KINO Manchester 2012

Kinofilm showcase best of women’s cinema in North West 

“As female directors still struggle against the celluloid ceiling, Kinofilm’s Women in Shorts night showcased the best of women’s cinema in a Salford venue last Wednesday.

Greater Manchester’s most prominent independent film exhibitor has been screening shorts across different county venues for almost 20 years.

But Kinofilm’s latest event at the Black Lion pub was a particular must-see for how it countered the notion that cinema needs to be a male-dominated industry.

This was a hot topic after the Cannes Film Festival was mired in a sexism row last May and Helen Mirren also called for more female representation at the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary festival this month.

In a country where less than 10% of British films are directed by women, one cannot rely on the power of the purse to support local talent.

They found work through independent initiatives that were previously unavailable to aspiring female film-makers in the past.

Director Aurora Fearnley’s Shades of Living was made through the Green Shoots scheme at Vision + Media, which grouped her with producer Nia Wakeham and writer Elaine Brass.

This tender 10-minute piece about a young boy who tries to help his parents deal with a personal loss comes with a twist ending and is a great follow-up to Daniel, an eight-minute period drama set in an elitist public school.

The piece was funded by the Nokia Shorts competition and was shot entirely on a mobile phone.

When asked during her post-screening Q&A about what advice she would offer to hopefuls, Ms Fearnley replied: “I recently saw Mike Leigh give a talk for his short film A Running Jump during the Cultural Olympiad.

“He said, Don’t compromise; it’s going to be tough, no matter the gender, if you’re a film-maker doing it for your personal reasons, you just don’t compromise.”

Ms Wakeham agreed: “If you want it, you’ve got to get it, whether you’re a man or a woman.”