How This Female Director Captures The Compelling Stories of Scene-Stealing Women
The Inspiring Filmmaker Behind TRR’s International Women’s Day Story Talks Career and the Female Muse
How to tell the stories of three female originals? Enlist one herself.
Capturing the unique perspectives and style of Sarah Sophie Flicker, Jenna Gribbons, and Kia Damon for TRR’s International Women’s Day feature, “Women of Substance”, the gifted filmmaker Agostina Gálvez helped bring these distinct women’s stories into full focus. Zooming in with her well-gleaned eye, the Buenos Aires-creative managed to offer a thoughtful look into each woman’s perspectives and style, while creating a world all unto their own. But centering the strong female protagonist is something of Gálvez’s calling card–a signature she crystallized in 2015 with her lyrical short film, Lift Up, that featured 3 Olympic rhythmic gymnasts performing a stunning expression of grace and strength on a sprawling basketball court. The piece went viral and created a reputation for the young creative, with her going on to work with i-D, Chanel, Miu Miu, Valentino, while also balancing her work as an acclaimed narrative film director of such features as Bride of Frankenstein and Dear Renzo.
Here, the visionary reveals how she got her start, how women are constantly a source of inspiration for her work, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
The Art of Storytelling Led Her To Film
“I began studying fine art and photography in Buenos Aires, and at that time I wanted to be a visual artist. One summer I started watching a lot of old movies that I had no idea existed. Nothing else triggered my imagination like the films I discovered. After that, the only way forward was to become a director. I guess my interest in film began with art and photography and finally sparked with the desire to tell stories.”
Knowing One’s Worth
“My dad did the best he could to raise me as an independent woman and he taught me that the first way for a woman to be independent is to be financially independent. So for me, it has been very important to make a living out of my career as a film director. I have been very fortunate to work with people with good values that have respected me. But I do see a lot of machismo in other areas of life; I see it in men and women in obvious and subtle ways. I used to get upset and reactive, but as I’ve matured I realize that one of the most effective ways to make my point is to interrogate people’s beliefs with questions. If I see the opportunity, I think it is necessary to make an effort to explain what feminism actually means because there is a lot of confusion out there. I still hear women say ‘I am not a feminist. I don’t hate men,’ and I take a deep breath.”
Inspiring Subjects Move Her To Work
“When I found out about the women that were going to be featured in this campaign I was immediately excited. Sarah Sophie Flicker is an activist, Jenna Gribbon is an artist and Kia is a chef. They all come from different backgrounds and are doing very different types of important work, but they all are very empowered women. My favorite part was interviewing them and learning about their lives. As a filmmaker, I care about how the women who inspire me are represented.”
Wearing Clothes That Are Built To Last
“I like supporting brands that are sustainable and free from animal cruelty, and I’ve always loved vintage clothes and fixing or tailoring items to give them a second life. I try to stay away from ‘fast fashion’ chains. I’d rather spend my money on something new that is unique & locally made or a statement piece for special occasions, instead of spending the same amount of money on disposable items.”
A Female Protagonist As Muse
“Recently I’ve been re-watching Almodovar’s films and I’m again obsessed with his female characters and his understanding of the female world. I love the depth and sense of humor of his stories and also how he references other movies in his own films. I also find a lot of inspiration in Argentinian contemporary literature, especially in a generation of female writers who I find very smart and creative. Mariana Enriquez, Maria Gainza and Selva Almado are some of my favorites.”
A Message To a Young Agostina:
“Surround yourself with people that love you and want the best for you. Trust your gut intuition more.”