WORDS: Little D
PHOTOGRAPHY via: Amplify Her Project
The Amplify Her project tells the story of seven female electronic music artists finding their voice and developing their craft in a male-dominated industry. When we heard that Ten One Films was taking their documentary on an international Purple Carpet Tour, we knew we wanted to get involved. Betty & Kora — a blog run by women who love dance music and know many amazing female artists — is excited that this project, now 5 years in the making, is ready to grace the public.
The project began simply as a documentary film, co-directed by Ian Mackenzie and Nicole Sorochan, and written by Tracey Friesen. The concept was initially inspired by the increased presence of female artists in the electronic music industry, but the ideas and subjects were too dynamic to be represented through just one medium. “During production, we realized the themes faced by these women in the music world were the same as other industries, like tech, video games, comics, and more,” said director Nicole Sorochan. “So we thought, let’s see where else women can take their stories.” The project continued to evolve into what it is today: a “cross-platform storyworld” consisting of the film, plus a graphic novel and motion comic series.
The project features seven electronic music artists: WALA, A Hundred Drums, Kytami, CloZee, AppleCat, Lux Moderna, and Blondtron. In the documentary film, we are shown how they came to music as a form of expression and how they honed their craft. We are also presented with the real-world struggles that they face in both their professional and personal worlds. Through these narratives, the film tackles themes of female sexuality, empowerment, body positivity, gender diversity, and the challenges women face when they try to make their voices heard. The film itself is a platform for female expression, thereby being an example of the changes it calls for in the music industry and Western culture as a whole.
The film’s outstanding cinematography provides a vivid framework for the stories of these remarkable women to unfold, and the top-notch soundtrack creates an evocative viewing experience. Dreamy shots of frolicking dance floor folks will make you yearn for festival season, and clips from the motion comic series will tickle your imagination. Also, be prepared for a highly personal adventure into the lives, studios, and bedrooms of these inspiring women.
What I found most interesting about the film was that most of the content is presented purely through the viewpoint of the women themselves. The film veers from the classic documentary format in that is doesn’t outline a specific course of action or explicitly state, “These women’s challenges represent XYZ…” Rather, the viewer is allowed to enter the subject matter from their own unique perspective and come to their own unique own conclusions about the material. Hopefully, this will inspire discussion and creative thought on the role of ‘the feminine’ in our culture. It is important that we continue to strive for equal representation across all areas of art; new perspectives, collaboration, and inclusivity is what the arts are all about.
You can support Amplify Her’s initiative to print the graphic novel and expand the Purple Carpet Tour by checking out their IndieGoGo campaign! There are options for every budget, from the film’s soundtrack or a copy of the graphic novel to a screening of the film in your city!