It was a good year for female directors at this year's Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
Only 18 per cent of all directors, cinematographers, editors, writers and producers working in the film industry are women. But you’d never know it looking at the winners’ list from this year’s Dublin International Film Festival. Fortunately, many of the frequently quoted (and grim) statistics pertaining to the movieverse’s gender imbalance are American; they’re directly derived from the old school and properly sexist Hollywood model. Are there any girls in the running for megaphone duties on the Marvel sequence? We think not.
On this continent, however, we’re doing things a little differently. Tellingly, six of this year’s Dublin Film Critics Circle jury prizes went to women, including the gongs for Best Film, Best Debut Film, Best Irish Documentary and the Michael Dwyer Discovery Award. Here’s the cream of the crop. Do keep an eye out for future release dates.
BEST FILM: VANISHING WAVES
Dir: Kristina Buozyte
The Lithuanian film industry may be small but it has produced such notable talents as Jonas Mekas, the “Godfather of American Avant Garde” and now Kristina Buozyte, one of Europe’s most talked about young directors.
“There are pluses and minuses to coming from a small country with a small industry,” says Buozyte. “In some ways, maybe it’s easier to get your start. My first film was made with no budget. And after I was able to make Vanishing Waves .”
Her own start at Lithuania’s Music and Theatre Academy was, she says, a happy accident. “I was always interested in directing theatre but the year I applied to college they weren’t running that course; they were running a TV and film directing course. So I thought ‘Okay, I’ll try it’.
“I didn’t have any connection with film. I wasn’t a big movie lover. But as soon as I started it totally sucked me in. The more I got involved the more I was interested in Godard and Hitchcock and Kubrick and Antonioni and Spielberg and classic films and contemporary films. Now, it’s a life disease.”
Buozyte’s strikingly original oeuvre first came to international prominence in 2009 when The Collectress , a singular drama about a masochistic paediatrician, screened at more than 30 film festivals and at New York’s MoMA.
Her second feature, a highly stylised, sexually charged, sci-fi romance played out against Kubrickian interiors and shifting states of consciousness, is bolder again. Vanishing Waves chronicles the relationship between a neuroscientist and a comatose patient as their neural pathways are fused in a series of experiments. By way of research, Buozyte and co-writer Bruno Semper consulted with doctors and scientists in France and Ireland. But the reality was mainly a springboard to exploring how technology impacts on intimacy.
BEST IRISH DOCUMENTARY
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Dir Cathy Pearson -
There’s no need to ask Cathy Pearson how she got interested in film. The daughter of producer Noel Pearson was hanging around the set of My Left Foot when she was still at school and can recall “. . . watching everything that was going on”.