Director Biography – Helen Randag (IT’S ME)

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Helen is a painter, artist and upcoming filmmaker. In 2007 Helen supported the Tates Pawel Althamer film and performance for the World as a Stage exhibition. The film starred Jude Law and showed in cinemas in central London.

In 2009, she was awarded the Arts and Business Prince of Wales medal for Arts philanthropy.

Helen was awarded a commendation in 2012 by the Royal Portrait Society judges for her multimedia end of year show. That same year Helen became a trustee of South London Gallery, Peckham and a founder benefactor for the building of the Matsudaira Wing, named after her grandfather.

In 2013 in response to Helen’s show, she was commissioned to make her first short film, Portrait of a Star. This premiered at BAFTA with gallerist Maureen Paley and at the New York City Film festival. She set up Midheaven Productions with a view to continue developing film projects.

Director Statement

The idea for “It’s Me” comes from my personal experience of mothering a son through challenging teenage years. The transition from mother and child to son and mother brings an upheaval which is painful and frightening. I realise that the subject is tough, yet, underneath lies a message that true connection and recognition means the sacrifice of power for vulnerability, hence the title ‘It’s Me’. I have had extreme challenges bringing up my own son and so this story comes straight from my heart. I think it’s one worth telling because we rarely see the subject brought to the screen. Mothers and sons, the joy that gives way to the loss felt as they grow up, the fear and the power shift were a mystery to me until I went through it. I set up a production company with the intention to start making narrative films. However, due to my son’s illness, I have not been able to move forward with any projects until now. He is eighteen and thriving so I can take time away to resume filmmaking.

This short is my first narrative and authored piece and highlights themes I am particularly interested in exploring as a filmmaker. It has personal importance for me and I believe it is something that will have an impact universally – it has been taboo for women to delve into the darker parts of what it means to be a mother with our fears, loss and grief relatively unexpressed. I am fascinated by exposing and drawing from these themes to create conversation and debate. The female gaze is growing in cinema but there is far to go and I would love to be a part of this new conversation. A little goes a long way sometimes and just 14 minutes of film could have ripples that start a bigger conversation — one which we as women need to be permitted to share. It is my hope that this film will pave the way for more content relating to sensitive subjects and stories relating to women’s experiences. Helen Randag

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