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Interview – Vanessa Pellegrin – ‘The Trouble With The F Word’ – A Documentary

 

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Posted March 17, 2016 by

 
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Interview – Vanessa Pellegrin

Directed by Vanessa Pellegrin with feminist Lucy Anne-Holmes and egalitarian Nick Lancaster, The Trouble with the F word is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the rest of it’s important documentary.

The Trouble with the F word has been in progress for the past 3 years and needs one last push to be completed. Feminism and gender equality have been particularly controversial subjects in the last few years. Through this documentary, Vanessa Pellegrin shows the issues with the label of feminism, the men’s side of today’s gender issues and the pros and cons of third wave feminism. Not only will Nick and Lucy be taking challenges from each other, but they will also be taking challenges from the kickstarter backers.

Visit ‘The Trouble With The F Word’s’ Kickstarter Page – Here!

Interview:

To begin with, tell us about your latest project, ‘The Trouble with the F Word’….

The Trouble with the F Word is a documentary which has the aim to ask if Feminism is misunderstood or if it has become a hate movement that no longer promotes gender equality. The aim is to understand why men and especially women are so reluctant to call themselves feminists and to create a debate. My team and I have based our research on recent surveys run by official organizations such as YouGov and also Emma Waston’s speech during the launch of the He for She campaign.

In the UK and US, only 19% of the population claim themselves to be feminists. The documentary focuses on Lucy Anne-Holmes, a feminist activist and Nick Lancaster an egalitarian that has trouble with the F word. To understand each other’s positions, Lucy and Nick will be taking on each other’s roles and will be forced to view feminism on a different level. While Nick has to participate in things like the ‘Walk a Mile in her Shoes’ event and educate himself on the difficulties in life for women, Lucy will be campaigning for men’s rights movements and learn about unfairness in the male world. By Putting in each other’s shoes, they hope to understand why feminism became unpopular.

You have worked closely with Lucy Anne-Holmes and Nick Lancaster throughout the documentaries conception, tell us about them…

Lucy launched the No more page 3 campaign in 2013 and we met while she was running it. Nick is a TV sports journalist and we met through common conexions. He was very interested as a man to explore the topic.

‘The Trouble with the F Word’ has been in production for three years, why has the film taken this long to develop?

I have to say that I had no idea that I was putting myself in a war zone. We got funding denied, sponsorship denied, and commissions denied too. Our problem? We are too controversial. For some people it is unbelievable that we could put feminism into question and to give a voice to those who are against the movement. For others, the simple fact to include feminist into the discussion makes us biased. The recent documentaries done on the subject by the mainstream media didn’t help us. We thought we will receive more support by releasing a crowdfunding and even there, the fact to interact with both camps poses a problem. We have even been denied access to big publications. Very few people are engaging with free speech and discussion. As a director, I don’t want to take side, I just feel there is a problem with feminism and to find out, it is necessary to welcome both parts. That is why it is taking so long and we are even wondering if we will achieve to complete this film at all.

What do you hope to achieve with this Documentary? Are you trying to raise awareness or do you hope to convey/evoke something more?

Raising awareness is definitely something but my first goal is to inform. There are different information that are circulating in the media and social network and it will great to show which ones are true and which ones are myths. Exploring Modern feminism’s agenda will also show what are the real problems to tackle in order to achieve gender equality.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

John Pilger, Ken Loach, Bill Nichols, louis Therroux. They don’t hesitate to ask naïve questions and to let people speak for themselves even if they disagree.

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

A short film might come up later this year but we are still at the script stage. I will definitely keep you posted.

 

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