Anne-Cecile is a screenwriter and filmmaker and moderator of the group “Venus Filmmakers” whose aim is to support female talent in the film industry . If you have a film project and are looking for support, collaboration and partnerships, this is the group for you!!
So, this is Venus Filmmakers’ first blog. How exciting!
A filmmaking community of women helping other women. And ladies do we need it. Filmmaking is a very male-oriented business. With 89% of men winning all the awards and 75% of filmmaking crew being also male, it sadly feels that women’s voices are getting drowned out in the process. It never quite occurred to me so blatantly until I started looking for cast and crew for my own short film, The Penis Conundrum. I searched online, via Facebook groups, agencies, but male directors, cinematographers etc. kept popping up.
Moreover, those male directors were making were rage-induced action thrillers, which did not quite fit what I had in mind for my absurdist comedy short film centered around female sexuality in our modern society. It was time to bring women into the fore!
I started out studying acting over 10 years ago. After a short stint in Los Angeles, where I discovered screenwriting, I decided to do that instead. After spending 22 years in the UK, I moved to Barcelona in 2018 and wrote my first novel, which I self-published in 2019. In 2020, I decided to delve back into screenwriting, but it was difficult.
As a screenwriter with few connections in an industry where connections are everything, I found myself entering several competitions to see if I could break the mold that way. With tens of thousands of people entering those, that did not lead anywhere. So, I decided to connect with fellow screenwriters. I build a network of friends and peers, but since we were roughly at the same stage of our careers with few connections, that also ended in a dead end. I felt like one of the Belles at the ball in a Jane Austen film. Here I was creating then waiting to be picked, but this ball was short on suitors and they were not picking me.
Moreover, and I know I am not alone in this, 2020 was also not a good year for me. I suffered a massive bout of anxiety for the first time ever, and I did not make a single sale. When I finally resurfaced, that was it for me. I was done waiting.
Women’s stories – The making of The Penis Conundrum
Practically, I decided to no longer ‘create and wait’, but ‘create and make’. In this case, my own short film. I had this funny idea about a woman whose life is turned upside down when she notices the outline of her colleague’s penis through his trousers. It was based on my own experience on one of those days where sex was on my mind. It then occurred to me that we very scarcely discussed this even amongst ourselves. I have a very specific and unusual approach to making this film, but I shall discuss this in a separate blog!
Male clubs vs female clubs
And of course, I needed connections. As specified above, I also wanted to make connections with other women. I wanted to tell women’s stories through the eyes of women. But honestly, I did not know where to look. Men are inherently more confident and so much better than we are at networking and selling themselves. It is quite understandable. Men have been networking and making decisions in men’s clubs for ages. They literally have centuries of experience under their belt.
Moving forward – what do we want from this Filmmakers’ group?
During that time, I had also started attending Planet Venus’ zooms and I was amazed at the level at the level of female kinship. I placed a post about finding women to help me make my short film. Following this, the wonderful Deborah V. Oziel contacted me, and here we are! 🙂
So, how are we going to do this? And in what way?
As ambassador, I am not the boss, only the face of the group. This is for all of us. Sure, I have many ideas; Zooms, interviews, collaborations etc., but we are here to share, learn, and help each other.
So, ladies, welcome to the group! I am so happy to have you onboard!
Do you want to know more about Anne-Cecile and the Filmmakers group? Don’t miss this recorded Instagram Live Q&A Session with her.