JUN 13 2014

World Made by Women

World Made by Women

The World Made by Women - 4 x one hour series for BBC/Silver River Productions, UK.

In February, I had the great opportunity of accompanying British director Hugo Macgregor on a recce around China in preparation for an upcoming BBC documentary called “The World Women Made”. This series is commissioned by BBC to be produced by Silver River Productions with support from Mandarin Film. It’s a four-part series that takes us through history with a female driven perspective, showcasing tales of amazing women who helped shape the world we live in today. The series will take us around the world from Inner Mongolia, to East Asia, the Balkans, Europe, the Middle East and to North America. The second episode in this series focuses mostly on Asia, on China in fact, as the ancient Middle Kingdom had a great deal of influence on its surrounding states. In this episode, which Mandarin Film is helping to produce, we will take a look at some of the greatest women in Chinese history.

On our 10 days recce, we explored ancient capitals such as Beijing, Xi’an and Luoyang, visiting various museums and picking the brains of history experts. It was my first time visiting Luoyang but the city really took me by surprise. There were still a lot of relics and traditional culture to be found there, as it had been China’s ancient capital 13 times throughout various dynasties. We also visited Shandong and Kunming, where important but hidden clues to our story could still be found. Without giving away too much detail (I’m expecting all of you to tune in when our documentary goes on air), I’ll just say our trip was truly an eye opener for me. 

Some highlights on this trip were: - we had the privilege to see rare Tang Dynasty frescoes of elegant court ladies, - visiting recently discovered tomb of an important Tang dynasty female court advisor- meeting some of the last living ladies in the world with bound feet. - At our final stop in Shanghai, we even visited a collector of shoes for bound feet, which are called “lotus shoes”.  He had hundreds of pairs of these dainty footwear in various styles, all of which are on display at his home which doubles as a private museum.In retrospect, the most difficult part of this trip was how tightly packed each day was, travelling thousands of kilometers across China in just 10 days. But it truly felt like each day we uncovered a new piece of the puzzle that goes to making our story. Day by day it came together. Until the very last day when we were confident that we had all the pieces that will make this part of our women’s history documentary come alive.Mandarin Film is providing production services, research, fixing, logistics and location scouting for the recce, and will provide further help for the shoot and post production slated for summer/autumn 2014.  Watch this space!