Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah Meet London's newest badass feminist film collective
Having tackled female masturbation in their one minute funny-film Procrasturbation, female collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah are making a stamp on the UK cinema scene, no holds barred.
Meet all female collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah (SKMY); the ‘procrasturbating’ trio pushing the boundaries of contemporary film making. In April, bonding over late-night sexcapades and macaroni cheese, creatives Laura Kirwan-Ashman, Aya Arden-Clarke and Charlotte Lowdell built the foundations for their soon-to-be-released web series.
With Laura harnessing her screenwriting skills, Aya in production and Charlotte as director, the group work in tandem to create honest and relatable short films. “We all felt the UK was lagging behind and not really representing our experiences and those rich, complicated and diverse female stories and characters,” says Laura, “so we decided to do it ourselves and write about what it’s like to be young, broke and confused.
SKMY hope to be the driving force behind the shift in cinema’s representation of women. “There are seven stories in the world and people just want to keep seeing the same stories,” says Charlotte. “There will always be these American blockbuster movies where there’s one man, who’s a really crap dad that’s got to prove that he’s a really big man by saving the world. But I think now, this is a niche that’s slowly starting to filter in.”
The collective kick-started their project against male orientated cinema by going back to basics and discussing female values: “During our very first meeting, we just sat around and basically talked about all the most embarrassing things that had ever happened to us, the people we’d been with, friendships, just everything. This is the stuff that has gone into the web series, so it’s all rooted in stuff that is real and that’s what we hope it will speak to other girls about.”
Fast forward six months and the collective have already collaborated on international projects, including a zine for Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood and two films by Josephine Decker. With three web-series episodes of a total six left to film, SKMY have made fast progress. “We made three episodes in like two months and it was on weekends and it was insane but it was so much fun,” says Aya. That’s no mean feat for a newly formed group, who consider this experience to be a learning curve.
“I feel like cinema is very much the medium of the people,” says Charlotte. “It holds up the mirror of society, in the way most art forms do, but film is really accessible and it’s relatable as well.” As a testament to the emerging UK cinema scene, SKMY embodies an open opportunity, away from the critical eyes of the industry. In a bid to collaborate with like-minded people, the collective have created a non-threatening environment where you can ask ‘where is the record button?’ without feeling an air of judgement.
“It’s a female trait to be a bit more passive and I’m one of those neurotic people who assumes that everyone else knows everything and I know nothing,” says Laura. “The film industry feels like this huge brick wall and this locked door and everyone inside has all the secrets and they know all the technicalities and the jargon and if you don’t know it then you’re going to be laughed out of the fucking room.”
But SKMY insist that now is a good time for young people to be challenging this notion: “For the 16-24’s there are so many entry points, you just have to do it. There’s so many platforms in this internet generation, for self-promotion and to be productive and creative. If you are that age and you want to do those things, go fucking look for them!”
Words by India Blue van Spall, illustration by Hatti Rex
Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah’s web-series is due for release later this year, keep up with them here: http://www.sortakindamaybeyeah.com