The first time I ever had a real understanding of my identity was through reflections in culture. With no relatable figures nearby, and being labelled gay or lesbian considered an insult of the highest order in school, it was film, television and books that filled the gap. Even then, the messages can be mixed, depending on who’s telling the story and the lens through which it’s filtered. Scrolling through Netflix or iTunes, looking through cinema listings, keeping an eye out for a story which you might be able to relate to: this behaviour is not unusual in itself. The difference is that there are fewer stories reaching mainstream media that tell stories that represent my friends and I, and the community that we are a part of.
The feeling of being heard is much more important when there’s this sense that you are unseen and unrepresented, whether by your culture, or the institutions that you value or exist within. On a planet inhabited by billions, in a galaxy with millions of stars, it’s easy to feel small and insignificant. It’s important to realise and acknowledge the deep potential within each individual, both in others and in oneself. As a process, this can be a shorter or longer process, depending on at what point you’re starting the process. Making Pull was exhilarating, and fulfilling, demonstrating to myself the reason I started to make films in the first place. The process doesn’t end with the filmmaking, but in sharing these stories afterwards and, hopefully, making connections.
Perhaps it seems a lofty ambition, to contribute in some way, in any way, to the increasingly diverse representation of human stories. In its conception, my film began as a story, an idea, an image in my mind, of the characters and the world that they occupied. The end goal became the realisation of this little slice of life. In so doing, I gained the confidence to believe in myself, to believe that, just maybe, I had a story worth telling.
Eleanor Capaldi’s short film Pull is being shown as part of SQIFF Shorts: Queer Scotland III at the CCA Glasgow on Sunday 1st October from 3.30-5.00pm. Featuring a selection of the compelling array of queer filmmaking happening in Scotland, Capaldi’s film explores what happens when two people are inexorably drawn to one another. We hope to be joined by several of the filmmakers for a Q&A after the screening.
ACCESS: Level access at entrance of CCA with lift up to first floor for Theatre space. Accessible toilets available. English and Polish languages with English captions/subtitles. BSL interpretation for Q&A. Hearing loop. Audio description available (small amount of non-English dialogue read within AD).