Mark 2014 with Charitable Women in Horror UK CalendarBooks/Art/Culture,News Samuel Zimmerman
As we’ve come to annually explore, via both coverage and critique, February has been carved out to celebrate Women in Horror. But of course, celebrating talented women filmmakers in genre and beyond is not, and should not be, some once-a-year ritual. Thus, London-based filmmaker Melanie Light has inventively crafted a reminder that women are creating and producing exciting and provoking genre film every day of the year: a calendar. What’s more, the Women in Horror UK calendar aims to divert from traditional, or cliched, pin-up style, instead highlighting the work of twelve UK horror artists (including cenobite and author Barbie Wilde, THE WOMAN star Pollyanna McIntosh and director Prano Bailey-Bond) and donating profits to worthwhile foundations.
From the release:
‘Horror’ is a genre that encompasses all the arts – film, music, literature, sculpture, painting, fashion – and this year a special calendar is celebrating the contribution of 12 women to the horror scene in the UK, with all profits going to charity.
The calendar is put together by filmmaker Melanie Light, based in London. From an early age Melanie was drawn to a strange interest in odd things, having collected road kill with her siblings, to drawing deformed demon women for her GCSE art projects. At Art School in Brighton her work was influence by her keen interest in serial killers and the dark arts. Melanie has been production designing and art directing various horror films, music promos and short films since 2006. In 2010 she decided to take on the challenge of directing her own short horror film Switch, which screened at Film4 Frightfest, the BEV festival’s special on ‘Bloody Women’ at the ICA, and won best short film at the Queen of Horror festival in 2012. Melanie is the drive behind the Women in Horror Calendar. “I decided that I needed to give something back. The calendar idea is to showcase creative women of various roles, all with a macabre feel. A friend asked me, ‘why a calendar and not a book?’ Well, I like to be organized! It’s not a ‘pin up’ calendar, but a showcase of talent – in front of and behind the camera.”
The profit made from selling the calendar will be split between two charities. Rape Crisis England and Wales provides support for women and girls who have been raped, as well as tackling the trafficking of women. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation has particular resonance with Melanie, having been bullied herself at school for being ‘goth’. Following the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007, her family wanted to ensure a lasting legacy, and so the Foundation was established. Its motto, Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere, reflects the charity’s aim to challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures both culturally and in legislation.
The scope of the calendar means a really broad variety of talents are celebrated. Some of the women featured include, amongst others, presenter Emily Booth (Horror Bits on the Horror Channel), actress Pollyanna McIntosh, author (and Hellraiser Female Cenobite) Barbie Wilde, taxidermy artist Tessa Farmer, and, of course, Melanie herself. With photography by Tina Korhonen whom is known for her work in magazines such as ‘Metal Hammer’ and ‘Total Tattoo’. The shoot was held at The Murder Mile studio in Clapton, East London. The perfect location for a ‘Horror’ photography shoot.