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Award-winning Caymanian film-maker says she’s not immune to industry sexism

Caymanian film-maker Teri Quappe says she has encountered firsthand the sexism that comes with being a female director in the movie industry.

She sat down with Cayman 27 after securing a win for “Best Experimental Short Film” at the Cutting Edge Film Festival in Florida.

Featured in film festivals from New Zealand to Nashville, Teri Quappe’s “Interloper” has taken the Caymanian writer, director and producer’s work to a global stage.

And yet Ms. Quappe said she is no stranger to sexism on set.

“Even while making ‘Interloper,’ I had issues with the male that was our first assistant director…. It got to the point, I was looking at him going ‘you have to trust me.’ He said ‘how do you know? you’re a female’. Here you go here’s my resume, I have to actually spell it out,” Ms. Quappe relayed.

The film-maker added she feels the industry still has some way to go.

“Director is a very difficult position, especially to get into as a female, because most people don’t trust a woman to be able to lead a big group of people,” she explained.

She added: “it takes years to build up that trust and gather a crew that like you, people that recognise and respect you enough.”

But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, she sounded a note of optimism; just back from the Herstory Cinephilia Festival, she praised the collaboration between female film-makers in an industry still dominated by men.

“It wasn’t competitive at all. Nobody was there going: ‘oh well mine is better than yours’,” she recalled, expanding: “it was all: ‘oh I really loved this part about it, I really loved what you did with this’.”

A challenge you sense this Caymanian can continue to conquer.

“Interloper” is still on the international festival circuit, but next year, it should be available online. Of course, we will keep you posted with all the details here on Cayman 27.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at carolinejames@hurleysmedia.ky or 326-2243.

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