The short film making Invisible Women visible
After a successful launch, DIVA catch up with the film's creators Joseph Ingham and Alice Smith as they prepare to take the indie film mainstream...
Invisible Women 2018
Did you catch the Manchester-made short, Invisible Women, this summer?
DIVA featured Invisible Women in both print and online earlier this year – smack bang in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign to bring the stories of Manchester's lesbian badasses Angela Cooper and Luchia Fitzgerald to the silver screen.
🌈 Great to be in #Manchester for the premiere of #InvisibleWomen, a film starring #LuchiaFitzgerald and #AngelaCooper, two working class, #lesbian woman who fought for women’s rights during the 60s, 70s, & 80s. Read my interview with them in the July issue of @DIVAmagazine ✊🏼 pic.twitter.com/5NdE2xDwtu— Danielle 🍂 (@daniellejournal) August 24, 2018
Through the lens of two working class women’s incredible journey of activism and rebellion, Invisible Women tells the previously untold story of the north west’s lesbian and bisexual community.
Now – after a successful Kickstarter campaign, run of screenings across the UK, and celeb-shaped support from the likes of Ian McKellan, Amy Lame and Susan Calman – DIVA catch up with the film's creators, producer Joseph Ingham, 26, and documentary filmmaker Alice Smith, 31, to find out what's next for the
DIVA: Hello Joe, Alice! First up, how did you come to meet Luchia and Angela?
JOE INGHAM: I came across Luchia and Angela while working on The People’s History Of. There was a serious lack of lesbian stories in that series and I was keen to address that. I happened upon a blog about women’s music and bands and found some old black and white photos of Luchia and Angela performing as part of the Northern Women’s Rock Liberation Band – and that's when I set off tracking them down!
Who's idea was it to create Invisible Women, and how did it happen?
ALICE SMITH: When Joe first proposed making a film with Angela and Luchia, I jumped at the idea! It was just so obvious that this story needed to be told. Joe and I then approached the two of them and it turned out they'd been thinking of making a film themselves (but on their iPhones!) so it was completely the right timing.
How did you, Joe and Alice, come together to make the film? Had you worked together previously?
JOE INGHAM: I’d only known Alice for a couple of years but her passion and conviction for telling stories was evident. When I proposed the doc to her, I was thrilled to hear her say, "Yes!" We started filming almost immediately – and without a penny in the pot – but we knew this was a story that needed to be told now. There was a real sense of urgency.
What was it that made you decide to go for it?
ALICE SMITH: It was once Angela and Luchia agreed to let us tell their story that we decided to go for it. It was such a no-brainer; as documentary filmmakers, we're always looking for untold stories and this really was one. Plus, when we met Angela and Luchia their passion and warmth really came through so we knew they would be perfect at taking the audience on a journey with them through the film.
🌈 Waiting outside #FreetradeHall for #ManchesterPride parade — same spot where Luchia & Angela, the two women feat. in #InvisibleWomen, helped organise a march of over 20,000 people against #Section28 — just 30 years ago. Keep celebrating (& fighting for) equality people ✊🏼✨ pic.twitter.com/3Hdwpxmn2g— DIVA Magazine (@DIVAmagazine) August 25, 2018
You used Kickstarter to fund the film, how was that as a journey?
ALICE SMITH: It was a great way to build a community around the film and make people feel they were invested in it. Without that Kickstarter fund we could never have made the film so we're incredibly grateful to everyone who donated.
JOE INGHAM: We also had a little sponsorship from companies such as Autotrader, The Co-operative and Lloyds of London. I know some people and groups judge companies and corporations for sponsoring things like Invisible Women and, whilst I’d agree their role needs to be regulated when it comes to events like Pride, not all of them are big, bad businesses. I think it's imperative to engage with them and demonstrate how they can help community projects.
How did it feel to see the film on the big screen for the first time – especially with Luchia and Angela in the room?
ALICE SMITH: We had shown them the film beforehand, so we knew they were happy with it but seeing it on the big screen (compared to the crappy laptop we viewed it on) was an amazing feeling! It's Joe's and my first independent film too so to have it premier in a cinema was an awesome sense of accomplishment.
JOE INGHAM: It was an incredible – if not slightly surreal – experience. I’m from the north west so to have a film with Manchester at its heart, which was also made in the city and premiering there was incredibly special.
What's next for the
ALICE SMITH: Our aim now is to get the film out into the world! We've had an amazing response from the north west's LGBTQ+ film and arts community, but we really see Angela and Luchia's story as having universal themes that transcend geography, gender and sexuality. Now we want to see the film work its way into more mainstream festivals so that people outside of the LGBTQ+ community can respond to what is essentially, "an awesome story about two special humans."
JOE INGHAM: ...and if you can’t wait for the film to come to your town, then you can buy it online at our Facebook shop at facebook/invisiblewomenfilm.
We've got our copy – have you?
Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.