Making a Queer Documentary with Sophie Broadgate

Across the two years of this project we have an ongoing documentary film project. We’ve enlisted the help of filmmaker Sophie Broadgate to document the project, as well as the lives and stories of a few young LGBTQIA+ people in our group.

Sophie is a Cumbrian filmmaker who’s work explores personal subjects such as Neurodiveristy and gender. Her debut narrative short film as Director “The Water Tower (2018)” is the story of two queer isolated young people coming together and learning to how to be vulnerable. Her second narrative short film “It got me in November” (2022) is currently in on the festival circuit. We’re very excited to have such a professional filmmaker working with us on this project, both her experience in film and her personal experience as a queer person in Cumbria allows her to understand and dissect this topic along with us, and it’s been a joy to work on thus far.

Sophie filming interviews for the documentary

Heading the project, as our Creative Producer, is our Cj! As a project worker for PiNC Arts, Cj has a great understanding of our young people’s individual stories, and is steering the project alongside Sophie. This is what they had to say about the project so far:

Faye being interviewed for the documentary

This film is more than just showing the great work we’re doing at PiNC Arts, it’s also to document queer experiences in a part of the country that feels very cut off from the queer culture in major cities; our young people are faced with different challenges than their city counterparts. Isolation can be a huge barrier to young LGBTQIA+ in Cumbria and other rural areas, which is why safe spaces like PiNC are especially important to bring people together and form strong communities. The world seems to be getting more hostile towards LGBTQIA+ people of late, especially our Trans, Non-Binary and Gender Non-Conforming siblings, whom rarely get to voice their opinions in the debate for their rights.

This film is about breaking down the narrative about our community, allowing our young people to tell their stories in their own words and pull up a seat to the table. We know that culture is always youth-led, so to give these young people a voice is so important to break down per-conceived notions of LGBTQIA+ people and ultimately empower people with knowledge of lived experiences to challenge the narrative. In addition to this, at the end of the project our film will have several public screenings, both in and outside of Cumbria, in the hopes that people will see the amazing achievements of our young people.

A massive thank you to our funders, the Heritage Lottery Fund, for backing our project documenting the hidden diversities in Cumbria.

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