Independent Miss Craigie

Streaming online: 3-17 Dec 2021

The Cinema of Ideas presents Lizzie Thynne’s fascinating new film on Jill Craigie (1911-99), one of the first women to direct films in Britain, uses previously undiscovered letters given to Thynne as well as Craigie’s own films to reveal the filmmaker’s energetic struggles to get her films made and distributed from the early 1940s such as The Way We Live (1946) and the extraordinary polemic on equal pay To Be a Woman (1951), until her final film on the Yugoslav conflict, made in 1995 when she was 83, with her husband, former Labour leader, Michael Foot. Chronicling Craigie’s Suffragette-inspired feminism, her ethical commitment and care for her mostly non-professional actors, and her aspirations to build a better, more equal Britain after WWII, Independent Miss Craigie is a vital appreciation of a trailblazer in women’s film history.

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Live Online Q&A: Conversation with Lizzie Thynne, Penny Woolcock & Ros Cranston

7 December, 6:30pm-7:30pm

About Lizzie Thynne

Lizzie Thynne is a filmmaker and writer on media and film.  Her work often explores women’s life histories, particularly the lives of female cultural producers, and has been widely shown in galleries, exhibitions, festivals and on television. She often explores inventive and challenging ways of representing the past that underline its importance and fascination for the present. Her methods include drama, dance and the creative use of archive. She is the author of several essays about the surrealist photographer, Claude Cahun and her partner, Marcel Moore; she has written on women’s autobiographical film, women’s employment in television, and several reflections on her own film-making. She has worked as a film and events programmer and as a lecturer at other universities in the UK. She is Professor of Film at Sussex University. Independent Miss Craigie is her first full-length documentary feature.

About Penny Woolcock

Penny Woolcock is a director who works across different genres, documentary and fiction, television, film and opera. Her fiction is often street cast from Tina Goes Shopping to One Day and Trapping a recent feature film about a young drug dealer currently in postproduction. Her documentaries include The Wet House and On the Streets, archive films From the Sea to the Land Beyond and Out of the Rubble. She was lead director on Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge and has directed operas at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and The English National Opera.

About Ros Cranston

Ros Cranston is a Curator of Non-Fiction Film and Television at the BFI National Archive. She has a special interest in women documentary filmmakers. Her other interests include political and campaigning film, and the documentary and fiction work of Ken Loach. She contributed chapters to Shadows of Progress: Documentary Films of Post-War Britain (Palgrave/BFI, 2010), and has contributed to BFI Player, Mediatheques, Screenonline, and DVD releases.

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Supported by The Arts and Humanities Research Council and The University of Sussex.

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