What inspired you to make this film?
I had just moved to London to get my master’s degree in digital journalism. I met a French girl who knew about these feminist collectives, and I decided to write a feature story about them as a school project. The pandemic delayed the project, and later the assignment changed to producing a documentary. The timing was right. The death of Sarah Everard in March 2021 led to protests, and the atmosphere of anger fit the film.
Your film shows women pasting posters on city streets that convey powerful messages like: “At night I want to be safe, not brave,” “Hold men accountable,” and “Educating men is exhausting.” Can you tell us more about the work of these feminist collage collectives?
The movement was started by one feminist activist pasting up slogans in Paris. Then other feminist collectives saw potential in the medium. It spread around Europe and Latin America. The original posters called attention to femicide, but they expanded to include a wide range of feminist messages. Even though the poster may not survive the night, the pictures are there on social media for people to share.
The footage of the protests in London infuses your film with action and emotion. Did you plan your film around the protests?
No. I had already shot everything else—the girls pasting up posters, an interview with one of the co-founders. Then I met Marie, a feminist collective leader who wanted to be part of the film. I planned to interview her in a park, and the day before the interview, I found out that the protests would be taking place there. So we arranged to meet for the interview just before the protests, and then I followed along as she got into the center of the action. I love how serendipity like that really helped bring this film together.
What would improve that representation?
One thing that inspired me about Carroll is that she is a founder of Black Women Who Brunch, a support and networking community for black women in the entertainment industry. Forming groups like that is a great way to increase representation. Also, several entertainment companies have started initiatives to bring underrepresented voices into the industry. Another way is for companies to simply hire more minorities to fill high-level positions. Unsurprisingly, this causes a positive ripple effect, because research shows that women are more likely to hire female crew members, and women of color are more likely to hire people of color for their crew.
These protests—and your film—convey a mood of rage, which is rather the opposite of women sitting in silence and fear. Could you talk about that?
Marie conveyed that mood. She was very vocal and angry. Especially in the climate of the horrific circumstances of Sarah Everard’s death, people had had enough. I am from Singapore, where protests aren’t allowed. Public discourse is very different; we don’t go out on the streets. So when I came to London, I was fascinated with protests because I had never seen such public displays of anger and defiance before.
Have you shared your film beyond the ConnectHER Film Festival?
I pitched the story to BBC Three digital, and a version of it was published on their website and social media. The story appeared as the number of femicides in the UK hit 100 in 2021.
What was it like for you to be part of the ConnectHER Film Festival?
It was such a good experience. It was really interesting to attend the virtual film festival with filmmakers from all over the world. I enjoyed getting to see the perspectives of filmmakers from Africa and elsewhere. And I’m pleased that my film came together in such a way that I was able to tell an interesting story. I’ve been involved with TV and film for a long time, and I always wanted to make something great.
What comes next for you?
I just graduated with my master’s degree, and I am trying to break into the TV and film industry. I’d like to work toward becoming a producer of documentaries and nonfiction content—talking to interesting people and telling their stories. I tell people that I came to London with no contacts but a lot of ambition. Winning this award has given me the confidence to know that I have what it takes. I’m excited to see what comes next!