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CIRCLE 2019 Participants : Meet Charli Chauchi - "Of Vice and Men"

Q: Please introduce yourself and your project briefly.

A: I’m a filmmaker and artist living on the island of Malta. My project, of Vice and Men, is currently in development, receiving a grant from the Malta Film Commission at the end of 2019. This documentary looks at the Maltese migrant community that dominated London’s Soho, which was a space synonymous with the sex industry, until the late 1980s.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

A: Finding participants willing to have their stories documented is still a bit of a struggle. Given the sensitive nature of the subject, coupled with the fact that Malta is a small place, where everyone knows everyone, it has taken time to garner people’s trust. But the biggest challenge is documenting these stories before it’s too late, as the majority of those that were involved in this specific historical period are getting older, so there is some urgency in this respect. It’s also been a little tricky finding the right crew. Malta is a small country with a limited pool of filmmakers.

Q: Can you compare your experience at CIRCLE with other similar platforms that you have been part of?

A: To be honest, I don’t think I can, insofar that CIRCLE sense of community and trust. The idea of collaboration was really nurtured, and I think it’s one of the only platforms where I have had the opportunity to have my voice heard. I have walked away from the course not only with newfound knowledge, but a with a wonderful network of people.

Q: What were the most important benefits from being part of CIRCLE project?

A: The benefits were numerous. CIRCLE gave me heightened awareness of development in my field; the ability to have time to focus on my project and really think about its development in a holistic way. But the most valuable of all were the networks that it allowed me to build.

Q: What advice do you have for other (female) directors?

A: Listen to others, but at some point you also really have to trust your gut. Also, you don’t have to be a bully…there are enough of those.

Q: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

A: Tricky question. One of them is Ida Lupino’s Outrage. She was way ahead of her time, working independently on with a really low budget, at a time when the industry was really male dominated.

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