Filmmaker Lea Winchcombe, the founder of J25 Productions, is bringing his documentary Empowered to MCM London Comic Con! The film stars Rhia O’Reilly and Candyfloss and features Pro-Wrestling:EVE and Daffney, with music by Neighborhood Goliath.
“The film focuses on female empowerment within British pro wrestling. It’s an inspiring look at women in today’s world,” Winchcombe tells MyMBuzz’s Matt Chapman – and you can read a larger Q&A with the director below.
You can watch the film and hear from those involved in a panel at MCM London Comic Con this May. The show runs from 25-27 May 2018 and tickets are available here.
What attracted you to the world of female wrestling as a subject for documentary film?
I am a strong supporter of female empowerment and a lifelong wrestling fan, so I wanted to combine the two in such a way that it would help to inspire women of all ages and all walks of life, not just wrestling fans but also the everyday person too.
I believe that the best stories ever told are the ones that have been lived and learned from. I wanted to develop a film that would capture the thoughts and minds of the viewer and show the real life stories of two ordinary women doing an extraordinary thing. This is designed to not only help women but help society progress, and step away from the traditional tropes of what a woman should be and where a woman’s place is, forcing people to see and appreciate the reality of the world we live in today: a woman can do and be all that she wants to, with no judgement and certainly not living up to any stereotypes.
How did you choose your two main subjects?
I chose Amy [Candy Floss] and Rhia because they embody what it is to be empowered. Both have had separate journeys to get to where they are and both with individual obstacles they had to face along the way – obstacles that have helped them to become the women they are today.
What can you tell us about the film’s soundtrack?
I was so lucky to have former WCW and TNA wrestler Daffney Unger be the narrator. She is an advocate for women’s rights and empowerment, so was an obvious choice.
The soundtrack to the film comes from the incredible alternative rock band Neighborhood Goliath. The lead singer Trevor Dion Nicolas is a good friend of mine, and as a wrestling fan and a supporter of women’s rights he jumped at the chance to be a part of the film.
What was your experience of trying to get into film before forming J25 Productions?
I formed J25 Productions a few years ago, starting off with filming for charities and local events, but I always wanted to do something that would help people.
At last May’s MCM London Comic Con I screened Behind The Make Up [now available on YouTube], a documentary that focuses on the cosplay community, where we talk about how cosplay can help with social anxiety and depression. Later in the year at October’s MCM Comic Con, I was approached by two young women who said that my documentary helped them in giving them the courage to overcome anxiety and seek help with their depression. That’s why I make films, so I can be a little bit of help through my passion.
Will Empowered be touring at any festivals once it’s premiered at MCM London?
I have been asked to bring Empowered to the Burning Hammer Film Festival this September in London, but first we’ll hold the panel at MCM London. Hope to see you all there.
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