A still from Held Down Video
Jennie Feyen Before I made Held Down I had a modest portfolio of short experimental films and a short documentary, each of which had been produced specifically for university assign-ments. In 2011 I was due to go to Japan for a student exchange program, however my plans were postponed by the tragedy of the eartquake and tsunami that hit in March of that year. Confronted with such a horrifying situation, I realised it was time to prove myself as an emer-ging filmmaker and attempt to produce work about issues I deeply care about outside the parametres of an assignment.
I used it as an impetus to start producing some new work. After the completion of a silent super 8 film I wrote and directed called Marigold, I read an article about sex slavery and started to reflect on all the media I'd been exposed to that had dared to show the grim reality of women tricked and sold into sex slavery. My mother recommended that I read a book called 'Half The Sky' and from there I decided what my next short film would be about. As sex slavery is such a huge issue and very difficult to comprehend when all one has known is safety and privilege, I tried to relate to the issue in the simplest way possible; by focusing on the face of a woman. Soon my mind had created a montage of womens' faces, whether they be characters (particularly Lilya from Lukas Moodysson's film Lilya 4-ever) or photos of former victims I had seen online and in print
Around this time I also started to have a recurring image of a girl standing alone in a dark space, her bare back facing me and her hands raised up in the air. I didn't understand who she was or what it meant, but there was something about the raw simplicity of it that struck me, and
We are glad to present this year's edition of Videofocus, our special Stigmart10 review focused on experimental cinema, original fashion vid...