This episode delves into Hollywood history and the fascinating back story surrounding the 1977 Oscar-winning movie Julia. Based on the memoirs of playwright Lillian Hellman and starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, Julia is a strange and thrilling story about Hellman’s real life brush with espionage and German fascism…or is it?
After the film was released and won 3 Oscars (including for Adapted Screenplay) it was suggested by Hellman’s rival Mary McCarthy that Hellman may have inserted herself into the narrative, and the ‘facts’ may actually be a fiction, or worse, taken from someone’s else life story. And the story is all set around WW2!
Contrarah and Nick look at the moral implications of fabricating film plots, the role of male screenwriters in writing believable female friendships and the ‘she said, she said’ nature of professional female rivalry.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but what exactly is the truth?!
Filmmaker Ella Greenwood packed in a lot in the last couple of years. She made an award-winning short film about her struggles with teenage mental health issues (Faulty Roots), she made an animated film to bring those discussion topics to a younger audience (Dreary Days), she started working on her next film Self Charm with the award-winning Bukky Bakray and she was announced as one of the Forbes’ 30 under 30 (at age 19).
Ella takes Contrarah through this story, her work with Broken Flames – her company helping to shine a light on teen mental health issues and all the people that helped Ella bring her stories to life. A comedy and horror lover, Ella also waxes lyrical on her love of TV and how female filmmakers are always so much more qualified than they think they are.
This is a real treat of an episode for anyone wanting tips on how to find work in cinema, and for anyone who loves Paris (that’s everyone, surely?)
Contrarah is joined by director, actress, writer and film festival producer Jenna Suru to talk about the Paris International Film Festival and her film career, including her feature L’Age D’or (The Golden Age), and film reviewer, content creator and PR guru Latoya Austin AKA Franglais27 about her fantastic career and how these two women came to know one another.
The episode is divided into parts on the film festival, film journalism, directing a feature, career advice and of course, Bechdel passing and failing movies! Find out more about our guests here: