This past Saturday I had the great pleasure in presenting the award for Best Production Design at the Underwire Festival. The event took place at the achingly cool Genesis Cinema on Mile End Road and brought together all of the female filmmakers and their crew, friends, family and fellow industry professionals to celebrate their work and award the winner in each category. There were awards from everything from Best Animation, Best Writer and Best Director but the one that we are very proud to sponsor was the Production Design award.
Here at Farley, we love to champion new talent and work hard with various organisations to put something back in to the industry that we love, from the ground up. So when we were approached by the Festival’s organiser, Anna Bogutskaya some months ago about being the sponsor for the award we felt it was the perfect match. Criminally it’s the first year that the festival has had an award for Production Design but we hope it will be the first of many to recognise the hard work of the art department.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the work that the Underwire Festival does, here’s a brief summary;
The Underwire Festival is the only film festival in the UK that’s dedicated to women filmmakers. It offers mentoring, training and a platform for their films to be showcased. With women making up only around 22% of crew on feature films we desperately need support in this area to balance things out and the hard work of the team at Underwire over the past seven years is going far to re-dressing it. Anyone can submit a short film to the festival but it must have a women in the driving seat of at least one of the key crew areas. For more information about Underwire, take a look here at www.underwirefestival.com
Back to the night in question. We arrived at the Genesis cinema and were ushered upstairs to their Paragon Bar where people were starting to gather and the buzz of excitement was beginning to grow. After a quick mingle we took our seats for the awards to begin. The enigmatic, funny and endearingly shambolic (her words!) Gabriella Apicella was the host for the evening. As one of the founders of the awards she was perfectly placed to talk us through the awards and the various categories and nominees (seen here on the right).
There were twelve awards in all but thankfully for us (as a little speech was required and nerves had already set in!) our award was third in the running. A brief introduction by Gabriella and a few words from me then on to the main event and introducing our chosen winner. There were ten nominees in our category and we had great pleasure watching the short films of each and every one of them. Short of talent these women are not. Picking a winner wasn’t an easy task but for us the film thats design best enhanced the narrative, had great attention to detail and showed the most complete understanding of the subtleties of design was Dust and Resin so we had great pleasure in awarding it’s talented designer, Antonia Lowe with the Underwire Festival award for Production Design. We chatted to Antonia after the awards and heard about all of the exciting projects she’s working on. With her talent and ambition we’re sure she has a very bright and busy! future ahead. We had a great night and look forward to supporting the Underwire Festival and talented female filmmakers further.