Film director, Amy Adrion, looks back on her time studying literature at King’s fondly.
'I loved being in London and King’s opened up my mind to the power of stories.'
Telling stories has become important in Amy’s career. After graduating, she decided to turn to filmmaking and she has just completed her first film about sexism in the film industry, enlisting many big female directors who reveal their stories to the world.
Here, Amy talks about her film and how Hollywood may be on the cusp of big changes:
‘Women directors like myself have long been aware of the issues and challenges that female directors face. The numbers of women being hired for jobs is so much lower than the number of men that it’s become clear that sexual discrimination is playing a part.
‘There’s been no movement or progress decade after decade. But, finally, attitudes are beginning to shift and people are feeling that change is possible. Directors, actors and producers across entertainment are standing up talking about sexual harassment, pay equity or discrimination in hiring. They’re saying, ‘you need to listen to me and I’m not going to let this go.’
‘For the first time, powerful forces are also coming to aid of these women – there are two cases currently going through the US Department of Justice looking in to systemic discrimination of women directors. It seems like finally there might be some movement on these issues and I wanted to document this exciting time.
‘Half the Picture, tells the stories of dozens of successful women directors who talk about their lives, the industry they move in and the highs and lows they’ve had in their career. They highlight that, for the first time, women filmmakers may be getting a glimpse of a future that values their voices equally.
‘I was very lucky to get lots of fantastic female directors involved in the film. All the women who sat and talked to us have spoken out about discrimination before. They are making television programmes and movies and are extremely busy but they took time to take part because they care about this issue so deeply. We started by interviewing one or two fantastic women and, after a few interviews, they shared the project with their friends and the power of momentum meant we were getting more and more people talking to us.
‘So many of these women are incredibly established and at the top of their game and so it was a bit of a surprise to find that they have had as tough of a road as they’ve had. They encountered all of the challenges that my friends and I have encountered. It was hard for them to raise money, hard for them to get hired at studios and hard to make programmes for television even after they had made successful films. Despite being very different people with different opinions, they all shared that sense of defiance and self confidence that helped them through those difficult times and rejections.
‘I admire these women so much and to hear they struggled just as much as the rest of us was surprising and encouraging. It made me think that ‘if they made it through challenges, so can I.
‘The response to the film so far has been overwhelming and humbling. We opened in theatres in New York initially and then moved on to Los Angeles and the Sundance Film Festival in London. At every screening I’ve been to, I’ve had women saying, ‘this is what I needed to hear, I had an idea and this has given me the push to continue with it.’ For me, it’s been incredible to hear and the dream reaction!
‘This film has been a joy to work on and if it is just one of the voices contributing to the chorus of voices of women standing up then that’s a great honour.'
Half the Picture should reach television screens soon and, in the meantime, watch the trailer: