Eloise King is an award-winning Director and Executive Producer and a nominee for our Film award. Her body of work has a focus on telling powerful human stories that foreground marginalised voices. Previous titles include: 'Kids Behind Bars' (ITV ), Divorce Clinic (BBC), Acid Attacks (VICE/BBC) and 'JME x Corbyn' and 'Gurls Talk with Adwoa Aboah' (i-D).
Below are some questions answered by Eloise King.
1. Why Film? What is it that attracts you to it and what are you trying to achieve with your work?
I have always drawn on people’s anecdotes, images and first-hand experiences to help de-code the world around me. I’m a perpetual learner or perhaps, ardent observer so I want to pass this sensation on to my audience. I’m routinely fascinated by people who inhabit the space that expose society’s contradictions.
Women, black communities and people diagnosed with mental illnesses have been prevailing preoccupation of my work, namely because of the oppressive criminalisation of those groups. I’m specifically interested in what happens when these groups come into contact with institutions or find their cultures exposed to change. Where the loop holes are for individuals to fall through or flourish in the tension between the old and new. It’s my desire to create work that allows us to see them as they see themselves, to uplift them within popular culture where their humanity is often called into question. It’s always humanity first and issues second.
2. How did you get started in directing?
I started as a runner on Launch of E4 music for channel 4 music at 16 and then after graduating my career begun at Channel 4's creative agency, 4Creative before leaving to help set-up Pulse Films TV department. There I got an opportunity to produce music videos, a documentaries, and a series of short films for (recently BAFTA winning) director Colin O’Toole. He is a very generous and patient person to learn from. The series was called ‘The Gathering’s’, they were later nominated for a Grierson Award.
From there I spent the next 7 years as a freelancer covering every imaginable genre, fashion, arts, music, news and current affairs before zeroing in on social issues, youth and subcultures. Ultimately, I combine all the aesthetics and disciplines in my work now.
3. What are you currently working on?
I'm currently in pre-production on a feature documentary. The film is about a young women called Sarah Reed who was found dead in her cell at Holloway prison, in 2016. Sarah had suffered long-standing mental health issues and survived a vicious police assault. Her family were told she hung herself but many of her mother, Marilyn's questions remain unanswered. Sarah's life and Marilyn's fight for the truth will unfold during the film and through it we’ll explore some of the biggest questions facing the British mental health and justice systems today.