So I was a little inspired by #femalefilmmakerfriday last week and felt like I needed to do more to continue sharing the work of these amazing women who were fighting against the inequality to do what they love. Every Friday I want to feature female filmmakers, and the work they have been doing, and try to help saturate the media with images and projects of women.
This week I have a very inspiring woman to share with you.
Liz Tabish is one of three female creators from Maenad Films, a production company that she started herself in order to start making films her way.
“You know I had so many stories and scripts and ideas over the past decade that I wanted to tell but the only directors I knew in my 20s were male and they weren’t particularly interested in producing these stories about women. So I started producing some projects on my own or with various partners and never really found the right dynamic… I found a truly supportive team in Giselle Marie Munoz and Lindsey Lemke, who both respect my ideas and empower the project with their own creativity and work.”
The three are currently working on an anthology series of short films about female archetypes in a vintage style. Liz has had a heavy hand in these so far both directing, being DP and editing, not to mention working through the concepts and being producer as well, yet she said “It’s getting easier as more and more people are getting involved. The best part is by far the people we work with. Our core crew is just incredible and the cast is truly talented. Each person has been a joy to work with, bringing their own artistic vision and work to each project.”
But like many women starting out in the industry, it took a few hurdles to jump before she was even able to start Maenad Films. One aspect that she particularly recalls is not being taken seriously. “You tell people you’re a filmmaker and they don’t believe you. Or they think you just want to be one” she said. “I remember one time at the premiere of a web series I produced, wrote, directed and edited, some man came up to me asking who the producer was so he could discuss a project with them. I said– me. He laughed and said, “no really, where is he?”
Pursuing her dreams and goals is important to Liz and the issues of gender inequality have raised their head not only within the industry, but from the people closest to her, making the challenge an even greater one. Yet with all of these set backs it seems that ultimately it has just fuelled a fire, a fire which has lead to Maenad Films and this incredibly aesthetic and interesting series of short films that put women in the forefront.
The first film from the series Cecilia has already started doing the festival circuit and there has been a growing interest from actors and crew who want to get involved, but Liz doesn’t want to stop there. She has started a seed and spark campaign to get the much needed funds to keep the project going. “We’ve hit that wall though, where folks don’t donate because they think it either won’t make a difference or someone else will do it. It’s like voting. Yikes. We’re needing to hit our Green Light or we don’t keep any of the funds so a lot is on the line and every donation counts.”
They have big plans for the future including a red carpet premiere and a second edition anthology series but they still need that little bit of help to get the project really moving.
They will be holding final party in Austin, Texas February 13 at Museum of Human Achievement from 8-10pm where they’ll be screening Cecilia, and some trailers, as well as raffling out some great prizes. The campaign ends on the 17th of February and they still have over $5k to raise so if you want to donate go to seedandspark.com/fund/dancing-maenads to help them get to the finish line!
You can also Follow their work via the social media links below: