Three Goldsmiths students have won the prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) London Student Award for their film about female oppression.
The Female Voice was made by Julia dos Santos, Minji Kim, and Jeanette Lee, who were all undergraduate media students when they made the film.
Director dos Santos told ELL: “It was absolutely amazing. Being accepted into a festival, especially a prestigious one like RTS, regardless of winning is already such a gratification because it validates your hard work and the message of your film.”
The RTS, who also placed the film in the top three “Best Factual” category, said: “The Female Voice… was a confident and well-constructed documentary that took a fresh look at this subject at many different levels – the practical, the physiological and the political.
“It was a fascinating thesis, with the elegant and persuasive use of well-chosen archive material and some first-rate interviews with authoritative contributors.”
The film was completed in April 2016 with fellow Goldsmiths students Kim, producer and cinematographer, and Lee, sound design and editor.
dos Santos (22) studied Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, specialising in documentary. She is now completing an MA in Media Management in Switzerland, where she also spent her teenage years.
Speaking about the inspiration for the film, dos Santos says: “The idea actually came from working on a business video project for an internship and asking my boss if he would like the voice-over to be male or female– he chose male.
“The initial idea was supposed to cover the voice-over industry and movie trailer voice-overs. However, as it grew we broadened it out to talk about voice from a much more general perspective.”
The Female Voice opens with a montage of black and white clips representing the suffragette movement, male politicians telling females to be quiet, and excerpts from TV shows and news broadcasts, exploring the various platforms in which the female voice is suppressed.
Although the idea came from an internship experience, dos Santos says that the more she thought about the topic, she began to reflect on her own actions in professional and business environments.
She continues: “I remember always looking around meetings and seeing the women hunched over themselves, barely projecting their voices, and apologising for making completely relevant and insightful remarks.
“Meanwhile the men boomed over with their loud voices and dominant stances. So I always played a game with myself to copy them: If all the men were sitting with their arms spread wide over the backrest, leaning back, I would do the same.
“When I spoke, I would make sure to project my voice and hold it in a low and stable tone. It was amazing to see the reaction I got from the men – once a male colleague even complimented me afterwards.”
Tracy Bass, a senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, told Eastlondonlines: “This is a film that deserves to be seen, enjoyed and reflected upon by a wide audience– and I believe it will find that audience.
“I’m proud of our department’s role in helping this exceptionally talented group of young filmmakers realise their ideas.”
The film is currently password protected online as it is still being submitted to festivals. If you would like to see it, please email Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org