Please introduce yourself, and how you got into filmmaking?
“My name is Djenaba Davis-Eyo and I’m a writer and film director as well as an all round visual artist. I was interested inturning stories into moving images when I was young; filming my dolls as actors but never really took it seriously at first. Later on, I wanted to combine all my creative strengths into one format, and film could combine art, music, writing and photography into one place. So I started learning filmmaking from Youtube and a few books.”
What is the glass dream about?
“The Glass Dream is a surreal short film written by me about a girl who seeks wisdom from mystic women to help her understand her disturbing recurring dreams. The film is heavily female orientated from a diverse female cast to a predominantly female crew. The story follows women from all different backgrounds, each one highly unique and distinct. My vision is to make this as colourful, avant-garde and ornate as I can, from the locations to the costumes; everything will be detailed. But this is going to be an expensive project and I’m currently campaigning to bring it to life!”
Where did you find inspiration for the glass dream from?
“This film is inspired by the weird and wonderful stories of my childhood, heroines like Joan of Arc, and also by my own dreams; which I believe hold meanings and messages. I also believe dreams may be another world in itself but I could talk for ages about that. The main theme of the film is glass and we are experimenting with different glass prisms and bottles in both the visuals and soundtrack to create something very otherworldly. The visuals are inspired by films like Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, The Fall and The Favourite to name a few.”
Why have you chosen the genre of surrealism?
“I like things that are outside the box. Stories that make you think further than what you know, that hide mystery and abstractness are attractive to me. I’ve grown up with fantasy/surreal books and films like Spirited Away and The Golden Compass, and those have touched me in a way that brought magic into this mundane life. And in our current world and political nightmares, it’s nice to escape into something a bit dreamlike, and that’s something I’m drawn to creating.”
Why is all-female production teams so important within film?
“The film industry is highly patriarchal and although many females and non-binary people are studying and making films, they are not being heavily recognised and the media we consume is still very much made for male audiences. I’ve created a cast and crew of talented young females to push one step further into dismantling our currently biased industry. There are some stories that need to be told from a woman’s view. I’m not discrediting male filmmakers, there are plenty of amazing influential male filmmakers out there, some which I really love and admire, but the very fact that I can only name a handful of female filmmakers –and even less women of colour–, goes to show the change we need. I want to either be the change or at least be part of it, and I will start that pathway with this film.”
What would you say to/how would encourage young females to engage with film?
“This is only my second film, but I want it to impact females massively, and hopefully inspire them to make films too. If film is something you want to do, don’t be afraid of the camera, you are in control of it, use it as your eye. There’s nothing more disheartening than young people waiting around for change to happen so they can make a mark. Start small and build up, the current will take you when you and the world are ready. Most importantly I’d say is to always create for yourself! I know not everyone will understand or enjoy my films and that’s okay, as long as I am happy with it. Follow your creative mind and the outside world should never affect you. Be authentic.”
You can donate towards The Glass Dream campaign below.