciate and promote friendships from all backgrounds. Celebrated across the globe. Friendships have and always will be an integral part of my life, as I’m sure they will be to everyone, they are something to be cherished. Exploring my current friendships, I see an array of timescales – some new friends in recent months, some of whom I cannot even remember the beginning of our friendship – but every relationship I maintain allows me to grow with that person.

As we celebrate International Day of Friendship, we should celebrate the friends who have made a difference in our lives, the ones who will show up and offer you the love and support you deserve wherever you are in life. I will eternally be grateful for my friends – no matter how new or old our relationship is. 

I fell in love with Sciamma’s work initially when I watched Girlhood last year, my love only grew when I saw Petite Maman at my local cinema – it was the first time I had cried in front of the newly found friends I had made in my film course. Sciamma’s pivotal film for me, however, was Portrait of a Lady on Fire, her dealings with love, friendship and trust are so effortlessly executed. Sciamma is an iconic female-queer director of the 21st century and one I look up to significantly – she is a perfect choice for a film on friendship.


Girlhood (2014)

Girlhood was a transformative coming-of-age for me. Sciamma deals with navigating not only yourself – but the city you live in, and your newfound friends in a complex and inspiring way. Girlhood explores the trivialities of friendship and the importance of finding your crowd and we watch teenage Marieme transform into ‘Vic’ as she faces defining moments in her youth. This film is described by Sciamma herself as a “tribute to friendship” Girlhood is a perfect film to explore how your friendships can not only shape you but allow you to escape from yourself and the path you believed you were trapped within. Teenage life is something so complex for many people, and Sciamma shows through girlhood the importance of having friends during this time. I know for a fact that I was searching for a long time during my teenage years until I found my crowd, my group of people, and it felt so special when I did. This film is a perfect watch if you’re still discovering where you stand in the world, and the freedom your friends may lead you to. 

Click HERE for where to watch Girlhood

Petite Maman (2021)

“We only meet our mothers politically when we grow up. We understand the decisions they made and the specific pressures they were under. The political system. The reproductive system. At some point we read the world the same as they did. But through fiction, through time-travel, we can do it from a place of equality.” Céline Sciamma

Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman is a beautifully crafted and sensitive story – exploring the intrinsic link between a mother and daughter’s relationship and the friendship that can sprout from it. Petite Maman is enigmatic and subtle but allows you to fall in love with the magic that Sciamma creates. The bond she showcases within this minute film is gigantic – sometimes your mum really can be your best friend. It reminded me as I grow up, that my mum is always going to be not only my mother and mentor in many ways but also my oldest friend. Sciamma’s film is playful and fun – it is a perfect film to watch with your friends, your sisters, or your mum. 

Click HERE for where to watch Petite Maman 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)  

“It’s trying to embody how sorority can abolish social hierarchy but within a collective, small group with a kind of friendship.” 

Céline Sciamma

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is not only a meticulously crafted love story but also a story of friendship between three women. The understated relationship between leads Marianne and Heloise and the housemaid Sophie is tender and sweet. Sophie follows the leads within this story, being their one confidant. The film captures the importance of female friendship as Sophie is supported by the women within an invasive moment within her life. The respect shown between the women is key, the film relies on the growing relationships and friendships between the key characters and this is led by the importance of their friendship. The effervescent love story that blooms within this story begins as a friendship. 


Click HERE for where to watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire


Céline Sciamma

French screenwriter and film director.

A common theme in Sciamma’s films is the fluidity of gender and sexual identity among girls and women. Aside from her career as a director, Sciamma is also a popular screenwriter whose credits include the Oscar-nominated animated feature “My Life as a Zucchini.” She also co-wrote Jacques Audiard’s next film “Les Olympiades” with Audiard and Léa Mysius (“Ava”). “Les Olympiades” started shooting in September in Paris.


Betsy Finlay-Sheil

Betsy is an Art student from Nottingham. From a young age, she has been an avid lover of filmmaking and the local cinema (Broadway in Nottingham). Although a lover of all film, Betsy has a particular interest in the promotion of female and non-binary filmmakers, and how the presentation of women on screen is evolving and changing. She is particularly an avid lover of the works of Celine Sciamma. Betsy is currently studying Art in Nottingham, alongside filmmaking and film programming in her spare time.


Special Screening Portrait of a Lady on Fire – featuring local art at Broadway Cinema

August 30th. All tickets £5 HERE

Paintings featured in Portrait of a Lady on Fire were created by modern artist Helene Delmaire who worked closely with director Céline Sciamma.  In homage to Delmaire’s work, the screening will be accompanied by a zine curated by the Unnamed Undefined Collective, showcasing a range of modern art by Nottingham’s own young, women artists. Some of the work featured in the zine will be available to buy before the screening.

The Unnamed Undefined Collective is a group of young filmmakers from the 2021-22 BFI Film Academy alumni. They have met often since the course finished in March to watch films in Broadway’s Lounge and wanted to share one of their favourite watches with you.

Learn more about International Friendship Day HERE


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