TIFF Women Directors: Meet Beeban Kidron

Interviews
by Melissa Silverstein
September 8, 2013 4:50 PM
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Beeban Kidron was born in London. She studied at the National Film and Television School and co-founded the educational charity FILMCLUB. Her directing credits include the fiction features Used People (92), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (95), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (04), and the documentary features Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and Their Johns (93), Sex, Death and the Gods (11), and InRealLife (13).

InRealLife plays as part of the Mavericks program at TIFF.

Women and Hollywood: Please give us your description of the film playing at TIFF.

Beeban Kidron: It's a feature documentary that investigates the relationship of teenagers to the internet - it attempts see whether our gradual slide into 24/7 connectivity is going to change who young people will become.

WaH: What drew you to this script? If you are the writer too, why did you write this script?

BK: I was drawn to the subject by realizing one day that it had been months since I had seen a teenager without a device of some sort in their hand - a games consul, a computer, a smart phone. I just wondered if they were always half here and half somewhere else - where was that somewhere else and what was it offering that was so compelling?

WaH: What was the biggest challenge?

BK: One - the subject is so huge you can only start a conversation that others have to continue in their own homes, bars, schools, gathering places...

Two - the determination of the public world to suggest that if you have questions or criticisms of the internet that you are automatically suggesting a return to the dark ages...with something as important as the internet it has to be more nuanced than that!

WaH: What advice do you have for other female directors?

BK: Make films whenever and however you can - don't take no for an answer

WaH: What's the biggest misconception about you and your work?

BK: That because I go from documentaries to features from features to TV, from TV to education projects - and then back to documentaries - I am often asked why I have given up one genre for another. In fact I feel that each feeds the next and my life is richer for having done them all.

WaH: What are the biggest challenges and or opportunities for the future with the changing distribution mechanisms for films?

BK: We need to work out who is paying for film, in the UK it is increasingly difficult to get production funds - and pre-sales demand more and more shot/cut material. In the US it would be so much better if the studios made many more smaller films for niche markets rather than a few tent pole films that swamp cinemas and hoover up all the funding.

WaH: Name your favorite women directed film and why.

BK: It's not a category that I recognize... but here are some brilliant films directed by women

Blackboards

Gas Food and Lodging

Whale Rider

Fish Tank

Lost in Translation

Europa Europa

The Piano

Germany Pale Mother

Salaam Bombay!

Clueless

Boys Don't Cry ...so many more.

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