Female filmmakers are kicking ass in the film industry – so why the unfair treatment?

24-year-old Irish writer and director Megan K. Fox (not the actress), moved to London from Co. Wicklow in Ireland back in 2014 to pursue her dreams of obtaining an MA in Directing after studying film, literature and drama.

Megan fell in love with the idea of making her own films and being able to tell her stories through the use of film. The 24-year-old creative said:

“Film touches me in a way that no other art form can, music comes close but I really believe that there is no other platform more capable of changing our perception of the world around us and ourselves than film.”

She’s already made five short films, in addition to winning an award for the ‘most inspirational project’ at The Think Big Awards for her film ‘GIRL’.

The film explores the theme of homelessness for women, given that it’s a subject rarely touched upon in society today.

Give us a brief insight into who you are and why you started in film?

I’m a 24 year old Writer/Director from Co. Wicklow in Ireland. I moved over to London in 2014 to pursue an MA in Directing after studying Film, Literature and Drama and falling in love with the idea of making my own films.

I’ve been writing stories and poetry for as long as I can remember, but as I learned more about film history and expanded my viewing during my studies I realised that this was the medium I loved most and wanted to tell my stories through.

Film touches me in a way that no other art form can; Music comes close but I really believe that there is no platform more capable of changing our perception of the world around us and ourselves than film.

I’ve made five shorts now and continue to learn and cultivate my passion with each one.

You recently won an award in the Most Inspirational Project category at the Think Big Awards for your film ‘GIRL’, tell us more about it and how it felt to win?

I made this film to explore a serious but little discussed issue for homeless women and also to experiment with a new visual format, vertical framing.

We shot the film vertically to make audiences think about the restricted space that marginalised characters occupy in our society as well as on our screens.

It felt great to win an award in this category particularly, it’s really humbling to know that something I’ve made has inspired it’s audience in one way or another and my hope would be that the film inspires a more positive attitude and treatment towards those living on the streets.

Why was homelessness such an important theme to touch on in your film?

When I was a teenager I volunteered in a local soup kitchen during my Summer holidays and since then I’ve always felt an affinity with the homeless, women in particular.

I met many brilliant, kind-hearted people there who had fallen into unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own and I had always wanted to make a film that explored the life of a homeless woman in a less demonising way than is often seen on screen, to show viewers that not every person living on the streets fits a stereotype or feeds an addiction.

What difficulties have you faced or think you’ll face if any as a female filmmaker?

Thus far I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been supported by the industry here, organisations such as the BFI and Think Big along with friends and fellow filmmakers, in making my short films.

I do worry that as I embark on more ambitious projects such as my first feature film that I may hit the glass ceiling that I know is above me in terms of finding funding and distribution for a very female-centric film, but I’m staying hopeful and positive that my work thus far will reflect my determination and capabilities and that this will stand to me when I take my next step.

Should more females get involved in making films and if so why?

I think there are already a whole lot of amazing female filmmakers out there, that’s not to say that there shouldn’t be more – the more female voices in the film industry the better, but I think the main issue is in having those voices heard.

Female filmmakers have produced some of the most outstanding and fresh films of recent years but mainstream media simply doesn’t give them the coverage that their male counterparts receive.

This is mostly because women aren’t being financed in their creative endeavours to the same extent, which trickles down to their marketing budget and perpetuates this cycle of women making brilliant films that simply don’t gain enough media traction to see real change take place in the amount of funding and faith that’s awarded to projects directed by women.

The only way I think we can hope to see female directors being trusted with big budget features and blockbusters is to shout louder about their achievements at the beginning of their careers.

We need to be supporting and promoting debut features like Rachel Tunnard’s Adult Life Skills and Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl to the point that even our non-cinephile friends have heard of and hopefully seen these films, to generate more revenue and traction for their release, because that’s the only language that major production companies and distributors understand and respond to.

I believe that’s one of the main ways we can affect positive change towards gender equality and representation in this industry.

Any plans for upcoming projects?

At the moment I’m developing my debut feature film script with the support of Corona Pictures. The script is in a great place and I’m hoping to go in to pre-production next year.

Two of my shorts are still on their festival run so it’s an exciting time for me to network and forge creative relationships for my first feature.

Check out more of Megan K. Fox’s work on Vimeo

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