The first annual Australian Music Week Film Festival is set to dedicate an evening to the role of gender in music, with two feature films and one short screening on the evening of Wednesday, 1st November at Cronulla’s GU Film House cinemas.
This program includes the Canadian feature Play Your Gender, which recently screened to acclaim at the Melbourne International Film Festival. In the film, Juno award-winning producer Kinnie Starr is on a quest to find out why only 5% of music producers are women, by speaking to music industry stars and veterans about the realities of being a woman in the recording studio. Play Your Gender features interviews with Sara Quinn of Tegan & Sara, Melissa Auf der Maur of The Smashing Pumpkins, Patty Schemel of Hole, Chantal Kreviazuk, and many more of the music industry’s most talented women.
And making its world premiere is the Australian documentary Breaking The Mould. Directed by Jessie Ryan-Allen, who will appear in a Q&A following the film, the film consists of a number of interviews with a diverse array of Australian artists and bands, reflecting on their experiences and sharing their opinions about the role of gender in Australian music since the 1950s.
Inspired by Lindy Morrison’s legendary documentary, Australian Women in Rock & Pop Music which was released in 1995, the film celebrates the evolution of gender and how it has shaped Australian music by creating a national conversation. The documentary features interviews with The Jezabels, Katie Noonan, The Grates, Jebediah, Abbe May, Stonefield, Grace Knight (Eurogliders), Regurgitator, Mia Dyson and Mental As Anything. The film is narrated by Zoë Norton Lodge, best known for her work on the ABC (The Checkout, Story Club & Chaser’s Media Circus).
Breaking The Mould will be accompanied by the German short film audio engeneering, which is about – you guessed it – audio engineering, a role which seems to be still a male domain. Even in the self organized anarchist DIY-Scene, female audio engineers are rare. This short film interviews a female audio engineer for an evening in the self organised concert venue “Venster99” in Vienna.