SARAH GONNET (EDITOR):
I am a writer, artist and autodidact from the North-East of England. I make work in a variety of forms, predominately theatre, but also poetry, arts journalism, prose, painting, artist books and moving image. Currently I am working on two projects which combine these different methods to make a hybrid text. I’m doing this for a piece of multi-media theatre and for an online hybrid novel about Outsider Artists (http://thehypergraphiaproject.wordpress.com/).
Alongside my own creative practise I run writing workshops and an arts based support group for people experiencing mental illness.
As of 2017 I am under commission to write two full-length plays. Previously I was commissioned to write Word Salad for Alphabetti Theatre as part of their The Rooms production. The production went on to win a Best New Writing Award from the North-East Theatre Guide.
I started this website in June 2017 after posting a late night rant on Facebook that said I wanted to do something in reaction to yet another male-orientated “Best Films Ever Made” film poll; a post which ended up getting an immense response overnight and led me to thinking that maybe this was something that I should actually get up and do.
ELIZA CLARK (WRITER):
I am a 23 year old artist and author. I studied fine art at Chelsea College of Art and Design, where my work (both creative and academic) focussed on internet culture, extreme images and film and voyeurism. I had my first novel published at the age of 18 and currently write short horror fiction. I also study online fandom culture and have led several workshops and lectures on slash fiction.
Likely as a result of the above, I currently work in a shop.
MHAIRI LEDGERWOOD (WRITER):
Mhairi Ledgerwood is a playwright. She has had short plays presented at The Traverse, Northern Stage, Live Theatre, Alphabetti Theatre, and as part of Jabberwocky Market festival. Her one act play ParkLife, was recently performed at Live Theatre, as part of Live Lab’s Elevator week. Other work includes Songs of the Blackbird (Alphabetti Theatre), Shatter (Jabberwocky Market), Cracked (ARC Stockton), and Hummingbird (ARC/Traverse). She is currently developing Signal Change, a play about young men and mental health. Mhairi is a member of Writers ARCADE and a script reader for Alphabetti Theatre.
ANNA NOVITZKY (WRITER):
Anna Novitzky lives in Manchester. A former chemist and student of the history of science, she works as a subeditor at the scientific journal Nature, which makes her a professional pedant — a career move that she is sure surprised no one knows her.
She loves stories of all kinds, but has a particular soft spot for intelligent genre films: action, sci-fi, fantasy, crime, thrillers and, most especially, horror. She adores films that play with the rules and your expectations; that use genre tropes to make larger points; that get under your skin and are still making you think days later. But she also enjoys a good colourful explosion and a really well-imparted sense of creeping dread.
One day she’ll finish that novel she’s been working on since the start of recorded time. Her favourite film changes from day to day, but right now she thinks it’s The Descent.
KIERA MICHAELIS (WRITER):
Kiera Michaelis likes going to the cinema. She likes watching Netflix and TV. She likes talking about it. When she was 15 she won “Guardian Young Film Critic of the Year” – so she at least used to be ok at talking about it. For the past four years she has researched and reviewed for the “Spirit of the Fringe” Award and show at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and she has had paid work in writing, producing, directing and acting in theatre and comedy. She is also highly interested in the film industry generally and what makes a successful film. What are the magic ingredients to give a film life? In today’s multimillion (or even billion) dollar and instant access streaming world what is there space for and what should there be space for? Join her while she talks about films and TV she’s watched in an honest but hopeful manner. Because we deserve good entertainment.
VIVIENNE BURGESS (WRITER):
Vivienne graduated from Brunel University London in 2016 with a Bachelor in English with Creative Writing. In hindsight, she should have probably done Zoology.
As any young person with access to a Netflix account might think, Vivienne has watched her fair share of cinema, though she’s acutely aware of all the cracks in her critical lens. When she thinks of film and her interest in it, Vivienne remembers long Saturday afternoons sitting on her dad’s sofa in his new flat, the summer he left; always pizza and baked beans for dinner; every DVD they could find in his boxes stacked high; Bill Murray with colour in his hair; Belushi before the overdose; Chevy on another vacation; and her dad’s stories, from eras yonder, how just like the movies they were, so full of aggrandisement and mischief, so easy to enjoy.
