Chick Flicks is a short documentary that explores the experience of women-identifying film students as they navigate a very white male dominated industry, the me-too movement, racism, industry sexism and a film school that perpetuates it all.
Woah. This short documentary is brilliant in execution, staying strong and true to their vision. Directed by Tatiana Jorio with input from others in her film classes, we enter a world all too familiar. People go to film school to learn how to craft visual ways of telling stories, hone in on their skills, and gain the expertise they need to go and find a job in this industry. Tatiana however, describes her college years as a fight against the school itself, and makes sure we know the truth without holding back.
Using a range of photobooth interviews and news footage, we consume the cold hard truth quickly, without any fluffy bits to pad out the edges. It’s harsh and truthful, even though it doesn’t describe itself as a ‘revenge film’. In ways it is. Those who don’t identify as male have a tough time making their mark on the film industry, so this is rush of feelings, attacking the people who have made it like that. But this film is also an education, fantastically laying out the truth of the media and college life, showing how tough it is to not be a white male in the film world. These points are emphasised, as well as hearing from Tatiana’s classmates, by Netflix showrunner Kathryn O’Kane, award winning filmmaker Lynne Sachs, New York Women in Film & Television Community Engagement Director Katie Chambers, and more. It proves that it isn’t just the wishes and whims of young people, but also those who have been in the fighting to stay in the industry for years.
We’ve had some incredible pop culture moments, from Kathryn Bigelow being the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards to Natalie Portman announcing the nominees from another year as ‘all male’. Documentaries like this prove the point that women and others don’t do things out of spite, for revenge or to point blame. We do it to stand up for ourselves, showcase our art, and to make a place in the industry for us like we deserve.
I found it so interesting to hear from the male classmates at the college. To see from their side levelled out the playing field, letting those who watch the film feeling sided against at least see themselves on screen. I thought they were important to include, emphasising that prejudices and hierarchies begin at film school. Even though this film was shot using webcams and fuzzy archived clips, it was a punch that the world needed to receive, so strong and brave.
In 15 minutes, we go through the college years that these filmmakers and students were meant to learn in and cherish. Instead, we see the truth behind the film industry and how the college they attended only added to their fears of going out into the working world. It’s crazy to think that even after the #MeToo movement, things have stayed still, not pushing to continue change and growth. We live in a world where everyone should be able to see themselves on screen, told in a way that is respectful and truthful, often by a person like them. Not a middle-aged white man.
Learn more about the Global Voices Film Festival – https://www.globalvoicesfilmfestival.org