Bella's Blog

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH E.D.E.N

HOURS LEFT TO VOTE TRANSFORMING CINEMA – HERE’S UP WHAT I HAVE BEEN UP TO RECENTLY.

If you follow me on social media you will no doubt have seen that E.D.E.N Film Productions, the social enterprise I am Chair of, is one of five finalists in the People’s Project in South Yorkshire. If we get enough votes (and you can vote here!) we will bring a transgender film festival to Sheffield.

Our project, Transforming Cinema, is an idea that was born out of previous filmmaking projects, working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Sheffield. Participants wanted to make a film on trans issues (and they did; documentary Trashing Transphobia is now online) but we all soon realised that one film could only begin to scratch the surface of the stories and experiences of transgender people. We needed more films, more stories, more voices – and a platform.

We therefore applied to the People’s Project and were thrilled to find out we had made the final stage, meaning that if we get enough votes we get to run more free film making workshops and we get to create a transgender film festival in Sheffield.

With media representation of transgender and gender nonconforming people often being negative or just plain non-existent, transgender hate crime rising, and there being a widespread general ignorance in terms of understanding trans issues in society at large, we created this project to give trans people a chance to share their stories and experiences on the big screen. The power of video can be great and we want to use it for something positive.

Since the announcement (we were so happy when we could finally say it!) Managing Director Claire Watkinson, Project Facilitator Becki McKechnie and I as well as a group of lovely volunteers and previous project attendees have been campaigning for votes across the UK.

We’ve campaigned across London, Manchester and Sheffield, city centres, train stations, universities, pubs, clubs and local businesses as well as different LGBT organisations – and we’ve had a fantastic reaction. Wherever we have gone people have shown a great amount of support and it has been really lovely to see people from all walks of life supporting this potential project.

So today was rainy. ☔ But we still managed to get some more votes! 👍😄 #TransformingCinema #peoplesprojects

A photo posted by Bella Qvist (@bella_qvist) on Mar 9, 2016 at 3:34pm PST

 

Attitude Magazine, DIVA Magazine and a range of blogs and websites have written about us, we have spoken on BBC Radio Sheffield and Hallam FM,  we have been featured on ITV Calendar News, we have been interviewed by different journalism students (good to see the younger generation take a great interest in this!) and we’ve had some celebrity endorsements.

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With less than 24 hours left to vote (voting closes Sunday 13 March at 12 noon) all we can do is plead for those final votes and hope we have done enough. The winners will be announced on the 16th – expect to see us laughing or crying very loudly that evening.

If you haven’t voted already, and you’re still unsure why you should, here’s our video on why we think you should vote Transforming Cinema:

Three out of five projects in the region receive the Big Lottery funding they have applied for. Click here for a brief summary of all five projects competing in South Yorkshire.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE VOTED AND SUPPORTED US THIS FAR, WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

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