Festival News 2008 - Tampereen 38. elokuvajuhlien verkkolehti

Female animation and commercials

Jussi Koivisto
Maria Halkilahti. kuva
Miia Sillanpää, translator

Animator Joanna Quinn

– Toilet paper financed my previous film, says the English Joanna Quinn, a member of this year's LAB1O jury. The movie in question, Dreams and Desires, is not just any animation but last year's Prix UIP winner.

Joanna Quinn has won numerous awards with her animations, but she does not make a living with them. She pays the bills and the wages of her staff by making commercials.

Good animation films are shown on film festivals but not much elsewhere. Quinn did not even hear about the television screening of her previous film until afterwards. It was shown at three in the morning. The lack of respect for movies is sometimes frustrating, but Quinn also enjoys making commercials.

– In the 80´s I might have grimaced at the idea of making commercials for a living, but it's not that bad. Making commercials is fast-paced and fun.

Many other things have changed since the 80´s when Quinn began her career. Feminism was big in Britain at the time, and Quinn was involved in the movement.

– But I wasn't an angry feminist. That was just the way things were then.

Some of the old feminist ideals are perhaps still left, but according to Quinn she has started to see the shades of gray as she gets older. Quinn is still known for her films about women, and she is eager to hire women.

– Women are a clear minority in this business. I want to encourage women to make animations and offer them that chance.

However, the female-centricity of Quinn's films is in part a coincidence. Her first film, which was completed in 1987, starred a woman, but only when Quinn made the festival rounds with her film did she realize how rare the female point of view was.

Nowadays Quinn leaves the screenwriting of her films in the hands of a man. Her partner Les Mills writes the screenplays, Quinn does the animation. Moviemaking is a common effort, even though they also argue now and then.

Next Saturday is the International Women's Day, but the former un-angry feminist has no good tips for men.

– I don't know. Do something nice for the girls. Maybe bring them to see my movie, Quinn laughs.

Muualla verkossa

Joanna Quinnin's homepage

Updated 14 March 2008 14:49