As Grace steps into her pay review, she prepares to unleash a version of herself that only her bathroom mirror has seen.
Constantly plugged with millennial girl boss-isms and post pandemic Gen Z anxiety, Grace is a hybrid. A woman who is at once “fierce” and “owns her power” but who also sits in the waiting room practising how she’ll say “hello” before the company zoom. We meet Grace at work, moments before her annual review. Through her headphones, binaural beats and guided manifestations hype her into the boss bitch zone. When she finally gets in front of her tyrannous, patriarchal boss, a nervous Grace begins her monologue arguing for equal opportunities and pay. When he is less than forthcoming, Grace is unable to contain years worth of pent up anger. She’s sick of being a “no worries if not” girlie who makes the best tea in the office. She is going to scream at this asshole until he finally “knows her worth.” We cringe as she spits and swears at him, until her phone rings - snapping her out of it. We cut wide and it’s revealed we’re in Grace’s bathroom in her shared flat. She’s standing in a power pose in front of her bathroom mirror…it was a rehearsal all along.
AMAYA - WRITER / DIRECTOR
On Graduating from Goldsmith’s Amaya decided against a career as a conceptual artist (rolling around on stage in the nude isn’t for everyone) and set her sights on the world of Film and Television, starting out as a runner and now working in Comedy Development. In 2020 Amaya co-wrote and co-produced her first short film, The Gospel According to Gail, starring Harriet Webb and Bukky Bakray. The film was screened at multiple BAFTA and Academy Award qualifying festivals and won best film at BFI Future Film Festival 2022.
With the exception of a few high-concept Tiktoks created in the midst of the pandemic (Kiki Challenge included), Fierce(ish) Grace will be Amaya’s directorial debut, which she hopes to develop into a series alongside her writing partner Celia.
CELIA - WRITER / PRODUCER
Celia began writing for theatre, in 2019 her comedy play had a sell out Edinburgh Fringe run. In 2020 she got her first job in television, where she met Amaya. They bonded over confidential waste disposal and the stress of a Pret coffee run. Together, they co-wrote and co-produced The Gospel According to Gail. Celia now works in development and as a script editor, she is currently script editing Stephen Merchant's award winning comedy-drama, The Outlaws, for BBC and Amazon. She continues to write in her free time, with a particular interest in telling stories with funny women at their centre.
EMILY - PRODUCER
After Graduating with a Degree in Performance Design and Special Effects Make Up from the University of The Arts London, Emily began her journey into the industry through Commercials. She then spent five years at Big Talk Productions, working her way up from runner to Production and Business Affairs Coordinator. Since joining Baby Cow Productions in July 2022 as Production Coordinator, Emily has worked across their comedy slate and coordinated Audible Podcasts and Short Films for BBC Comedy.
FREDDIE - PRODUCER
Freddie studied Spanish at the University of Edinburgh, spending his summers producing theatre shows at the Fringe. He started out in the film industry assisting the production department at Working Title Films and has subsequently worked as a freelancer on eight different feature film and TV drama projects. Most recently, Freddie has worked as the Assistant to the Producer on an independent US-feature, and as a high-profile actress’ assistant.
RONNIE - DOP
The wonderful and insanely talented Ronnie McQuillan is attached as the DOP for this project. Ronnie was a finalist for the BSC Short Film Competition (2021) and nominated as one of ten BSC / IMAGO New Talent for 2022. We were lucky enough to work with him on our previous film, The Gospel According to Gail, which won Best Film at BFI Future Film Festival. Ronnie’s work is exquisite, he has a unique ability to visually communicate tone and even comedy. His cinematography is slick and crisp yet he still manages to capture the grime of the everyday. After creating multiple award-winning short films, Ronnie has recently moved into television, working on shows like Buffering (ITV) and Ellie and Natasia (BBC). Ronnie claims this will be his last ever short but we hope for our sake that this isn't the case...
Last year I went to the toilet at work during ‘appraisal season’ and there on the side, next to the hand soap was a little bottle of Rescue Remedy. It’s still unclear whether or not it was left accidentally or if it was generously placed there by a thoughtful colleague as a communal, pre-appraisal amuse-bouche. Either way, what the little bottle confirms is that most of us are bricking it most of the time, living in that little room in our head just waiting to be sacked.
For me, this moment was deeply emblematic of the dual identity so many of us inhabit in the world of work. There’s the strong, defiant, empowered version of ourselves that we rehearse in private at 4am, muttering comebacks into a pillow, and then there is the diluted, no-worries-if-not girly who springs out of our body the moment the imposter syndrome kicks in. Fierce(ish) Grace is a witty, gritty and unnerving little film that will make real this internal battlefield.
I want this film to be an antidote to the millennial girlboss culture we are constantly bombarded with. I want to satirise the Tiktok preachers who remind us how NOT to email like a woman, who yell at us to ‘know our worth’, who tell us that if you get up at 5am for that pilates class, you really can have it all. In creating this, I’m not laughing at my own gender, I’m pulling apart the capitalist illusion that has created the polished, middle class, claw clip hun and convinced them that they have any kind of agency beyond the power to purchase.
Trust me, I’m one of them. I’ve drunk the coulee and it tastes like an overpriced green juice with a side of self doubt. This film will be a love letter to all the amazing women I know who are simply doing their best, putting one Adidas Gazelle in front of the other, Rescue Remedy in hand, waiting for the revolution.
We have raised 15% of our budget and are looking to raise an extra £3,000 through crowd funding. This money will be spent on the camera kit hire, paying a talented team of camera, lighting and sound crew, location hire, post production and then will also be used to submit the film into film festivals.
It's a really exciting time to be working in the British film and television industry, and short films continue to be the best way for new talent to grow and learn and practice their craft. If you google any of your favourite writers, directors, producers and actors, chances are they started out making shorts. This is a film that we are really passionate about, that we think is an important and fun story to tell and we have a really talent team waiting in the wings to bring it to life. Anything you can give to help us to do this, we would be genuinely grateful for.