Encounters Presents Female Filmmaker Showcase with Maisie Williams
Encounters present She/Her
A short film showcase from emerging female filmmakers in association with Maisie Williams & Frank Film Club
Encounters Film Festival, the leading international short film festival and the UK’s only ACADEMY AWARD®, BAFTA and European Film Academy qualifying festival has partnered with celebrated actor and producer Maisie Williams, and her podcast Frank Film Club. Together, they present a programme of short films by emerging female directors available to UK cinemas from Friday July 23rd, titled “She/Her”.
Cracking open the vault from their 26-year history, Encounters will curate monthly programmes of short films from around the world, bringing them to new audiences in cinemas around the UK. Each month’s programme will be introduced by talent from either in front of or behind the lens.
The first, screening from July 23, is a showcase of emerging female filmmakers. These films explore what it means to be She/Her in the 21st century, with an introduction from Maisie Williams and the Frank Film Club podcast.
Maisie is joined by her fellow podcast members, filmmaker Lowri Roberts (whose credits include the BAFTA Cymru winning Girl, screening in this programme), producer Chloe Culpin, and casting director Hannah Marie Williams. The hosts’ introduction to this programme of films explains why short film, as a medium, is so important to filmmakers and their careers, helping them gain wider industry recognition.
This programme aims to celebrate emerging female talent with related narratives on screen. Smear comes from director Kate Herron, whose notable career has seen her direct Loki on Disney+ from Marvel Studios, starring Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, as well as the hit Netflix series Sex Education. Kate’s shorts have played at festivals around the world. Smear is a lube-tastic horror-comedy inspired by Gremlins, Tremors and Little Shop of Horrors, about a woman going in for her first pap-smear test. “My friend told me my first pap-smear would be the worst thing that ever happened to me... it wasn’t.”
The remaining films come from a host of award-winning female directors from around the world. This includes Frank Film Club member Lowri Roberts, director of BAFTA Cymru Award-winning Girl. Isabel Lamberti, the multi-award-winning director of Amor who scooped the coveted best new director award at the San Sabastian film festival and now directs TV Drama. Audrey Lam, director of Faraways, attended the festival as part of Future Encounters. Her films have screened at internationally acclaimed festivals around the world, including BFI London Film Festival, Centre Pompidou and Melbourne International Film Festival. Rosie Westhoff, director of Crush, is a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker. Her latest film ‘Our Sister’ premiered at LFF. She was recently nominated for a BAFTA for the BBC iPlayer Sparks New Voices episode The Main Part, which she directed.
This programme presents a valuable opportunity for UK cinemagoers to explore the exciting world of short film on the big screen, and for aspiring filmmakers around the country to discover new inspirations. A vital step to continue driving change within the industry and inspire the next generation of filmmakers, particularly those who identify as women.
Maisie Williams of Frank Film Club, said: “We love short films. They’re a massive part of a filmmaker’s training because it allows them the space to experiment and be playful. You can make short films with next to no budget, they can be really accessible to make. When festivals like Encounters screen a short film they become instrumental in furthering that filmmaker's career. It acts as a calling card. That’s why Encounters is such an important festival - it gives new voices a platform for their work to be shown to the industry.”
Dave Taylor-Matthews, Head of Audience at Encounters Film Festival, said: “We’re excited to be able to launch this programme as part of our sector’s return. Our festival is built around the concept of community building and, like so many over the last year, it’s been difficult for us to not be able to connect in the ways we are used to. We wanted to kick off with the “She/Her” programme to celebrate female filmmaker talent and storytelling. Encounters is where the story of film begins and we really want this programme to help cinemas welcome their audiences and creative communities back into their spaces.”