And then she saw I Am Legend for the first time and lost a fortnight’s sleep.
KELCIE WARNER (WRITER):
My name is Kelcie Warner, I am 22 years old and live in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I have had a passion for film as long as I can remember. I’ll watch pretty much any genre, I love it all. Well, maybe you won’t find me watching too many horror films… One thing I will always remember is someone saying to me ‘You’re a girl and like Marvel movies,’ as if I was some rare Pokémon find. Yes, believe it or not I do love a Marvel film, and would say the fantasy genre is one of my favourites. I’m currently studying a Masters in Creative Writing and love story telling myself. This is probably where my interest in film has spun from. I’m currently working on a dystopian novel which I hope to get published, but I am also trying to take the first steps towards working in the film industry. I took to writing film reviews in my spare time as it’s combing two things that I like: film and writing. I go to the cinema almost every week as it’s literally two minutes away from me. It’s the perfect situation for a film lover.
RACHEL DOVE (WRITER):
I am an author and book, TV, and film geek living in Yorkshire. When I am not hanging out with my family, I am writing romantic fiction, reading books or watching my latest boxset obsession. Passionate about special needs provision; I am an adult education teacher and currently studying for my MA in Creative Writing. My special Mastermind subject would be Grey’s Anatomy and I love to test the question: which is better, the film or the book? I am currently writing my fifth book and I have secret plans to one day get Gerard Butler to star as one of my characters.
GEMMA CORKING (WRITER):
Currently, I spend most of my time with numbers at work whether that’s an interest rate, a calculation or a balance. My real passion lies within it’s opposite – words. I am an avid reader, writer and film/TV watcher and always love to see the adaption of the books I’ve read. I have been very fortunate with my exposure to film and TV as my Mam worked at Blockbusters for many years, and free rentals were the norm (I thought this was the case for everyone until I was at least 10). Due to this, I cannot imagine a week without catching a film – whether it’s a new release or a classic, an animation or live action – it has been a part of my life for so long, and I love it. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and when Blockbuster closed, my free rentals stopped, but that hasn’t stopped me. I’m a loyal Netflix subscriber and love a trip to the cinema. My claim to fame is that Ava Duvernay liked one of my tweets about her documentary The 13th Amendment (I believe I squealed) – an absolute must watch for everyone by the way a real eye opener and available on Netflix. My favourite film is currently La La Land – the cinematography is spectacular!
GEMMA MURRAY (WRITER):
My name is Gemma Murray and I’m a 25 year old writer and theorist from Gateshead, now based in London. Graduating from Chelsea College of Art in 2014 with a degree in Fine Art, I came to realise that my practice was increasingly concerned with theoretical and philosophical matter, and I thus returned to university to study a Masters of Research in Art Theory and Philosophy at Central Saint Martins. At the beginning of 2017, I gave a lecture in partnership with a friend and fellow writer on the relationship between art and philosophy with particular respect to the body – this overarching theme within my practice has focused my research upon the depiction of the feminine and female body within science fiction films and literature, and draws from my background in feminist art, theory and philosophy.
AMY MITCHELL (WRITER):
Amy Mitchell is a writer, reader, and thinker who does things around theatre and film and art in the North East of England. By day she works on theatre and arts projects, mostly with young people, and by night she likes reading, writing plays, poetry and sometimes sleeping. She’s always wanted to live by the sea, preferably in a light-house, and loves drinking tea. You can find her in a theatre near you, or online @contactamym
JACQUELINE GRIMA (WRITER):
My name is Jacqueline and I am a freelance writer, editor and proof-reader and a mum of three boys. I have a BA Hons in Literature which I gained from The Open University and am currently in my final year of an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Met. My creative work has appeared in various publications and I am currently seeking a publisher for the novel that started life as my MA portfolio.
