The ICA’s new film programme

“Women are a drastically under-utilised resource for the UK film industry.” That’s the conclusion drawn by Calling the Shots: Women and contemporary film culture in the UK, 2000-2015, an ongoing Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project, which investigates women as creative practitioners in contemporary UK cinema.

The Institute of Contemporary will celebrate this with Onwards and Outwards, a programme of films made by British women filmmakers over the last 50 years, focusing on those who have excelled in making works of independence and originality. The nationwide programme of screenings, talks and events aims to establish a dialogue around the conditions of production that women face when using the moving image as a means of expression.

Screenings will be accompanied by introductions and Q&As from relevant industry professionals and cultural practitioners such as Joanna Hogg, Laura Mulvey, Carol Morley and Campbell X.

Finishing with a round-up discussion, Onwards and Outwards will raise the profile of key issues and encourage public debate. The programme has been made possible by support from the BFI, awarding funs from the National Lottery.

Onwards and Outwards will run until 10 September at the ICA and until end of December at nationwide venues.

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London Feminist Film Festival

With London’s rising reputation as a hub for independent film, it’s no surprise that it also hosts its own London Feminist Film Festival, which this year is take place from 20-23 August. The Rio Cinema, Dalston, and the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, are opening their doors for 15 film screenings over four days.

Subjects range from Jewish feminism to hip hop, views on gender from the young generation and an animation about a Welsh suffragette. The Feminist Classic section will this year feature Cynthia Scott’s The Company of Strangers, a multi-award-winning film about older women from 1990. Each film is followed by a panel discussion.

20 -23 August;



For their AW15 campaign, Kenzo’s creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim called upon independent filmmaker, Gregg Araki, to take a nostalgic trip back to the teenage wastelands he created for his Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy, and the result is a short film entitled Here Now.

In a similar world of 1997’s Nowhere, this film is shot in the same style and frame of mind but features a new cast of young stars, such as Avan Jogia, Grace Victoria Cox, Jacob Artist, Jane Levy and Nicole LaLiberte. The costumes are all from Kenzo’s AW15 menswear and womenswear collections, of course, and are styled to enhance the characters and narrative of Araki’s short. All the signifiers we’ve come to expect from the director are present: overwrought teenage rebellion and angst, rampant sexuality, a nun and yes, the pre-requisite Shoegaze song.

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Run It Out

Run It Out is a documentary that tells one woman’s story of following your dreams; of not allowing the past to ruin your present or your future.

Directed by Tara Darby, the film follows Robin Arzon, a street athlete and former lawyer, as she sets out on one of the toughest challenges of her life – to run five marathons in five days in the challenging terrain of the Utah desert to raise money for MS research. As it unfolds we learn the reasons behind Robin’s motivation and why she feels the need to run such long distances, pushing herself way past her own limits. Running is her meditation, her release, her therapy.

The film is a celebration of strong women, love, life and running. It is yet to be completed, and those involved are looking to raise £20k to get the documentary finished and submitted to film festivals in Europe and NYC.

To find out how to get involved and help this story be told, head here.

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The Suffragette Trailer

Suffragette, the first film about the Suffragettes – members of the 19th and early 20th Century movement who fought for and won the women’s right to vote – is here with the release of its trailer.

Packed with performances from the likes of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, the film is to open the BFI London Film Festival in October.

The moving trailer sees Streep nail a British accent and bring brilliance to her role as Emmeline Pankhurst, the iconic leader of the British Suffragettes, but it’s Mulligan who steals the show with her performance as Maud, a fictional ‘foot soldier’ to the cause.

In the short clip, when Maud is told that women’s protesting will be stopped, she replies: “What you going to do? Lock us all up? We’re in every home. We’re half the human race. You can’t stop us all.”

Suffragette is out in UK cinemas on 30th October 2015. 

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Female Matters

According to UNICEF, more than 130 million women and girls alive today have been cut in the countries where FGM is concentrated – a shocking statistic indeed. That’s what Ione Gamble, editor of Polyester zine thought, and what she sought to highlight and fight by putting the rising abundance of female talent within the spheres of art and fashion to good use.

The result is Female Matters, a one-night-only group exhibition exploring sexual liberation in the 21st century, with all profits raised going to The Dahlia Project, a charity that supports survivors of FGM.

