“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”- Marilyn Monroe. From all walks of life, film has inspired the masterminds and masterpieces of many great filmmakers from young to old, rich to poor and with race and sexuality holding a barrier of unnecessary discrimination. Many female filmmakers have had to fight hard to have their voice heard in a male dominated industry.
However, Jane Campion New Zealand screenwriter and filmmaker has established her prominent position as a woman of film with the multiples degrees that she received after graduating with a BA degree in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington, 1975 followed by a BA degree with a painting major at Sydney College of the Arts, 1979 and attending the Australian School of Film and Television. Among many of her films, just like many filmmakers here this year- and in previous years at the festival- Jane entered many ofher short films, such as ‘Peel (1982)’ into international film festivals just like ‘Cannes Film Festival’ where she won the ‘Palme D’Or award’. Many of Jane’s awards at film festivals features ‘Best Foreign Film’ for her feature film ‘Sweetie (1989)’ alongside many other awards by the ‘LA Film Critics’, ‘Australian Critics’ Award’ and seven other prizes for her autobiographical dramatization with ‘An Angel at My Table (1990)’.
All of these awards alongside her effort with another feature film called ‘The Piano (1993) won the ‘Palme D’Or Award’ at Cannes Film Festival, making Jane the first female filmmaker to win the prestigious award; whilst receiving an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ at the 1993 Oscars.
Amma Asante is another female inspirational icon who directed the aristocratic film battling against the abolishment of slavery in England by a middle class illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a British admiral called ‘Belle (2013)’ which won three of ‘The Best Independent Film Awards’. Amma began her filmmaking career a little differently and was at great advantage- since she grew up as a child actress and then discovered screenwriting deals with Channel 4 and the BBC. Yet Amma has too won numerous awards both in Britain and internationally.
Both of these women from different walks of life have pursued a ‘once in a lifetime’ career in the film industry from screenwriting to directing- women have the power to accomplish their endeavours in any shape of light. Together we can make young filmmaker’s voices be heard and make equality live up to its name on behalf of men and women. Let’s start now at Beeston Film Festival.