GIORGI PLYS-GARZOTTO (WRITER):
Giorgi Plys-Garzotto is a Chicago native and aspiring television writer. She works as a
freelance writer in Brooklyn, doing web journalism, as well as copywriting for mobile apps and online retail. Her dearest wish is to create the world’s first pun dictionary. She loves cooking vegan food, going for long walks alone, and binge-watching Riverdale. She spends most of her time jacked into Tumblr’s information superhighway of memes, reading the huge backlog of books she can’t stop buying more of, or disassociating.
Giorgi graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2016; her thesis film, Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?!, has been in the official selection for eighteen film festivals to date, including the Toronto Independent Film Festival and the Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival. It has also won six awards, including two for Best Director and one for Best Student Film. It was recently screened at Anthology Film Archives as part of NewFilmmakers New York.
MARTHA LANE (WRITER):
I have always loved stories and have spent most of my adult life studying them. While my degrees focused on the written word it is the silver screen that takes up most of my time. I have been known to see the same film twice in one day at the local kino! Having small children has hampered my regular cinema trips somewhat but my daughter was only 10 weeks old for her first cinematic experience, which I see as one of my greatest parenting accomplishments. I’m a huge fan of world cinema and actually love Pedro Almodóvar so much that I haven’t listened to a certain film critic since he gave I’m So Excited a bad review four years ago – so it’s fair to say I feel quite strongly about the films I do watch. The chance to write for The Female Gaze is very exciting because it will give me a legitimate reason to watch something other than Disney. I also think it is incredibly important that sites like TFG exist in today’s climate which is, worryingly, increasingly divisive and it is becoming all too easy for women’s voices to be drowned out.
VICTORIA MCGOWAN (WRITER):
In my life I have been many things – a mum of four and a daughter, a student and then a teacher, married then not (although now very happily settled with a fellow film lover) and then there is the unavoidable issue of my Borderline Personality Disorder, with time spent as a Service User and now an Expert by Experience. Yet no matter what I was doing or what label I carried, the blood of the armchair critic has always ran through me. Every memory I have is framed around the films that accompanied it, be they soundtracks I studied to, relationships measured in cinematic release dates, or places I visited, always hunting out the local cinema building and its history.
SUSAN ENGLAND (WRITER):
Susan England nee Fletcher was born and raised in Summerville, Georgia, USA. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Kennesaw College in Marietta, Georgia. She relocated to England in 1997 after marrying an Englishman.
While still in Georgia, she had 3 articles published in a USA humor magazine for nurses and also had articles published in several Georgia newspapers. An article of hers entitled “My Mum’s Sweet Southern Ice Tea,” was published in the Guardian July 2017.
Susan enjoys all sorts of films, but has a special place in her heart for classic Hollywood films. Her favorite film is Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper. The first film she saw in cinema was the Beatles Yellow Submarine. That was back in the days when you could still stay and watch the same film over and over and only pay for one screening. Susan made her sister Martha stay through 3 viewings of Yellow Submarine because she enjoyed watching Ringo drive the car around in the long hallway.
HUMIRA IMTIAZ (WRITER):
With a passion for writing about anything besides herself, Humira is a lover of stories in their varying forms. Having explored theatre as a small-time playwright, she has recently begun dabbling in directing, puppeteering and producing. Humira grew up on a healthy diet of action flicks and Bollywood, courtesy of all-Father TV, and she has developed a taste for a broad variety of cinema. When Humira isn’t square-eyed, she is usually daydreaming some fantastical adventure which probably should be written down. Humira is currently working on a screenplay series about a young South Asian girl finding out she is a Chimera and the struggle she and her family go through with her understanding identity and isolation.
SAMIA DJILLI (WRITER):
Samia is writer from London with a First-Class Honours degree in Creative Writing from the University of Greenwich. She focuses mostly on plays and screenplays, exploring subjects such as race, culture, women and class. She had her debut play, Lavender Hill Boys, produced at the Lion and Unicorn in 2016, and as of 2017 she is producing work with her all female theatre company, Paperclip Theatre. (Paperclip’s inaugural performance night took place at the Betsey Trotwood this November.)
She has had multiple short stories and pieces of poetry published by Galley Beggar Press, and was the assistant editor of Latitude Lookout Magazine.
Currently she is the opportunities manager of London Playwrights Blog.