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"...I dearly hope that it is an empowering watch, that it provides some catharsis for all of us who got laughed at for a spot of blood soaking through our clothes..."


co-Writer / Director

March 15, 2024  

Evie Fehilly .jpeg

It is 1810 and fifteen year old Jane is about to meet her fiancée and get her period. Both for the first time. And at the same time.

BETTER is screening with The Girls’ Room by Tracey Lopes, Does Your Condom Make you Fat by Sophie King & written by Danielle Papamichael, Fifty Four Days by Cat White, and Period Drama by Evie Fehilly as part of Girls in Film & Kusini Productions FEMME FLICKS at Genesis Cinema Friday 15th March, 2024.

Hi Evie, thanks for talking to us about your film Period Drama, are you excited for this Friday’s screening at Genesis Cinema?


I am incredibly excited. The evening is packed with films and film makers I admire deeply, and I can’t wait to meet these people in person and see these films as a program. I think they are going to work beautifully together, and I think there are interesting and exciting themes that are explored in lots of different ways and in wildly different contexts. 


What does it mean to you to be part of Femme Flicks and screening your short with such an amazing selection of short films?

I am quite new to the film industry, and I have sometimes found film community quite tricky to come by; we are often in these contexts where we are directly competing for spots in festivals, or prizes or funds, and I want to try and make ways to push against this. I want to create opportunities for celebrating, admiring, and supporting each other’s work. International Women’s Day seemed like a perfect opportunity to do this. Girls in Film already do such amazing work to support and bring together women in film and I am so grateful to the Girls In Film team for supporting this event and all of the amazing companies who have come together to make it happen.


Any nerves ahead of the screening?


My background is as a live performer, and I get far more nervous watching my films than I ever do performing live. I know I will watch everyone else’s’ films feeling full of admiration, and then I will watch my own and internally yell to myself ‘WHY ISN’T THAT VASE STRAIGHT?’


How did Period Drama come about, what inspired you and Katherine Tozer to write this screenplay? 


I wrote the first few drafts of period drama solo, and the idea came about because firstly, I love Jane Austen and I love a pun so a period drama about periods appealed to me! Secondly, I have severe endometriosis, a condition I have found crippling for big chunks of my adult life. It took me ages however to realise that my symptoms were worse compared to lots of my peers, and it took me such a long time because I had too much shame to talk about periods. As the years have gone by and I got a diagnosis, I have become more and more passionate about having loud and proud conversations about periods, and I am interested in making work that subverts the mainstream depiction of periods as disgusting, taboo or shameful. 


How important is the creative collaboration between co-writers when working on a project like this?


I brought Kathy into the process around 20 drafts in (I am a big re-drafter.) I love working with other people. I lose objectivity of my work quite quickly, and I love someone with fresh eyes to come in with a big red pen. Kathy is a bloody (pun intended) genius, with a wicked sense of humour and an extraordinary ability to adapt dialogue for a specific period. This woman’s knowledge of 18th century swear words is second to none! I knew she was the perfect collaborator for this film. I find collaboration, whether it’s between writers, or any other role within a film, such an exciting part of the job. There is such magic in creating something combining different talented people’s skills, experience, and view on the world. 

How different was your approach to this film compared to your previous shorts?

This is the first short film I have made as sole director that I have put out into the world. The work I made before this was based in live performance. Before going into film, I wrote and performed a lot of clown and drag king work for the theatre and the cabaret scene, and I suppose I approached the making of the work in a similar way. I like to look at an issue that makes us feel uncomfortable, and then I try and make funny work about that discomfort. What was new to me in this process was turning it into a film, and that was certainly a steep learning curve but an incredibly exciting one! 


What more can be done to platform women’s voices and experiences within the film industry?


I sometimes sense an apathy from some people around platforming women’s voices in film. There are some notable, high-profile women who are making waves at the very top of the industry, and that very public celebration of women gives a sense for some people that things are sorted now, and that the film world is full of women telling their own stories. In my experience, that’s not the case. I was reading some statistics from the ‘Celluloid Ceiling’ report that the amount of female film makers in the top 250 grossing films has gone down since 2022, and most other sections of the industry follow this trend. 


I think this is important to remember as there is still so much more progress to be made. We still need to do a lot more pushing our own voices forward and supporting and celebrating each other’s work. 


This also quite simply comes down to money: if the industry wants diverse storytelling, give people the money to tell their own stories. 

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?


I have always loved telling stories. From a really young age I was obsessed with making shows and making my poor, patient friends be in them. In year 7 my smash hit production was, ‘Murder, Murder, Murder.’ In this very long and very boring play everyone got murdered. Most of the parents fell asleep and when the third person died an audience member yelled, ‘Oh god not another one!’


I have had a lifelong love of theatre, film and TV and I am incredibly excited to see where this medium takes me and my stories. Maybe it’s time for the ‘Murder, Murder, Murder’ movie? 


And what one piece of advice would you offer someone wanting to get into filmmaking?


Look after your brain. Working in the arts can be difficult and I have often underestimated the toll it can take on your mental health. Be as kind as you possibly can to yourself.


I would like to caveat this by saying, I am a massive hypocrite, I find being kind to myself and prioritising my mental health an incredibly difficult thing to do, but it’s a practice. I am trying, and over the years I think I am slowly getting better at it. 


Finally, what would you like your audiences to take away from Period Drama?


First and foremost, I hope it makes them laugh, it’s a comedy after all! But also, I dearly hope that it is an empowering watch, that it provides some catharsis for all of us who got laughed at for a spot of blood soaking through our clothes, or felt we had to hide our tampons up our sleeves or felt dismissed by a doctor we’d summoned up the courage to talk to about our symptoms. I have always had in my head that this is a film is for, ‘All the bleeders who have ever felt shamed.’ 

"From a really young age I was obsessed with making shows and making my poor, patient friends be in them."

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