'Into the Mirror'
Diversity, inclusion and identity are debates dominating societies. 'Into the Mirror' delves into these themes, highlighting why they are fundamentally important.
For years, the film industry has faced justifiable criticism for its lack of diversity, representation and inclusion. Recently, we have begun to see a push back against this stagnant attitude and a new film, Into the Mirror looks to push the conversation further.
The film, which tells the story of Daniel (Jamie Bacon), a young man struggling with his gender identity, as he begins his new life in London. Through numerous struggles, and his boss, Harry (John Sackville), preying on his vulnerability, Daniel is forced into facing supressed memories of his past. With his world seemingly in free fall, his introduction to Jennifer (Charles Streeter), a drag queen from a local nightclub through his friend Blu (Beatrice May), begins to help change the course of Daniel’s life and acceptance into his true identity.
The award-winning debut from co-producers Charles Streeter and Jamie Bacon, who won Best Actor at the NRFF film festival in London for his role in the film, is taking on the importance of identity and exploration of gender. The talented first-time director, Lois Stevenson is at the helm and after reading what started as a five-minute script she believed that the themes and the team’s “ambitions as filmmakers allowed the idea to spread from there.”
That idea has formed into a film which, even before its premiere, has received acclaim from a cacophony of critics as well as an influx of awards and nominations. The most recent being Best Debut Film and Best Music Score for Johnny Jewel at The New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam.
Jamie Bacon, who not only co-wrote the script with Charles Streeter, but stars as Daniel in the film said the idea came from a piece of music. Stating in a recent interview with London Live: “[the film] came from a story of liberation and acceptance. It’s kind of the idea of being who you want to be, going out and having the confidence, not worrying about society or what people think.”
It is apt that music was the inspiration, as the filmmakers have worked alongside Johnny Jewel, whose credits include Drive, Bronson, TwinPeaks and Lost River, directed by Ryan Gosling. Partnering with such accomplished names has helped cement the relevance of Into the Mirror and highlights its importance within the film circuit.
With the acclaim and growing success of Into the Mirror, the film is helping bring the conversation of gender identity to an audience outside of the usual confines. Based in London, the filmmakers chose the capital city for its outward looking attitude.
“There’s so much diversity and excitement about the LGBTQ community, there’s so many important things happening and, London is a hotspot for encouraging things like that,” said Stevenson.
Whilst the story focuses on the importance of identity, the impact of the film itself is also highlighting the much-needed evolution in diversity within the film industry. Into the Mirror is directed by a woman, and the film also has had huge support from people within the industry wanting to push women into these types of roles. This is something the industry can only benefit from, and films like Into the Mirror are making, understandably, celebrated strides forward.
The film is scheduled to premiere on the March 28, 2019 at 7: 58 PM at the Picture House West Norwood as part of the Crystal Palace International Film Festival. And the future seems to be even brighter, with a theatrical release planned for June 2019 in Los Angeles during Pride week. With this comes a growing excitement in seeing films like Into the Mirror willingly tackle the subject of gender attitudes and the importance of acceptance.
The film industry may have a way to go yet until fully mirroring the world we live in today, but Into the Mirror and the team behind the film are helping pave the much needed path striving to reach it.
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