This week I wanted to take the time to shout out to one of my peers, who I knew growing up, who is kicking-ass at creating her own content and building an empowering community for female and gender non-conforming filmmakers. Her name is Kim Hoyos. A soon-to-be-grad from Rutgers, Kim has been inspiring me personally with her ambition (she got a private DM from Chance the Rapper after she tweeted him her resume!) as a female creative and entrepreneur. She has also been featured on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, another excellent platform for uplifting the success of women across various industries.
Her website, The Light Leaks, is a platform for female and non-binary filmmakers to speak out about what is going on for them in their field – they conduct interviews, analyze trends in the industry, connect artists, and highlight work of inspirational creators. Kim herself is a Latina filmmaker, and although it does not mention it directly in the website’s mission, their output shows a great commitment to celebrating the work of artists of color. The name “The Light Leaks” stems from a term in photography – light that seeps through a photograph in the development process and disrupts the image, making a bright, but beautiful mistake. This image was deftly chosen to represent the mission of a group of people who are trying to shine in an industry dominated by straight white men.
The website has really taken off – they’ve published over 30 pieces since being founded in February 2017. Their Twitter feed is an excellent one to follow to stay up-to-date with news about the film industry, especially as #TimesUp and #MeToo have taken Hollywood by storm.
Some articles from the Light Leaks that are worth a read:
- Savannah Magruder on Tackling Sex and Flipping the Male Gaze through Film – an interview with an emerging filmmaker who is creating a piece in which the protagonist has vaginismus, or extreme pain during penetration, and also works as a PA on porn sets
- Embracing Creative Futures with Filmmaker Ok-Hee Jeong – a feature on a Berlin-based filmmaker and playwright, which discusses connectivity in the creative process.
I highly emphasize keeping an eye on the Light Leaks and on Kim as her voice gets more amplification in her field with time.
Currently, there exists a great pressure from the media to uplift female voices and increase gender parity, which is creating more opportunities for female and non-binary creators to demand that they are seen and heard by investors, consumers, and audiences who can help them attain new levels of success (and in turn, demand change within the systems that have been at work to maintain patriarchal control of industries). In other words, it is a good time to invest in female artists and entrepreneurs.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what a site like The Light Leaks would look like for female and non-binary theatremakers — especially after reading Monica Byrne’s blog post about her experience with sexual harassment in the New York theatre community. Outlets like American Theatre and HowlRound certainly engage with conversations about gender and artmaking, and organizations like the Kilroys are doing excellent work for parity, but I do wish that as a female theatre artist, I had a go-to platform that could connect me to other artists working in my field, and hear what they have to say about what else is going on in the industry. This may be just the seed of an idea, but I’m curious about looking into creating this myself. Because at the end of the day, all I want in life is to be surrounded by a cohort of bad-ass, creative, smart, and unapologetically troublemaking women and non-binary folk as we empower each other in our various and eclectic identities.