Ascending Grace chosen as one of 5 for Bumble's Female Film Force 2019
Ascending Grace chosen as one of 5 for Bumble's Female Film Force 2019

Ascending Grace chosen as one of 5 for Bumble’s Female Film Force 2019

Bumble has announced the next five films it will fund as part of its Female Film Force 2019. Five aspiring filmmaking teams will now be fully funded to create their own short film as part of Bumble’s initiative offering grants to ambitious filmmakers across the UK, Ireland, France and Germany.

Ireland is represented by Pondering Media’s Ascending Grace, written by Karen Healy, produced by Sharon Cronin, and directed by Claire Byrne.

These films will be created by teams of all female writers, directors and producers with an emphasis on achieving at least a 50/50 gender split within their extended production teams.

Filmmakers will be supported by mentors throughout the filmmaking process to ensure they have a strong network of industry figures to guide and empower them. This furthers Bumble’s efforts and commitment to make a real change to the gender imbalance found within the film industry.
The final teams embody a group of diverse, driven creatives whose ideas are centred around strong female characters and narratives often under-represented on our screens.

From a French animation previously unable to secure funding due to its often considered taboo mental health storyline, to a moving but comic portrait of postnatal depression, and from one British writer making her first move as a director, to a German documentary duo ready to shine a light on feminist views in Berlin, Bumble are proud to introduce this year’s recipients:

ASCENDING GRACE – Karen Healy (Writer); Sharon Cronin (Producer); Claire Byrne (Director)A small plane with two female pilots is about to take off from Knock with a cabin full of religious holiday-makers – but things get tense when the flight is grounded…

MA’AM – Joy Wilkinson (Writer-Director); Jude Goldrei (Producer); Kate Reid BSC (Director Of Photography)Struggling with post-natal depression after the birth of her ninth baby, Queen Victoria faces a photo-shoot to show off her ‘perfect family’ to the world – the last thing she needs!

SUNITA – Joan Iyiola (Co-Writer & Producer); Chibundu Onuzo (Co-Writer & Producer); Millie Marsh (Producer)A story about a young black girl’s relationship with her hair, and how it helps her understand who she wants to be.

ET CHAQUE NUIT – Julie Robert (Director/Producer); Céline Le Thérisien (Writer/Line Producer); Maëva Poupard (Writer)Since childhood, Lea has been seeing ghostly deer looming around her. If only she managed to take one photograph of them, maybe her girlfriend Maud would take her issues seriously.

VIVA LA FEMINISTA – Silke Meya (Director); Laura Mentgen (Director of Photography); Noumia FilmA documentary about six children from Berlin. The film will offer insights into different cultural, social, religious and political understandings of role models and modern feminism.

(L-R: Anna Smith, Alma Jodorowsky, Jane Featherstone, Elisabeth Hopper, Christiana Ebohon-Green, Marianne Slot, Sarah Schlüssel and Nicole Ackerman)

A shortlist of ten teams were invited to pitch at The AllBright Club in London in June where they met with a panel of industry experts in an inclusive and fun environment. After thoughtful deliberation and discussion, the final five were selected.

Bumble received over 1,300 creative pitches centered around Bumble’s core values; kindness, respect, and equality. Bumble, WDW Entertainment and a panel of industry experts have selected these five teams to empower, mentor and financially support through their process. The programme was created to encourage women to make the first move – to stand up and tell their stories. Bumble believes that until we have a fairer representation of women behind the camera, we will not achieve parity of male and female stories on screen.

The Female Film Force is an empowering initiative set out to shine a light on the imbalance in the film industry and provide women across Europe with the opportunity to tell the stories they’re wanting to tell. The programme encourages women to have the confidence to believe in themselves and take the plunge into creating their own stories. We were incredibly fortunate to work with an inspiring panel of industry leaders who helped us select the final five recipients, all of which embody Bumble’s core values and beliefs. The funding will help launch these inspiring women into the industry and we can’t wait to see what they produce in January 2020.

Louise Troen, VP International Marketing & Communications

The films will be delivered and showcased at an event in January 2020.

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