Who are we when we’re expected to be someone else?
‘Expectations’ follows Lizzy as they try to navigate individual identity and style. We see Lizzy describe how shared experience led them to a realisation that their gender identity differed from the norm. Our main subject details their discomfort with being expected to conform to a typical feminine appearance. Lizzy describes the ways in which gender roles were forced upon them from a young age – from social norms and familial influences. Despite this, we see Lizzy come into their own by showcasing their wardrobe. We see the clothes and accessories which make Lizzy feel comfortable and how they have carved out their own style and space free from expectations when it comes to gender. However, Lizzy also describes the difficulty in fully embracing the ideal self and remaining true to who you are. Even for Lizzy, someone who elects to live outside of traditional gender norms, expectations about gender and appearance still act as a barrier when it comes to embracing preferred self expression.
At the beginning of our production of what was originally ‘The Box’, we had set out to make a film about non – binary gender expression and people who align with this identity. We originally wanted to educate our audience in non – binary expression. However, our work in progress presentation was met with a lot of confusion. We took this feedback onboard and began to construct a clearer narrative focusing on Lizzy’s gender expression in terms of appearance. As we found that tackling the wider subject of alternative gender expression was a quite a large task for a short form documentary.
Our particular challenges throughout this process have been making our story accessible to a wider audience. We saw significant difficulty in communicating that Lizzy was agender without any prior context. This was made clear, when showing our film to Sue Brooks who had not knowledge of our previous work. This experience prompted us to think more critically about what we were showing the audience and how to avoid confusion.
Additionally, we also found difficulty in working with our subject to acquire the content we want, without straying too much from how Lizzy wishes to tell their story. Through this studio we have definitely learnt that the interview process is one of trial and error. In our workshop with Sue Brooks, she made note of how important it was to be in the moment with the person you have chosen to interview and go through the story with them. This is something we’re both taking on board as we continue to conduct interviews in the future. We have also learnt how particularly importance it is to acquire a significant amount of footage.
Challenges also arose in deciding the structure of our narrative. However in the process of editing, collaborating and note taking we have found a way to decipher how to structure our narrative in a way adequately tells the story.
Georgia Cerni – Director
Georgia is a 21 year old student in her second year of Media and Communications. Initially drawn toward drama filmmaking in her younger years, Georgia noticed herself gravitating more and more toward non fictional works – particularly documentary, over the past year. Georgia acknowledges the potential of documentary films to represent the underrepresented, and seeks to tell diverse stories of social importance. In future, Georgia is interested in further tackling themes related to queer identities and topical issues. Aside from filmmaking, Georgia enjoys cats, anything related to pop culture and reading.
Chrystalla Anastasi – Director
Chrys, is a 21 year old student, also in her second year of Media and Communications. Drawn to documentary as she figured it was the best way to listen to stories, Chrys has always had an interest in exposing how people think and feel around sex, gender and identity. When Chrys isn’t making student films, she enjoys relaxing at home with her puppy Phoenix.