The 7th Annual Birds Eye View festival launched in a gust of
oestrogen on Tuesday 8th March, as the pick of the scene’s best
filmmakers, critics, academics and supporters came together on the 100th
Women’s Day to celebrate this understated industry.
BEV founder and director Rachel Millward hosted an evening toasting
the best of the girls with a showcase of shorts put together by talents
the world over. Guest speak Zoe Wannamaker opened the screening with a
brief but thoughtful look to the programme ahead and the impact of women
in society as a consequence of their involvement in cinema.
“We are missing out on emotions and experiences, stories and
creativity of half the population. There is now evidence that businesses
that include female involvement at senior level perform better. A
different kind of question gets asked, different priorities considered
and the result is a more powerful organisation.
Including women’s visions in cinema will bring the same effect to
cinema, not only more balance but more powerful work, which isn’t just a
question of ethical need for equality, but a creative drive for
We need to continue to nurture new talent and to celebrate
difference. Until more women are creating films we are less likely to
see interesting rounded female characters. But film has an influence far
beyond the screen, and until there is a vision of equality to which we
can aspire then I doubt we’ll achieve equality in the rest of society.
As the films throughout the festival will show women can and do bring
a whole range of qualities, questions and stories to the screen. The
wealth of talent within this programme is staggering and we need more.
More power to these phenomenal women you laid their souls bare to bring
us their films and more power to BEV to make sure we see them. “
From here followed a mostly hit, occasionally miss selection of
shorts, starting with an intricately scored live performance by
contemporary artist Micachu to a silent silhouette animation of Hansel
and Gretel. British director Jane Lintfoot caused many murmers of
approval with her visionary On You Own, marking a 16 year old boy’s
despair thrown against an industrial backdrop.
“I started with just this one vision of a boy storming across an
industrial workyard with a computer keyboard in his hand and built the
rest of the film from there,” she explains after the show.
The other notable selections of the night were both animated; from
France a beautiful snow engulfed fantasy called The Silence Beneath the
Bark whose characters are reminiscent of early Ghibli. The most chuckles
and perhaps the loudest applause however was received for Tord and
Tord, a stop start animation not too far from The Fantastic Mr Fox,
which sees a hare,Tord, moving in next to a fox, also named Tord.
Perhaps the simplest concept of the evening, Tord generated the most
emotion and topped the bill as the third Swedish offering of the night.
Finally after enjoying its viral success for the day viewers were
shown the very very short film put together by Sam Taylor-Wood and Kick
Ass writer Jane Goldman, which shows an unflinching Daniel Craig
changing from his James Bond persona into full drag, whilst Judi Dench
talks statistics and equality.
It’s a hit home night that makes full use of the celebration of
Women’s Day to convey messages about a still upwood struggle for women
in cinema and the broader issues we now face in light of, for example,
the abolition of the UK Film Council. The inspirational talks got a
little repetitive at times but otherwise this was an evening of class
and offered a promising glimpse into what the festival has to offer over
the next few weeks.