Filmmaker Stories

Kodak and Illuminatrix Rising celebrate new wave cinematographers on International Women’s Day 2019

Illuminatrix Rising is a promotional collective of new wave, female directors of photography based in the UK

March 08, 2019

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Cinematographer Luciana Riso on set. Photo by George Graham.

Teaming up with Kodak in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019, ten up-and-coming cinematographers, members of Illuminatrix Rising, ventured out-and-about recently with Super8mm film cameras, shooting a variety of short clips to picture this year’s IWD theme of Balance.

Illuminatrix Rising is a promotional collective of new wave, female directors of photography based in the UK, and the participants’ clips – also edited into a two-minute film – highlight the talents of young women working in the film industry. Along with Kodak, the IWD initiative was supported with film processing at Cinelab London and camera equipment from Frame 24.

“The message of this project is to promote shooting on film and the work of female DPs,” said Simona Susnea, who has run Illuminatrix Rising since it launched in 2017 and is one of the participants. “As cinematographers we love the feeling and aesthetic of the images and stories we shoot on film, and we want celluloid to be embraced by a new generation of filmmakers.”

Along with Susnea, cinematographers taking up the challenge for International Women’s Day 2019 were: Diana Olifirova (also spearheading Illuminatrix Rising), Luciana Riso, Alvilde Naterstad, Tansy Simpson, Anna MacDonald, Donna Wade, Jackie Teboul, Chloe Deleplace and Samira Oberberg.

Each had two 50-foot rolls of KODAK VISION3 Color Negative Film in Super 8 format, including 50D (7203), 200T (7213) and 500T (7219) to create a piece of their own, running anywhere between 30 seconds to two minutes. The subjects covered were diverse ranging from tattoo artists, winter forest landscapes and a steamy bathroom, through to different perspectives of women at London landmarks, in mirrors and reflections, as well as abstract studies of the female form.

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DP Simona Susnea frames the shot. Photo by Tansy Simpson.

While some of the DPs improvised and experimented with frame rates, macro photography, zooms and movement of the diminutive S8mm camera, others concentrated on shaping the light, the use of silhouettes and even B-movie aesthetics.

“Women need to have confidence to express their creativity and find a venue to do that,” said Susnea. “With the support of Kodak, and our other partners, we hope this initiative will inspire and encourage other women to choose filmmaking as their profession, especially cinematography.”

View the two-minute film for IWD 2019, featuring selects from the ten cinematographers’ pieces, below. The ten short pieces can be found on Illuminatrix Rising’s Instagram platform on the 15th of March.

For more, in-depth details on the work created by the ten DPs, their thoughts about shooting on film, and the promotion of diversity and balance in the film industry, visit Illuminatrix Rising.