Taking place this Thursday, 4th June, the evening has been co- curated by Polyester zine and designer Clio Peppiatt, showcasing work from some of London and the UK’s most exciting female artists including as Charlotte Mei, Samantha Conlon, Maisie Cousins, Felicity Hayward, The Digital Fairy, Ayesha Tan Jones and Eleanor Hardwick, working across a variety of mediums such as performance art, photography, film and sculpture.

The exhibition will also showcase a group collaborative installation of over twenty pairs of customised lingerie and knickers from creative agencies, zines, and collectives such as Anti Agency, The Mushpit, Sister Magazine, Bunny Collective, the PINKD book, Girls Don’t, Baroness, Skinny Girl Diet, Lorde inc, Polyester, Hanecdote, Girls Only, Me and You, Maria Pizzeria, Clio Peppiatt & others.

4th of June- Box Studio Shoreditch. 7-11pm- one night only

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Bright Young Things Film Club: Guidance

Founded by Bridget Arsenault and Fatima Martinez-Moxon, The Bright Young Things (BYT) Film Club supports and features the work of up-and-coming actors and filmmakers from around the world. Hosting glamorous events at The May Fair Hotel, the two friends have made independent cinema affordable, accessible and fun.

Previous screenings featured the 2013 SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary Maidentrip, in which we see 14-year-old Laura Dekker set out on a two-year voyage, becoming the youngest person ever to sail around the world, and the Nora Ephron Prize winning Zero Motivation, where writer-director Talya Lavie drew from her own personal experience in the Israeli Defense Forces and created a feature which is aptly described as ‘Girls meets M*A*S*H’.

Their upcoming event on June 9th will be the UK premiere of Guidance. In his directorial debut, Pat Mills – who also wrote and stars in the dark comedy – plays David Gold, a pathologically immature former child actor who never got over high school. Diagnosed with skin cancer and desperate for money, he fakes his resume, and gets a job as a high school guidance counsellor. Mills will be joining BYT after the film for a live Skype Q&A. Purchase tickets here.

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Filmaker Shimmy Amed goes behind the scenes on Matteo Montanari’s dreamy 70’s fashion shoot in this short film.

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Twin talks feminism: Mad Max

A post-apocalyptic action movie would not usually warrant a mention on Twin, but it specifically caught our eye for a post on feminism in Hollywood.

Men’s rights commentators from website Return of The King called on right-minded males to boycott the movie because of the feisty Furiosa, played by a smoking hot Charlize Theron. His main complaints were that Theron ‘spoke a lot’ during the trailers and ‘barked orders to Tom Hardy’s Mad Max…when nobody barks orders to Mad Max.’ Theron, in true kick-ass fashion, responded by calling on film-makers to “stop misrepresenting women.”

This has resulted in a social media storm, with both naysayers and supporters taking to various platforms to share their thoughts. The most recurrent opinion is that the film is excellent – so perhaps we’ll put aside our stilettos to make a trip to the cinema in the near future.

This is just the latest in a series of outcries against sexism in film, with Kristin Stewart also commenting on gender bias this week. Charlize Theron, in fact, recently made headlines by negotiating a deal to get the same £6.5m salary as her co-star Chris Hemsworth in the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, firmly cementing her as a Twin grrl and feminist icon.

While these are certainly shocking revelations about La-La Land, it seems that our favourite starlets have the matter well in hand.

For more feminism, along with our usual fashion, beauty and culture, and to stay in the know with all the goings-on at Twin, sign up to our new newsletter here.

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French director Céline Sciamma tackles feminine identity and coming-of-age in her latest film Girlhood, which debuted at Cannes last year. Originally attracting attention because of the implications of a white filmmaker directing and writing a story about black teenagers in the infamously troubled Parisian banlieues, the film has been nominated for four Césars, including Best Director and Most Promising Actress for its star, 20-year-old newcomer Karidja Touré.

Coming-of-age is not a new topic for Sciamma – witness her last two projects, Water Lilies and Tomboy – but a group of black teenage girls is a subculture that has rarely been depicted before. Protagonist Marieme is oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighbourhood. She starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls, changing her name, her dress code, and quitting school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

The result is a sensitive portrayal of feminine identity within the framework of social pressure, restrictions and taboos, of which image and identity are central. Perhaps most importantly, Girlhood’s success and publicity has made this particular subculture a lot more visible in France.

