British director Gaby DellalA Sunday Herald article speculates on why so few of us have heard of Gaby Dellal, a British director whose debut feature On a Clear Day premiered at Sundance earlier this year and just had its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The movie is about a man who decides to swim the English Channel, and stars well-known actors such as Billy Boyd and Brenda Blethyn. Is it because Dellal's a woman?

In the article, Dellal blames the British media: "The great British press don’t like a female gutsy director getting her film made. We were the only British film at Sundance, and we opened the festival. We got so little publicity in the British press for it."

I don't know if the reason behind a lack of publicity is as simple as sexism—think of Miranda July, whose film Me and You and Everyone We Know received a lot of media attention in the US after doing so well at film festivals. However, July's film won an award at Cannes, so it was much harder to overlook. July is an American ... are the Brits ignoring their female directors? I'm trying very hard to think of other female British feature film directors, and the only ones I can recall are the women who directed the Bridget Jones movies. No one remembers their names; we think only of Helen Fielding. Wait, I've remembered another one: Gurinder Chadha, who directed Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. (What is it with the British female directors and Jane Austen?)

Perhaps it's because Gaby Dellal isn't stereotypically feminine in any way, and On a Clear Day focuses on its male characters. During her interview in Switzerland with the Sunday Herald, she decided to swim across a nearby lake in Switzerland before her movie premiere. The media may not know what to make of her.

On a Clear Day will be released in the UK on September 2. It appears the film may not be released in the US until 2006. I'm hoping I'll remember Gaby Dellal by then, or that the American media will remind me. [via GreenCine Daily]
categories Movies, Cinematical