Little Films, Big Ideas

Filmink chats with talented young filmmaker, Genevieve Clay, about her award-winning short films and her role in the upcoming National Youth Week Competition

406f73fe6c1513f47910.jpg

Having won Tropfest in 2009 and various other festival accolades for her socially-conscious short films, it may come as a surprise that writer/director Genevieve Clay initially wanted to be on the other side of the camera. "I always wanted to act, and I never thought about directing at all," Clay says. "It wasn't until I decided to study filmmaking in order to be in everyone's short films so I could cut a reel for myself, that I discovered I liked making films. I was better at making them than being in them."

Indeed Clay has proven herself to be a talented young filmmaker, taking out the top prize at last year's Tropfest for her inspiring film Be My Brother, a story about a young man with Down Syndrome which challenged social prejudices. Her latest short film, Frances and Annie, which also examines the way society treats people with disabilities, made waves at the 2009 Bondi Short Film Festival where it won Best Script.

Why does Clay feel so drawn to making films about social issues? "I think that film is so powerful, we should use it to entertain and bring about advocacy and awareness. I'm not saying that I think rom-coms are evil," she laughs before adding, "whatever genre I'm tackling, I always want to say something in my work whether audiences realise it or not."

While Clay has won accolades and praise on the Festival circuit, forging a career in the film industry remains a tough gig. "Tropfest has been a great springboard for me. But it isn't a magic switch, you don't just win and then everything is given to you on a silver platter. You still have to write, come up with ideas, approach funding bodies and work hard to achieve your goals," Clay says.

However the young director does realise what a valuable opportunity events like Tropfest are. "It has been the most excellent platform to give my film a life, it has been seen by more people than I could have ever imagined and it's still being screened at and requested for festivals! So for that I'm extremely grateful."

Keen to help others with filmmaking aspirations, Clay is set to participate in the upcoming National Youth Week Competition which provides young Australians with the opportunity to showcase their talents in the arts. Clay will be judging the film category. "It is so important to encourage the next generation of artists to achieve their dreams in their desired creative career. I think the biggest thing that frustrates me is the way people underestimate the talents of young filmmakers."

Clay says that a project like this encourages young people to make that project they may have been thinking about for a while. "Everyone has a story, young or old. I believe everyone has a successful film inside them, they just need to find the right way to tell it."

National Youth Week 2010 will run from 10-18 April. For more information visit the website here.

Picture caption: Clay at Tropfest 2010, Sydney. Photographer: Gaye Gerard

comments powered by Disqus
follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest features

FilmInk’s Top 10 Films Of 2014

We rewind back through the last twelve months and count down the ten best flicks of the year.

The Horror, The Horror...

Hollywood is hard-pressed when it comes to delivering something new, and that’s double the case when it comes to the horror genre.

FilmInk’s Christmas Games Guide

We’re here to let you know which end of year releases are worthy of your attention – and will keep you sane during the silly season. Game on!

Run Khan Run!

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan talks about his new role in ‘P.K.’, an Indian comedy being branded the new Forrest Gump.

latest reviews

What's Wrong With Australian Films
What's Wrong With Australian Films

This doco tackles this constantly debated question with a bold and fresh approach.

Big Eyes
Big Eyes

Tim Burton strips back his usual theatrics to tell this simple but touching story reminiscent of the filmmaker's early work.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (3D)
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (3D)

While it’s plagued by the problems of its predecessors, Peter Jackson’s final voyage to Middle-Earth packs a surprising amount of punch.

Keep On Keepin' On
Keep On Keepin' On

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a fan of jazz to be a fan of this joyful, revelatory music doc.