Girlhood airs in UK cinemas on 8th May.

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Dior & I

Today sees the release of Dior & I, the latest documentary from filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng – his solo directorial debut – that follows Raf Simons as he starts his role as Creative Director at the Parisian fashion house.

You find yourself immersed in the world of Dior, from the ateliers, to the business and communications, and even in the legend that is Christian Dior himself. Throughout the film we see vignettes of Christian Dior in black and white, using voiceover quotes from his autobiography. It’s these snippets that emphasise the work ahead of Simons as he embarks on the task of creating his very first haute couture collection for Dior, modernising the legacy for a new generation. They also act as a reminder of the past, baring weight on the shoulders of the designer of the future.

There are times in the film where things don’t always go to plan. Which, expectably, there would be. Simons is known as a minimalist (although he does not see it that way) and has never designed a couture collection before, let alone in eight weeks, and so these mishaps were bound to happen. But, what you notice is that every hurdle is handled in a rather elegant manner and only once do we witness a tiny designer tantrum – if you could even call it that.

A sense of thrill and excitement hangs over the experience; you are anticipating the grand finale right from the very start, cheering on the rather timid designer and Pieter Muller, his right-hand-man, the entire length of the movie. Tcheng does this by creating a crescendo of sorts. The voiceover shifts from the past to the present as we draw near to the catwalk show, and it acts as a commentary on Simons’ whole experience. When the collection finally does walk the runway, in a beautiful slow motion scene, emotions are high, and watching this little slice of modern couture history evokes those same feelings in anyone with a place in their heart for style.

Dior & I is in cinemas from today.

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Moda Operandi Fashion Firsts: AndréLeon Talley

In the last video of Moda Operandi’s Fashion Firsts series, we look to AndréLeon Talley and the firsts that would go on to shape his momentous career.

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Moda Operandi Fashion Firsts: Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg is a fashion industry icon. Here, in an exclusive video series by Moda Operandi, we learn about her Fashion Firsts, those moments that would go on to shape her career.

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Dior & I

Dior & I follows Raf Simons as he started his role as Creative Director at one of the most infamous fashion houses. Filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng captures those first moments working for the brand and continues up until his first haute couture collection was presented to the world.

This soon to be released documentary gives you insider access into the mind of a designer, but also shows how everything from the ateliers to communications find a way to work together and create something as magical as a couture fashion show.

Dior & I is released on March 27th

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Moda Operandi Fashion Firsts: Zac Posen

All this week we are posting exclusive Fashion Firsts videos from luxury online retailer Moda Operandi. Second on our list is American designer Zac Posen. Still to come are AndréLeon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele.

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Moda Operandi Fashion Firsts: Naomi Campbell

First up in Moda Operandi’s exclusive video series, Fashion Firsts, is Naomi Campbell. Watch her divulge her career beginnings in the video above. Industry icons Zac Posen, André Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele’s videos are still to come. Watch them on Twin all this week.

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Fashion Firsts By Moda Operandi

In a funny and candid video series, Moda Operandi speaks to industry icons Naomi Campbell, Zac Posen, André Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, as they detail the pivotal moments that launched their careers.

Moda Operandi is the first online luxury retailer to make shopping straight from the runway possible. In this video series Fashion Firsts, produced by Moda Operandi Media Manager Bettina Santo Domingo, we hear about other firsts such as walking Marc Jacobs’ first show at NYFW and meeting Diana Vreeland. We discover why these moments hold such weight and why they remain meaningful today.

Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder of Moda Operandi describes how “nothing in fashion is ever as thrilling, nerve-racking, exciting, or scary as your very first time”.

Moda Operandi is calling us all to join in the conversation, asking everyone to share their own fashion first by posting an image or video on Instagram with the hashtag #ModaFirst.

All next week we will be revealing a different Fashion Firsts each day.


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Kenzo x Toiletpaper SS15 Video

For their SS15 campaign video, Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim once again called on the talents of Toilet Paper Magazine, a collective composed of artist Maurizio Cattelan, photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and art director, Micol Talso. Set in a graphic and modern cityscape, we find ourselves emerged in an optimistic utopia, where nothing is what it seems.

