Women Duking it Out in a Gender Biased World or Artists Struggling to Survive?

Katherine Monk Moderates Director’s Panel Discussion 

Katherine MonkSunday evening, just one feature film short of the conclusion of Vancouver Women in Film Festival 2012, film critic Katherine Monk moderated a stimulating panel discussion consisting of three directors featured during this year’s event: Desiree Lim, director of THE HOUSE, Tracy D. Smith, director of EVERYTHING AND EVERYWHERE, and Jill Sharpe, director of BONE, WIND, FIRE, which had screened earlier in the day.

Jill Sharpe

Katherine triggered the discussion by asking the panelists about the role of ego in the women’s craft. Jill Sharpe replied by saying that “getting past the fear means forgetting what they will think of me, it’s about the scene, the art, the director telling the story.” Tracy D Smith replied that “ego [had] to be set aside in order to get past the fear.” They were both talking about the fear of judgement. Fear of criticism either from the outside world or from the artist’s internal critic.

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VWIFF In The Director’s Chair with Desiree Lim

Still image from the film The House by Desiree Lim, Director


Director Desiree Lim’s film THE HOUSE will be featured at this year’s Women in Film Festival. Recently festival organizers caught up with her to tape an interview, the highlights of which are below:

See the full interview on our Youtube channel here:

VWIFF: How did you get started as a director?

DL: My career in filmmaking started when I was back in Japan. I graduated from a program in Journalism at university, and right away went into broadcasting. I started off doing some associate producing on some news and documentary shows, and then moved into directing.

VWIFF: Why did you choose the fictional world of storytelling?

DL: I think I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was growing up I was always writing, I was drawing. Those two elements sort of meshed into one. I’m a visual storyteller.

VWIFF: What was your biggest challenge in making this film?

DL: I think for me the biggest challenge making The House is really the budgetary constraints. We made this film on a shoestring budget, and also with a crew that’s really small and inexperienced.

VWIFF: How do you feel about being a female in the film industry?

DL: Well I’ve always been in the industry. When you work in the office, you work with a lot of female co-workers, but when you’re on the field, you’re usually around men. I think what our film industry lacks right now is really the female vision, the female perspective. So I think there’s still a lot of work to be done, a lot of ways to be paved, and part of what Women in Film does is that.

VWIFF: What is your view of the changing technological landscape of film?

DL: For me, fundamentally, whether you’re making a $10K film or a $100M film, what it is is: make a good film. Do you know how to tell a good story? To me it’s not so much about the technology. It comes down to making a good film.

VWIFF: What advice can you give to young directors?

DL: What I would advise young directors to do is watch as many films as you can. Not just the films that are coming our now, but study the history of film.

VWIFF: As an artist, where do you see yourself in five years?

DL: If I had a crystal ball, what I see is myself making a lot of money through my films, but still being true to my vision, and to my integrity as an artist.

Thank you Desiree!

Official Film Trailer for The House