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Cannes Film Festival
Short Film Corner 2021

Zoe Ellender
& Claudia Priddy
I AM YOUR SISTER
UNITED KINGDOM - 20 min

A young, Irish woman making her way to an abortion appointment is hijacked into a clinic that reveals itself to be a decoy; a place to shame women into keeping their pregnancies by using an array of unethical and abhorrent practices.

Hello Zoe & Claudia thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?

Thank you so much for having me! I was fortunately able to keep busy during the pandemic.

Has this time offered you any new creative opportunities?


Absolutely. The lockdown meant that I could put all of my time into making this film. It took a year of dedicated work, and I’m so glad I could give it that focus. Soon after completing the film I was offered a job with Disney, so I’ve moved over to Cardiff for a few months to take that opportunity.   


Congratulations on having I Am Your Sister part of this years Short Film Corner, how does it feel to be able to present your short film at Cannes?

It’s so exciting! This is my first short film as a Creator/Writer/Director and I couldn’t be more proud that it’s earned me an invitation to Cannes Film Festival with the Short Film Corner. I wish I could be there in person.

Will there be any nerves ahead of the festival?

Unfortunately, I’m not able to attend the festival in person due to the Covid Travel Restrictions, but I really look forward to the online forum.

 

How did I Am Your Sister come about, what inspired your screenplay?

I had a few ideas born from key causes that I care about and one of them is women’s rights globally. My initial inspiration for the film came from The Guilty Feminist podcast that led me to the work of journalist Ellen Coyne who led 3 investigations into these pregnancy agencies. I wanted to make this film because it strikes a topic that you never see depicted on camera. Abortion is an urgent human rights discussion, and people need to feel uncomfortable in order to want change. It’s important to understand the ways that women and girls are being held back globally. Film can be a way to connect and inspire people to demand better.

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"For anyone out there looking to make their first short film - really think about what it is that you care about and tell that story."

When was the biggest challenges you faced making I Am Your Sister?

The biggest challenge was probably creating a low budget film during a global pandemic. It takes a lot of organisation at every stage. We were able to work with our locations, cast and crew to make sure we kept everybody safe and still enjoyed the process.

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

I have always had a passion for scripted drama and storytelling. This connected to filmmaking in my final year of university studying English Literature, where I began comparing novels to their film adaptations and fell in love with the medium. I have now been working in the film industry for a few years and it’s exactly where I want to be.

Now you can be reflective do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

For anyone out there looking to make their first short film - really think about what it is that you care about and tell that story. Direct with kindness and give it everything you have.


And finally, what do you hope people will take away from I Am Your Sister?

We need to normalise changing our opinions when presented with new information. The world is not set up on a level playing field. If this film can inspire empathy, or a new understanding, then it gives people hope. Human stories can kickstart real change.