"Representation matters" - Interview to Karla Williams
di Rossella Forle’
Our weekly #girlcrush is Karla Williams an award-winning screenwriter in the best possible sense.
Passionate, intelligent and with a keen eye for films that challenge perceptions of culture and society.
Karla with Rebecca Coley formed in 2017 the film production MsMono, a collective of women in film, now, is about to celebrate its 2nd year, with a showcase of a really inspiring works as Pretty Bitch, screened internationally at the Annual Vancouver International Woman in Film Festival and at some of the most prestigious Film Festivals in UK, like the London Short Film Festival and BFI Future Film Festival.
Growing up with a love for film, Karla has worked her way, winning multiple awards for her work as a screenwriter. I spoke to her a few days ago, on the strength of the work she has curated, the audience is in for a challenging, unique cinematic experience.
My name is Karla Williams, I am an award-winning screenwriter and co-founder and executive producer for MsMono Productions.
What’s MsMono? What’s your mission?
We are a production company telling female centred stories and we aim to increase the representation of women within film and TV. We do this by actively seeking out female talent to work on our productions.
Why do you think we need more female filmmakers?
Firstly, because filmmaking is not just for men. The more diverse filmmakers you have the more diverse stories that are told and that can only be a good think both commercially and creatively.
Secondly, representation matters, and it is important for everyone to see themselves on the small and big screen. Equally the more we see female filmmakers the younger women will see it as an attainable career.
Most of the work you produced with MsMono is based on real women life. Did you find any challenges writing about a real person, a real woman?
Not really, as the real-life story is only the starting point. For example, our award-winning short film Pretty Bitch was inspired by the story I was told about a young female prisoner pouring a kettle of boiling water over the head of another prisoner. I then created the story of why she would do that, so the final film is a combination of the real-life incident and a fictional back story.
Are there any experiences that influenced your writing and your writing process?
There aren’t any specific experiences that influence my writing other than wanting to see more stories and people I find familiar on screen. My faith as a Christian also play a big part in what I write as I generally see the world though the lens of my faith.
The #TimesUp movements has been gaining ground in the industry and I wondered if you thought there was something, you can do from a screenwriting perspective to help spread those stories
I could write stories that address and tackle the issues women are facing. I also feel as a company, MsMono could produce more stories from other writers that do the same thing.
What you will recommend to a young woman that it is starting her career in the industry now?
Have people around you who can offer support, advice and guidance. I feel so privileged to be able to work in this wonderful industry that has the power to shape culture. However, it can also be very difficult and there will be downs as a well as ups, so its vital to have people you can turn to for support. Don’t be afraid to contact people you admire to ask for advice and get out and meet people. Social media’s great, but nothing beats having a real-life networking and conversations.