“For us, TOILETPAPER were an obvious choice for us to work with on this project,” stated Leon and Lim. “The strength and impact of their work is often in the most subtle visual tricks which become more powerful the longer you are exposed to them.”

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The Pitch

Last year, 6500 people slept rough in London. This short film features Tim Wright, who has been living homeless in Highbury for the past 10 years. Behind the camera is Hilow Films, a small production company which consists of Emily McDonald, 27, and her directing partner, Nev Brook, 35 ½. Twin catches up with Emily to learn more about the company and their reasons for doing this film.

Tell me about your background and how Hilow films came about.
I left school when I was 16 and moved to London a couple of months later with one GCSE. I worked in various restaurants until I was introduced to an amazing man by my aunty, who told me he thought I might be good working in media. I got a job as a runner in a production company and spent the next year or so working insanely hard, until I got a job as a PA to the editors at an ad agency called Wieden + Kennedy. They asked me there if I wanted to learn to produce or edit and I said I’d love to learn how to edit, so they trained me up. This was where I met my directing partner Nev. He was a lot better behaved at school than I was, and even managed to make it through uni with a degree in film studies. After leaving W+K, we worked on a few projects together, but this year decided to step it up and formed Hilow Films. We are essentially a tiny production company and direct, film and edit for various clients.

Why ‘Hilow’?
It’s called Hilow because Nev is really tall – 6’7 – and I’m pretty small at 5’3, so he is the hi and I am the low.. We look really weird next to each other!

The Pitch is an incredibly touching film – where did the concept come from?
I had wanted to shoot a film about being homeless for a long time. I used to live very close to Highbury corner and walked past Tim nearly every day. He’s very charismatic, always smiling and joking with everyone, and I therefore found him very approachable. We got chatting and I asked if he would mind us following him around for the day and luckily he loved the idea. Nev and I both felt he would make a compelling character in a documentary about being homeless, without being relentlessly depressing, which most documentaries on the subject generally are.

Do you know anything about what’s happened to Tim since the film? Do you think it has changed anything for him?
We go and see Tim on a weekly basis to see what he has been up to and how he is doing. He is still struggling with some substance abuse issues, but has managed to finally get a place in a hostel, which is great news especially as the weather is getting so much colder. We invited Tim to the screening and it was great to see him there. We hope this film is a tiny part of the very long process of Tim restarting his life and moving away from homelessness.

Did working on the film change your attitude towards the homeless?
It definitely did. It’s easy to become a little callous in London, everyone is constantly on the move and it’s very easy to overlook a lot of things on a daily basis.  Delving into his life, talking to Tim and realising that being homeless doesn’t rob you of normal emotions, desires and dreams felt revelatory to both of us, as shameful as that is to admit.

Are you hoping that the film will affect how society views the homeless?
We wanted to show that being homeless is not easy, but is also not devoid of moments of humanity and even humour. Tim uses comedy to help him sell on his pitch, but it also keeps him attached to society in a very profound way.

Could you tell me a little bit about the film-making process? Was it all done in just one day?
We always thought that ‘a day in the life’ type film would be the right way for us to go with it. As it was, a day’s filming that really helped with the way we structured it. It took us a couple of weeks to edit, there were so many amazing moments captured throughout the day that it became quite hard knowing what to keep and what not to. It was a real plus working together on it so that if one of us was being indecisive, the other one could be a little more ruthless! Other than that, Tim was incredibly open with us. The most important part in the whole project was definitely building a relationship with him. Without that fundamental part, he wouldn’t have communicated so well with us and been so relaxed on camera.

Was this sort of film similar to anything you had done before?
We had shot profile/mini-docs about people before, but this was the most ambitious one we’d done.

What projects are you working on at the moment, what should we be looking out for?
We’re about to direct a music video for Shura, which we are really looking forward to. Other than that we have a couple more documentary ideas we are beginning to work on, so hopefully early next year we will have some more films for you to watch.


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Terminal 3 by Dior

An elegant woman storms down a corridor; the sound of her footsteps resonating against the floor creates a sinister heartbeat, drumming out the rhythm of a dramatic love triangle that ends in tragedy. This short film, Terminal 3, is Philip-Lorcia Dicorcia’s realisation of Dior’s stunning Cruise 2015 collection, inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age. 


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