A Bonza Sophie Hyde

30 / 03 / 2016

Sophie Hyde makes provocative, intimate drama and documentary work. She produced  binarie 60 secondi Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, (Sundance 2011),  http://mployee.nl/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/readme.txt handelsstrategie binaire opties Sam Klemke’s Time Machine(Sundance 2015) and produced/co-directed the acclaimed  azioni binarie conto demo Life in Movement.  Her debut-fiction film  le iene servizio opzioni binarie 52 Tuesdays (director/producer/co-writer) won the directing award in World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. She is a founding member of film collective Closer Productions and recipient of the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and Screen Australia’s feature enterprise program.

Sophie has been kind enough to give Sheilas a little bit of insight into her life, and discuss the ups & downs of being in the film industry.  

  1. Let’s start off with a little bit about Sophie Hyde – your hometown is Adelaide – now the base of many great film production companies. Growing up in Adelaide, what sparked your interest in film and did you always believe this was going to be the field you worked in?

I grew up doing dance and then youth theatre and moved into directing and sitting on the board of arts organisations while I was at high school.  I very much wanted to form a group of people who worked together to create.  At the time I thought it would be theatre because that’s what I knew. I imagined that this collective of sorts would form straight out of school but then I took a couple of uni classes and decided I wanted to go straight away.  I was quite taken with film theory/cultural theory and I just wanted to get into it.  At uni I studied theatre and film and I moved to Melbourne for a while to finish my degree there, but then I returned because I got funding from the South Australian Youth Arts Board to make my first film – a documentary about women’s toilets with lot’s of song and dance numbers – and then I just fell in love with the place and what was possible creatively for me living here.  I got a job as a producers assistant on some incoming projects, but though I learnt a huge amount, I didn’t initially like working on film sets until I returned to that initial impulse of working with people I love to create together.  And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since.

  1. A couple of years ago, Senior South Australian feature film producers were worried about the industry due to apparent lack of opportunity and growth. Were you ever concerned that you’d have to leave and pursue opportunities interstate or overseas?          

Certainly there was an era where no first time feature directors from South Australia made a film funded by the South Australian Film Corporation – a whole generation of local filmmakers I think.  At that time though we had some very successful filmmakers working here – Scott Hick and Rolf De Heer in particular, and the state managed to attract interstate productions including TV series McLeods Daughters.  I wasn’t much a part of all that but a lot of the crew that work with us really started in that era and had their training ground on that show.  I do remember feeling that it seemed impossible or implausible to be able to make a feature film and we mostly focused on documentaries because we love them and because the pathway felt clearer with TV commissions.  But then a few things shifted;  The Adelaide Film Festival, led by the very excellent Katrina Sedgwick who had a strong arts background, was given money for an investment fund and they selected projects that were unique and possibly higher risk because they weren’t bound by the same set of rules or expectations and The SAFC set up a program called FILMLAB which was all about supporting new directors/teams to make their first feature at a low budget. Again this was designed to be bold, high risk stuff where creative muscles could be flexed.  From my point of view, those things really shifted how film worked in South Australia – we managed to finance some really interesting projects that have given us a presence internationally and which we would never have been able to finance in the previous regime I don’t think.  What’s interesting is that with that added support there was a real opportunity for creative freedom in a way that film and the more traditional financing structures don’t often allow.  As for whether I thought I would have to leave – you always have to question that.  If it stops working for you somewhere you aren’t going to stick around if you are driven by a vocation like filmmaking – you are either going to make it work for you there or leave to find somewhere where it can.  For me South Australia has been an ideal mix – there are times we have had to work very hard to prove ourselves, particularly within Australia – we have to meet and re-meet people and succeed with our work many times before people pay attention compared perhaps with if you are inside the industry and more visible in Sydney and Melbourne.  It can feel easy to be forgotten by the people with money and influence from over here.  At the same time, we have had the opportunity to put our heads down and bums up and work out just what we want to make and examine ways to make, hone our skills, take risks and we can do this while surviving which is crucial.  We have a good cross-pollination with other art forms, perhaps in part thanks to our long running and excellent festivals.   But like anyone working in film in Australia, it’s pretty important to travel a fair bit and so that’s a balance.

52Tuesdays_Director_Sophie Hyde_Photoby BryanMason

Sophie Hyde

Recently you were listed in FILMINKS “Female Directors On The Rise,” and undoubtedly we have these recognitions because the film industry is still overtly dominated by men. As a female in this industry, is gender bias something that has been part of your experience and if so, what lies before us in bringing about a change to this?

