If you want to be a filmmaker, you need a thick skin. The head behind the camera gets plenty of criticism, and regularly encounters other people’s personal ignorance.
The latter is the toughest one for local filmmaker Andrea Beça.
Beça has made five short films in two years with her company Kissing Habit Films. She says it’s tough being a filmmaker, let alone being a female filmmaker.
“Take any sort of leadership role and women have spent their lives being told they can’t or shouldn’t be in it,” Beça says. “Filmmaking has historically been a man’s world, and there are a lot of men who don’t want to leave that comfort zone, so women definitely get pushed and/or left out.”
While working in the industry, Beça says she has received hate emails, social media trollings, and inappropriate face-to-face interactions.
“The times are changing, very slowly, but I honestly don’t know when it will stop feeling like a huge fight to be a female filmmaker, director, [director of production], or editor,” Beça says. “I’m lucky to have worked with a lot of amazing people in the Edmonton film scene.”
While her formal education is cemented in theatre—she graduated from the University of Glasgow majoring in dramaturgy and playwriting—Beça’s heart is now in film. She draws inspiration from filmmakers such as Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsey, and Wes Anderson to name a few.
She recently wrapped up post-production on a horror short called nightwalk, which she created in a very short time period with the help of a production grant through the Storyhive program. She is also in the early phases of post-production on a self-funded dramatic short called The Disappearing Act, which she shot in 2016.
When it comes to her ‘process,’ there really isn’t one. Well, unless you call serendipity a process.
“I definitely don’t carefully plan my stories at first. I usually start writing a film based on a random moment,” she says, “like finding a memory card on the ground one day, which inspired nightwalk. I’m naturally very observant and curious, so it’s typically the little things that get me thinking and writing. Or just one of the many weird things I wonder about every day. … I wonder if I could swallow a Scrabble tile, which inspired The Disappearing Act.”
As for this upcoming year, Beça’s time will be devoted to the three F’s: film festivals and funding. But there is another “F” she is hoping to add to her creative Rolodex.
“I’d love to work on a feature at some point, but I think that may be a couple years down the road,” says Beça. “I’ve always been stronger at short things—short stories, one-act plays, and short films. But I have ideas for long-form, too, and I’d love to really start exploring that.”