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INTERVIEW: Trudie Styler Discusses UK Films, Under Served Women In Film And Environment Conservation

Originally Posted: October 10, 2012

Nicole Barylski

Trudie Styler at the Maidstone for the Hamptons International Film Festival. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

This year the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) partnered with the British Academy of Film and Television, New York (BAFTA, New York) to present Focus on UK Film featuring five narrative features and nine short films. The panel was hosted by Michael Apted and Trudie Styler who stopped by the Maidstone to chat with Hamptons.com.

Trudie Styler came to the Hamptons for the first time to bring her film "Moving the Mountain" to the Hamptons International Film Festival in 1995. She has returned to the Hamptons for the twentieth anniversary of HIFF and said, "I think that Focus on the UK is a great collaborative effort for the Hamptons International Film Festival to join hands with the UK Focus".

Styler also served as a member of the 2012 Golden Starfish Narrative jury. When talking about films nominated for the Golden Starfish awards, Styler said, "One of the beautiful things I see as a filmmaker is how we tell human stores and in doing that whatever country we are from we see our similarities. There are some very touching human stories I am seeing and I think that it is important to champion the work too of our colleagues in diverse countries like Turkey, Austria and Canadian which have pictures that are strong." She went on to discuss the importance of British films stating, "As a Brit we live in a great jumping off place to Europe and the other parts of the world." She thinks this has allowed her to see through a bigger lens than just the domestic market and has learned a lot as a film maker from being exposed to that.

Styler joined forces with Celine Rattray who produced "The Kids Are Alright" a year ago and they have filmed two movies in that time period. The first film is "Imogene" which according to Styler just got picked up by Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions after the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillion.

Styler and Rattray are currently in post production for the British film "Filth" which is the story of Irvine Welsh who was best known for his novel "Trainspotting". The screenplay was adapted by Jon S. Baird and the film stars James McAvoy and Jamie Bell. Styler said, "Filth allowed me to go back to my roots as a filmmaker. It's more of a "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" category of film". It's a very darkly comedic film and Styler said, "It has an incredibly strong performance from James McAvoy in a role we have never seen him play before. So I'm very excited for that."

The duo believe very strongly about putting out female product, saying "We think that the film world is under served by the women of the world and we're inviting women to bring their scripts and their talent." They currently have quite a few women's scripts on their plate and the interest isn't just from the Brits. Styler said, "We have interest from Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts, and Amy Adams, so we've got the interest of a lot of American women."

Another important interest to Styler is conserving the environment. She and husband Sting were recently honored for their worldwide environmental work by the Cinema for Peace Foundation and the BMZ. They were given a green Oscar along with a $3 million grant for over the next three years to use ton their Rainforest Fund which was started in 1989. Styler said, "We are working in over 23 countries in three continents addressing indigenous issues and conservations."

When asked what is the proudest moment of her career, Styler responded, "Strangely the documentary "Moving the Mountain", made with Michael Apton who is meant to be here for the BAFTA panel with me." She reminisced, "We went to Tiananmen Square to interview some of the Chinese dissidents and the remaining ones who had escaped from the crackdown." For her the story of Tiananmen had been told several times but always from the government point of view and not from the student body itself. Four years after the event at Tiananmen Square they collected seven of the dissident students and put them in a room together to talk about those days in 1989.

She was greatly surprised at the openness during the sit-down saying, "The emotional content of the movie took me hugely by surprise, to have their feeling of remorse and sadness for the people that were left and bigger than that for the cause that was nearly there." She continued, "They thought that they had the day that democracy could come to China. And of course it was thwarted by the crackdown and thousands of lives that were lost on June 1, 1989." Styler thinks the film has been an important piece of work and said about the film, "I think that doing something useful in filming is very satisfying to me."

For more information on Hamptons International Film Festival's Focus on the UK visit: hamptonsfilmfest.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

Updated: October 10, 2012, 3:37 pm
Appeared In: the arts >> hamptons international film festival