Women in Film Education (WIFE)

Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Women in Film Education (WIFE)

Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Gabrielle

Photo stories by:

Gabrielle

Photo by Anthony Guertin

No makeup

[Before coming to the first day of my shoot], I spent a long time thinking about whether I should put on makeup or not. I saw black circles under my eyes, pimples and greasy hair. Ever since I was a teenager, I haven’t felt comfortable without makeup on. But I thought it would be more professional if I didn’t put on makeup on my set. I wanted [my crew] to know that I was committed to my film and didn’t focus on my appearance. I wanted to show them, “I’m the director, I’m the focus.” I wanted to be plain and transparent. At that moment, I was also sad because [I knew] I was more worried about how I looked than the actual shoot. After I went on the set, I forgot about the makeup. Now, I’m proud because I didn’t [put on makeup] and also because I was doing what I love. I am finally ok with myself.

Photo by Anthony Guertin

Family catering team

On the first day [of the shoot], I presented everyone to my family during lunch, telling them how much time my family had spent [cooking the meals for the crew]. My sister made the aprons, and my other sister made the little name tags and posters. My mom had been working for a month to test [the recipes]. She was super committed. I wanted my set to be different, and it was very different because of [my mom]. Everyone remembered my shoot because of her.

Photo by Anthony Guertin

Proud dad

I bought this t-shirt for my dad as a joke because he is really passionate about his Quebecois roots. He was not really comfortable with me going to an English university at first. Usually, he doesn’t like to wear t-shirts with English words, but he wore this shirt for my shoot. This was his way of showing his support. Also, I really like the facial expression of my father. He doesn’t say much but his face is very expressive. Through his eyes, you can see he was very proud of me and his family. His children have always been his greatest pride.

Photo by Anthony Guertin

We’re all in this together

Everyone in my class had read the script and knew [the film] was about my mother. This set was very personal because the story was very personal, and my family was there. Sometimes, I had too much in my head and would come to that room and speak to my mom, my father, and my sister. In that stressful situation, comforting food made by my mother and direct support from my family really helped me. It was a break from the set. Because I was so involved, and my family was so involved, it was hard for me to see why some [crew members] didn’t care. They were there because they needed to be, and I couldn’t understand why they had that attitude. I saw it as a lack of respect for all these reasons.

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