In late 2014, Michelle Hunder came to the end of a personal project documenting the hip-hop music community in Australia. Having spent two years travelling around the country to photograph 182 artists, she had found that only around ten of them were women.
This realisation coincided with renewed criticism of a glaring gender imbalance in the annual Triple J Hottest 100 listeners' poll. The ensuing conversation revealed gender disparity not just concerning female artists, but also behind the scenes in the industry. Hunder determined to find a way to shine a light on as many of these incredible women as possible.
From household names to the freshest faces, the highest priority was that the filmmakers engaged, included and reflected the true diversity of today's Australian music landscape. Through these interviews, Sangiorgi Dalimore and Hunder were acquainted with the most charismatic, funny and fiercely creative women whose journeys captured their hearts and fuelled their ambition to keep documenting.
The editing process took over a year, with more than 48 hours of interview footage to review and cut down, organise the sequence, structure, animations and sound.
The original concept was a small photo series, but Hunder quickly realised that the story could not be adequately told in portraits alone. She approached her filmmaker friend and long-time collaborator Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore to interview each of the women as they were documented.
Only vague plans for a future documentary were initially discussed, but over the next two years, as Hunder and Sangiorgi Dalimore travelled, photographed and interviewed scores of women from various paths of the industry, an undeniable story emerged.
The film premiered at the Human Rights and Arts Film Festival in Melbourne in December 2017.
The film was completely independent and unfunded, which meant that Sangiorgi Dalimore and Hunder self-funded and voluntarily made the documentary. Their ability to constantly lean on each other is a reflection of the power of coming together for a greater purpose. Ultimately, it was the experience of meeting so many brilliant women that gave the filmmakers the courage to keep going. Each interview; finding that connection, inspired them to share the magic of such authentic expression.
Have you ever listened to Triple J’s Hottest 100? Did you realise there was a gender imbalance?
What other art forms have gender inequality?
What tells the story more effectively, a photo series or a documentary? What else could tell this story?
Have you ever edited a film, and how long did you spend editing it? What was the most time consuming part of editing? What did you enjoy most?
What does it mean for a film to be independent or self-funded?
Search for newspaper articles about this documentary and also about gender inequality in the Australian music industry.
Compare your research with a partner, considering:
who is speaking out about or writing about the issues?
what are some main issues in the Australian music industry?
how does the documentary try and address these?