It’s no secret that we LOVE supporting women in film, so when we saw this Kickstarter campaign for Poppy Roe and Katie Brayben’s first feature film, we had to reach out to learn more about these super talented filmmakers. This week, we chatted with Poppy about film, feminism and the power of believing in yourself.
Introduce yourself! Tell us who you are and what you do.
Hi, I’m Poppy Roe, a filmmaker and actor, currently producing a female-led, jet black comedy horror feature film that satirises the, sometimes ridiculous, often self-fulfilling world of the Self Help Industry…The last darkly comic film I produced (and was in!) also with two female leads, was a short: This Way Out – it went on to win many awards, was long listed by BAFTA and screened on HBO and the Sundance Channel Europe – much to the delight of the team that worked so hard on it! The response was truly wonderful and the success of that short has driven us to make this feature. We (my husband director Staten Cousins-Roe & I) want to focus on making fresh, original, dark comedy films with a twist. That happen to have females at the forefront.
How do you define feminism and how does that play a part in what you do?
Feminism to me – is simply the belief that women should be equal to men. Therefore everyone is a feminist. If you’re not, you’re a sexist. I feel very passionately about having more gender balance in film – as an actor and filmmaker (and as a woman). I find it very disappointing to see so few fully rounded female characters. They do exist, but the statistics speak for themselves (in 2015 22% of top grossing films had female protagonists and that’s a vast improvement on the year before! http://womenintvandfilm.sdsu.edu/research ). Women, all types of women, just aren’t represented enough – and I, for one, want to see more females placed where they aren’t usually in film. Self-Help has two strong, sweary, funny, complex women leads – who happen to be female (and also not have anything to do with a romantic male love interest Just switching up the gender, swapping the expected, also makes for originality and freshness instantly! And isn’t that what we want in our entertainment? It’s so important, otherwise we are segregating women into certain, perceived roles – and that’s not a good thing to encourage and it’s simply not reality – we are more interesting than that. I don’t want my daughter (who’s two) to grow up being influenced by films thinking she can only be one of three types of woman! We need to have range in roles to keep film entertaining.
If you had to give one piece of advice to other female filmmakers, what would it be?
My one piece of advice to other female filmmakers is (and bear in mind that I am still starting out myself) simply: self belief. If you believe in yourself and your project then others will too – I say that at the risk of sounding ‘Self Help’ like, the very thing my film is mocking…
How can we follow and support your work?
We start shooting Self-Help: A Serial Killer’s Guide To Life in April and our Kickstarter page is still live!! (till the 16th Feb!) – the page tells more about the film, shows the trailer of our short, and has a video of Katie (Brayben, co Producer and co lead – & Olivier Award winner!) and myself talking all about the feature film http://kck.st/2jP4ski – we’re still raising as much as we possibly can to make Self Help as bloody great as it can be. Plus people can always engage with me on Twitter @PoppyRoe