Sorcha Anglim is a female short film maker who started out at Staffordshire University. She is currently working as a freelance Production Assistant, aiding directors, production managers and producers in organizing commercial shoots.
Below is an interview of her about the filmmaking industry in Afghanistan, Central and South Asia.
FA: What are some of the recurring themes you explore in your films?
SA: I think a very recurring theme in my films is the idea to "make the best of every situation." In my film, 'the little things,' I was trying to inspire people to watch out for the little things in the world that make us smile, even when all seems lost. In Turning the Tides, the main character learns to discover new people and places from his new friend. Also, another recurring theme is children, which links in well with making the best of situations. I think that is because its in a child's nature to see the best in things. I try and portray their innocence as inspiration.
FA: Generally, approximately how many women do you work with on your productions (cast and crew)? Can you tell us about the dynamics of working with women and whether it's different from working with male co-workers?
SA: The amount of women I work with varies from project to project. I usually have at least 1 girl/ woman starring in my films, as it's much easier for me to write from a girl's perspective, and there are usually girls in the crew, depending on who wants to be involved, or who can be at the time. I don't see women any differently from men. I think it's important to have a mixed crew, because men see things slightly differently from women. Men probably understand what goes on in men's heads better than a woman could, so it's good to have their perspective and vice versa. But talent wise, there is no difference in my mind! I will work alongside the most talented/ hard working camera person for the job, whether they are a woman or a man. And the same goes for all the roles.
I think the industry used to be hugely male dominated, however from talking to people, I have learned that it seems to be changing. Numbers of women on set on bigger productions seem to be increasing, and it appears that women have just as much chance of getting in as men, which is fantastic!
FA: How can women be empowered through fine arts, especially a medium like filmmaking?
SA: Any art, whether it is filmmaking, painting, writing, music, etc. is a way of expressing a voice, and therefore, is empowering the artist! Many different stories can be told through art, especially film making. It's a great way to express opinions, emotions, stories and experiences completely freely, without fear of being reprimanded.
FA: What do you think of Women's Annex and its operation in Afghanistan, Central and South Asia?
SA: I think it's fantastic! I have always been a firm believer that women should have just as many opportunities as men, and for Women's Annex to allow women from many different developing countries to have such a great opportunity is inspiring. Even for myself, Film Annex has opened many doors, so I imagine for the women in developing countries, it's life changing. I also think it's a brilliant way for the world to understand the cultures of the countries involved in Women's Annex. To give women a voice that can be shared across the Film Annex network is really exciting, and I have already really enjoyed Fereshteh's blogs and videos, and I look forward to reading and seeing more!
FA: Can your work be used as a source of inspiration for filmmakers in Afghanistan, Central and south Asia? If yes, how so? In other words, do you consider yourself a “Thought Leader”? If so, what do you think your influence is on your audience?
SA: I hope so! I'd really like to think that not only my films, but my blogs, might also be a source of inspiration for filmmakers, and anyone else with a dream! In regards to my films, I hope my simple, uplifting stories can inspire people to just smile! No matter what's happening around them. It's a really simple message and feeling I want to put across, but if I can make one person smile, I think it's encouragement for them that things can be good, and anyone can be happy. I also like to think that my blogs might be of inspiration for people. Through my blogs, I like to inspire people to dream big, to work hard for what they want, and to reach for the stars! If that's what they want to do. No dream is too big, and no ambition is unattainable. I even have a Twitter page specifically for happy quotes: @happyquots4life. My next idea is to get some stickers printed with a range of happy quotes, and start sticking them in as many places as possible! So "Be Happy" is the influence that I wish to have.
FA: Where do you see the future of developing countries like Afghanistan? Do you think filmmaking and social media can help improve their economy and education system?
SA: Most certainly! I think that in countries such as Afghanistan, there are stories to be told and many voices to be heard. In the UK, we rarely get to hear experiences from people in countries like Afghanistan, unless they are visitors from our country. So filmmaking and social media are a fantastic way to bridge this gap, and begin to work together. Hopefully, this will mean that their education can improve in this way also, especially with Film Annex and their fantastic ideas for education in Afghanistan.