Dr Martens and Girls in Film

Girls in Film is a platform which advocates for and supports the next generation of women in film. Their mission is to bridge the gender gap in the male-dominated film industry by promoting and aiding female film creators and their stories.

This month, Dr Martens have teamed up with the initiative and issued a £5000 grant to help Girls in Film in their mission, providing the opportunity for emerging female filmmakers “to realise their creative vision”.  The collaborative fund is requesting a film of any genre of up to seven minutes which addresses a unique perspective of female strength. As well as looking to “celebrate the spirit of female independence and resilience” the project is seeking “fleshed out characters, defined storylines and encouraging messaging”. It is required that at least the director and the producer have to be female as the project is striving for “important female stories and their creators” to be seen and heard. The brief for the project focuses on recognising the hardships which bold independent filmmakers may face and the fund states that they “respect that and want to support you”. The specific and challenging brief aims to invite pieces which will simultaneously challenge gender bias in the industry and create more opportunities for female-identifying directors, producers and filmmakers. The winner of the Girls in Film x Dr Martens grant will be announced after a rigorous selection process in March and the film will be completed in July 2020, with the winning piece being sure to tell a pressing and creative female story. 

An opportunity like this is quite possibly needed now more than ever. With brilliant female filmmakers still struggling to gain the industry, academy and public recognition they deserve, having a well-established and respected brand uplift and provide a space for these voices means that women from all walks of life can finally start telling their stories. More often than not, there is a story inside each individual, an interesting outlook on life, maybe even an unbelievable tale or two to spin. However, people are not always in a position to tell those stories, camera equipment, sets, actors and the rest can often be inaccessible due to monetary and resource restrictions. By opening up and removing a majority of those limitations there is a greater opportunity for female stories come forward into the light. We often talk about how important female representation is on screen, but we often forget how we need just as much female representation behind the scenes to create accurate and amazing portrayals of female stories.

The grant donated by the leading shoe brand which aims to address female resilience and strength ties in with Dr Martens overarching message “tough as you”. The leading label has been pushing this message through their recent social media campaigns as they often focus on tackling female issues whilst featuring their shoes. Therefore, Dr Martens decision to team up with Girls in Film solidifies further their place as a brand which advocates for positive social action and female empowerment. It is clear that the brand is eager to push consumer association with female social change and advancement in 2020 as alongside their Girls in Film endeavour, they are also set to launch yet another competition with a similar brief. Entrants in the Dr Martens new “tough as you” competition are to describe what the concept of toughness means to them. Examples of “empowered sisterhood” are listed at the top of their website and these female game-changers are said to embody the Dr Martens spirit through standing up for their beliefs. Other examples include issues of accessibility and empowering the LGBTQ community. It is clear that the brand is, therefore, attempting to interweave the image of their shoes with individuals and marginalised groups who are striving for justice and equality, whether that’s through shattering conventional beauty standards or creating a unique space in the music industry.

If you are interested in applying, you can do so here.

Image Credit: Girls In Film