Of course yes.  I have to believe that there is unconscious gender bias otherwise it would be an entirely purposeful thing that the gender imbalance remains so off kilter in filmmaking.  That would mean that people were purposefully stopping women making films and I have to believe that in the most part that’s not the case.  The numbers don’t lie though right?  12-15% of films directed by women, 20-something % written by women and 32% produced by women.  That means in Australia where we have government funding to preserve and promote our culture and maintain an Australian voice and perspective about 85-90% of films are directed by men, 80-ish% are written by men and 68% are produced by men.  And this isn’t a couple of years we are talking about, it’s unchanged since the 70’s.  Crazy right?  Personally?  I’m one of a privileged few who have been able to make films in Australia, films that I am passionate about and that means I’ve made it work for me, been very lucky and also that I have had people back me, those I work with and those that financially support that work.  But there are a lot of reasons why making films can be more difficult for women; women are often still the primary carers of children and it can be difficult to juggle raising children and making films, many financiers and people in the market don’t trust women creatively and with the money (!), women might find it harder to say “I’m a director” or to pursue that role and of course there’s the doubt.  In my opinion a lot of women are equally as adept at expressing their doubts or concerns about their own performance as they are at saying what they are good at.  I suspect this is a socialised thing from the way we are treated/expected to act.  In film I so often hear that the solution is that women should be more confident, but I find that hard to swallow.  I think it’s ridiculous that we buy in to people who are doubt free, who speak with utter confidence, that we believe that they can just make their choices and it’s brilliant – the genius syndrome.  It just seems to me that’s an easy option for people and it can work, because if you are trusted you can excel.  But I think we mistake confidence with vision and I’m keen to see more films by people who aren’t demonstratively confident, who work collaboratively, who question their first impulse.  While I do believe in vision, I don’t believe it’s incompatible with being a questioning person and  a collaborative person.

That’s a big one though, that would take shifts in all parts of the film industry from the funders to the crew and maybe even a shift in the audience.  What I do think is possible however, is for us to state emphatically that we don’t think such gender imbalance is ok and that we want to see more stories on screen told by women, from their perspective, particularly from the funders who are charged with ensuring we are telling Australian stories (not Australian male stories).   As an audience I want and expect more.

  1. As an organisation, The Victorian Women’s Trust has given a number of grants to projects supporting women and girls in the Film and TV industry, including a $12,000 seeding grant to establish the group WIFT Victoria (Women In Film and Television) initially ran by Sue Maslin – the producer of The Dressmaker. Do you have any advice for aspiring women hoping to enter the industry?

You become good at what you practise.  So practise the bit you love and want to do.  Also find great people who you love to work with because they are everything.  Trust your guts, listen to the people whose taste you admire, be open to change/mistakes/ideas/spontaneity, don’t sweat the small stuff, work out what you need in your life to be able to create and set about making it happen, go deep, give a shit.

Film '52 Tuesdays'

Film ’52 Tuesdays’

  1. The 2014 Australian drama film you directed, 52 Tuesdays, won  The World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at The Sundance Film Festival, and The Crystal Bear at The Berlin Film Festival http://www.swazilandforum.com/?n=top-10-binary-options-brokers top 10 binary options brokers .  opciones financieras mascareñas 52 Tuesdays details the journey of a mother approaching gender transition ordering cytotec online without a precription , her daughter and their relationships to each other and those around them.  Köp Atarax 10 mg It was considered a very moving piece. Right now, with the political debate about Safe Schools and educating young students about gender fluidity, what do you think are some of the best ways our society can tackle repressive and restrictive attitudes about sexuality and gender?

Oh gosh this is a massive question.  I suppose firstly I have to say that in my belief system diversity is a strength – of race, gender, sex, sexuality, tastes, ages, personalities etc – and so that’s the place I come from when thinking about how to teach or support young people.

I have felt equal parts love, fury and shame at seeing my friends on facebook share their stories of the years of bullying, hatred and quiet abuse they received at high school, so anything that can speak to someone in these emotionally intense years and shift the way those other young people might treat them is a good step.  Anything we can do to minimize harm and support empathy is good.

It’s always very difficult for me to understand why the way someone else presents/identifies/ dresses/who they love/ who they touch is such a big deal for people.  Why does this matter so much?  At its core I think we have such a strict and binary view of gender, which is so unsatisfying for so many of us.  The idea that the most important way to classify ourselves is via our gender – that these are our strongest similarities to each other, and our strongest differences. I think this means that anyone who challenges that is a threat to people trying so desperately to maintain it.    I think it’s only at those moments where people are so challenged that we can see how truly gendered we are, when people try with such desperation to maintain the farce, because to me it is a farce.  The more we impose such rigid ideas of gender, the more difficult I think it becomes for everyone and the more people will push against that too.  So as much as I am despair to see the clothes and the toys in the kids section be so gendered, and the way parents speak to their children in the most gendered way, I also relish the provocation of many young people in denying and rejecting those gender roles.

bästa mäklaren binära optioner Now, I’m going to take up this opportunity ask a question of you that I read in one of your previous interviews that “should have been asked but wasn’t”. For you, what does it mean to identify as a woman?

I don’t know which interview you are referring to but….

Interesting question after the last answer right?  For me identifying as a woman has been an important part of my life.  I grew up being treated as a woman (or girl) and so a large part of who I am has been informed by this.  I love being a woman and I recognise the difficulties it has brought me as well – a little less opportunity, a little more fear. It’s easy to identify as a woman if you were raised female like me.  I haven’t had to question or break free of that imposed identity.  I haven’t had to fight to be seen the way I feel.  I’ve also had the distinct privilege of growing up being told I could be a woman AND anything else – that it shouldn’t limit me. I’ve had to find my way through that myself of course and there are societal pressures that I succumb to, but in the most part I’ve been able to determine the path I want to be on with my career, with my child and with who I love.  I think, sadly, this is still quite rare.

  1. trading con 1 uero And finally, a bit of fun – if you could invite any three people to dinner, dead or alive, who’d be your top picks? 

There are so many people I want to say here – many of them filmmakers and writers but right now, today I think it would be Marie Curie, Lena Dunham and Charlie Kaufman but I’d also really like to have Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the room just to see if he’s real.  Maybe he can cook the meal?