What is `Just A Girl’?
A short film written and directed by Claudia Grace McKell, which highlights the difficulties a young adult has when she loses her hearing, as well as showcasing the pressures it has on family life. The film follows the story of a troubled, young, deaf woman and how her life shifts when she meets the local hero in a karate class.
The film also highlights the image of female fighters competitively and their struggle to compete in a sport dominated by men. It aims to showcase the ability of female fighters and promote the need for more encouragement to enhance and nurture female fighters professionally.
Why the film is important?
The film is based on true events about Director and Writer Claudia Grace McKell’s childhood. Claudia Grace began to lose her hearing at the age of three when her aunt noticed she was sitting alone at nursery. She then underwent surgery which left her with impaired hearing leading her to be misunderstood at school due to the fact she could sing, was a successful student and didn't conform to the ‘normal’ aspects of a deaf student.
Claudia Grace was inspired to write ‘Just A Girl’ by family friend Rachael Wells who suffers from mitochondrial disease, which caused her to lose her hearing and wear cochlear implants and continues to be Claudia Grace’s constant inspiration.
`Just A Girl’ will provide a platform for a young voice to be heard, depicting an invisible community, which has struggled within an impatient society for years. The film aims to embrace the deaf community as well as highlighting the resilience it has.
Females in the Industry
It has been stated that only 11% out of the 250 top films in 2017 were directed by women. Actress Natalie Portman highlighted this when she introduced the best director category at the Golden Globes: "And here are the all-male nominees." It was also revealed that 83% of the 250 top films were written by men. ‘Just a Girl’ will be Claudia Grace McKell’s directorial debut, as well her first writing credit. This film aims to nourish young talent, inspiring woman to direct and write at a professional level.
Claudia Grace McKell- Director/Writer/Producer
Claudia Grace trained at Bird College where she received First Class Honours, she then went onto being selected for the Jasmin Vardimon Contemporary Company Summer Programme. In 2018 she suffered a life-changing car crash, which caused her to follow a career in acting. As an actress, Claudia Grace has starred in independent feature films including The Guard of Auschwitz, Skinned, Lucas and Albert and Irish Stand Down. As well as being in award-winning short film 'I Know What You Did' Directed by Stanislava Ivy, in Bulgaria. She has also sung in the famous 100 Club and alongside Game of Thrones star Hannah Waddingham, as well as recording professionally with composer Ian Wherry. Claudia Grace has also worked for Camelot Films on the theatrical release of the award-winning feature film `Winter Ridge’ where she worked alongside critically acclaimed director Dom Lenoir and producer/actor Matt Hookings. She has gone on to work behind the camera with award-winning directors Giles Anderson, Joe Shaw, and Martyn Tott. More recently she has shadowed directors, crew members, and actors at Doctors, BBC.
Michael McKell- Assistant Director/Producer
Michael started his professional career as a singer-songwriter signing his first record deal with Phonogram when he was 19. He then went on to sign two further solo deals with Warner Brothers and EMI. During this time he wrote songs for Elaine Paige, Dollar, Johnny Logan, Paul Carrack, Toyah and French star Julien Clerc. Michael toured the world with Julien and lived in Paris writing songs for the artist with French composers including Serge Gainsbourg. His music career was cut short by a near-fatal car crash in August 1991. Michael enrolled in The Lee Strasberg Institute In 1993 and trained as an actor. Michael made his West End debut in Blood Brothers. Michael starred in Macbeth at the Lyric Hammersmith playing the lead role. Musicals feature heavily in Michaels stage achievements. The multi Olivier award-winning Crazy For You and Ben Elton’s Tonight’s The Night for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a musical. Michael made his first TV appearance in Madson with Ian McShane. He has starred in A Touch Of Frost, Kavanagh QC and BBC Drama Doctors for Which he won The Royal Television Society award for Best Actor for his role of Dr. Nick West. He has also appeared in Emmerdale as DCI Nick Henshall and was nominated for Best Villain at the National Soap Awards for the role. He appeared in Eastenders playing Carter the killer of Paul Truman and played DCI Trevor Hunt in ITV drama MIT for two seasons. His most recent TV credits include Vera, Shakespeare and Hathaway and Cradle to Grave. In 2010 Michael returned to music and produced a solo album Shower Over Moon Street and performed songs from the album at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the charity Born Free. In 2000 Michael made his film debut in Essex Boys starring alongside Sea Bean, Larry Lamb, and Tom Wilkinson. Michael has since appeared in over 30 films including Allied with Brad Pitt, Winter Ridge with Alan Ford and soon to be released Where Hands Touch with Abbie Cornish and Christopher Eccleston. Michael co-wrote and produced the film Hatton Garden The Heist and most recently filmed Irish Stand Down and the Guard of Auschwitz which he co-wrote and produced. Michael is currently writing an album of new songs.
Any money raised will be distributed across the production cost of the film. The film will be entered into national and international film festivals and other major platforms.
You will hear her story, even if she can’t.