Kit lives in London and dreams of becoming a professional jazz drummer but is not taken seriously because of her gender. Financially strained, she steals a drum kit from Wayne, a one-night stand to get closer to fulfilling her dream. Inspired by writer/director Anouk Witkowska Hiffler's personal experiences as a female, mixed-race drummer, Drumming explores gender discrimination in a comedic lens.
Drumming is a short comedy film written and directed by Anouk Witkowska Hiffler, an undergraduate film student at the University of Westminster. It follows Kit, a young woman in her 20s from a working-class background who aspires to become a jazz drummer. Self-assured and ambitious, she is not afraid to do what it takes to achieve her dreams, even if that means hooking up with a professional jazz drummer and stealing his drum kit the same night they meet.
The film and the main character Kit are inspired by Anouk's personal life. She herself is a female mixed-race drummer, and she has personally experienced the obstacles female musicians face for playing an instrument traditionally perceived to be "masculine." Her sister is also a jazz drummer, and Anouk has watched her perform in jazz clubs for years. These life experiences formed the idea and themes behind Drumming. Anouk's goal is for Kit's story to hopefully empower other women, whether mixed-race or not, who are striving to make it in fields generally dominated by men, to overcome their adversity.
In addition to Anouk helming the project as its creator, the key crew is made up fully of film students, both in undergraduate and graduate levels, from the University of Westminster and the London Film School. In recruiting the remaining crew members as production gets closer, the goal is to have the crew made up of mostly women/people from underrepresented groups. At the present moment, our crew is made up of 10 people -- 5 of which are women from varying ethnic/racial backgrounds, and the remaining 5 men are also skilled filmmakers of likewise a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Drumming comes from the frustrations I've personally experienced as a female drummer. From when I started playing as a child, I quickly realised that the drums were not an instrument played by girls, especially not mixed-race ones. Whenever I told others I was a musician, they always assumed I played the violin or piano. Although my move to London from Paris has significantly reduced the time I spend drumming loudly on music, it is still a very important part of who I am. The short film is fueled by the exasperation felt by not being taken seriously because of my gender -- always having to come second to men.
I started writing Drumming when I was at home in Paris before coming to London to study film. While I watched my sister play the drums one day, I reminisced about all the times I hung out in Parisian jazz clubs to listen to her gigs or the times I went to jam sessions with my friends. Those were important moments for me, when I realised how poor the female representation was in the jazz world, particularly within the milieu of drummers.
Telling a story about a woman who takes action to overcome this adversity is very empowering to me. I hope to inspire young women to be strong, to be wild, to dare, and to fight for the place they rightly deserve.
Music References and Inspiration
Visual Style of Drumming
Concept Poster Sketches
Designed by Jasmine Flaux Al-Hiti
Set Design Moodboard
Anouk Witkowska Hiffler - Writer/Director
I'm Anouk and I'm the writer and director of Drumming. Originally from Paris, I moved to London in 2020 when I started studying film at the University of Westminster. I am comedy-obsessed -- with a soft spot for absurd comedy. I have written and directed a few comedy shorts and I am very excited to make Drumming come to life with this amazing crew!
Camila Basora-Oliveira - Producer
Hi, I am Camila and I am the producer for Drumming. I am from Miami, FL and I graduated from Boston University in 2020 where I majored in Communication Studies with a minor in Cinema and Media Studies. Shortly after to continue my education and keep myself busy at home during the COVID lockdown, I did a Master of Studies in Law degree from the University of Southern California. I am now finishing another master's degree in International Film Business through a joint programme between the University of Exeter and the London Film School
I've worked as a production coordinator and production assistant on several commercials and music videos back home, and I'm excited to be producing here in the UK on Drumming.
Evan Bridges - Director of Photography
Hi there, my name's Evan and I'm a camera trainee and aspiring cinematographer originating from Glasgow. I'm always attracted to films that try to do or say something different, something slightly off kilter. Drumming hooked me instantly with its unique sense of self, an inspiring underdog story playing alongside loads of confrontational humour. It's a kind of story I've always wanted to tell, and I'm really looking forward to showing you all how we've chosen to shoot it. Hope I can get a laugh out of you!
Eloise Vickers - Co-Production Designer
Hello, I'm Eloise, one of the production designers on Drumming, and I'm looking forward to bringing the vibrant and unconventional world of Kit's musical aspirations to life! This script immediately landed with me, appealing to my first love, music, so I hope to bring some authenticity and passion to creating the set locations.
I usually specialise in sound but found a passion in the art department working on my fellow production designer Bella's recent film, so I'm looking forward to building my skills and experience with this lively project.
Isabella Thompson - Co-Production Designer
Hello, my name’s Bella and I’m part of the production design team for “Drumming”! You can usually find me in the camera department but I’ve teamed up with Eloise for this wonderful project to flex my art department muscles and try and bring this world to life. I’m struck by the upbeat comedy & characters of the film despite the desperate undertones of the story, I also think jazz is super cool! Can’t wait to get stuck in with a sexy team
Gabriele Vaicekauskaite - Assistant Director
Hi, I'm the assistant director for Drumming. I graduated from London South Bank University with First Class Honours in Film Production, and I spent one year of that degree abroad in Lindenwood University in Missouri, USA. Currently, I am studying a Master's degree in Screenwriting at London Film School.
In the past, I have worked as the screenwriter and director of a few personal projects, but I am now looking to expand my passion for assisting on set!
Karifa Aaronovitch - Sound Recordist
London born and raised, I am a skilled filmmaker, writer, editor, designer, crocheter, and tea drinker-er. Thankfully, I am also a skilled sound recordist, and I will be doing just that for our production.
Before getting into and doing the MA Filmmaking course at London Film School, I got a Drama and English Literature degree at Anglia Ruskin University, where I was able to cultivate one of my childhood dreams of one day becoming a great storyteller for those who love character, genre, and a quick wit.
My other dream of being a Ninja Turtle is, however, still on hold.
Gopikrishnan Hari - Casting Director
I am a graduate of the National Institute of Design, India in Graphic Design and a trained theatre actor. After a couple stage productions as an actor and a year working as a co-lead in media marketing in India, I moved to London to pursue an MA Filmmaking degree at London Film School. I have written, directed, and edited films that have gone to international film festivals, and I have published short stories and visual design works.
I have experience editing short films, corporate videos, and social media ads, and I am to pursue a career as a film director, editor, and actor.
Funding -- How Will It Be Used?
All funding gathered for Drumming will be used for production, post-production, and to help complete the film.
What does that mean? It means that the money will be directed towards:
- Renting camera, lighting, and sound equipment for the shoot
- Purchasing/making props, set decor, and costumes
- Booking equipment transportation between locations
- Securing catering and snacks for cast/crew on set
Post-Production & Completion
- Paying actors and hired crew members for their labour
- Paying remaining balances for rentals
- Editing, colour-grading, sound editing
- Music composition
- Applying for film festivals
None of the money raised will be used for anything that does not contribute to making Drumming a reality.