„Writing is a lonely job,” writes Stephen King. It requires a lot of self-discipline, dedication, stamina, confidence... It’s ridden with as much joy and excitement as it is with fear and anxiety, especially at the prospect of that inevitable and vulnerable moment of having to show your writing to other people.
But what if… what if – after you’ve come up with a precious idea for a film, the seed of it, and started to grow it - you share it with just a small but caring group of people who help you cultivate it with love, kindness and attention?
What if they support you in realizing your vision and translating it onto the page, just like a crew helps a director carry their vision from script to the can and on to the screen? What if you manage to find balance between doing your “alone” work and the “communal” one, where you can bounce off the riskiest ideas, testing them in a free and open environment, through an honest but thoughtful conversation that leaves you motivated, so you can go back to your quiet room and write with a renewed sense of joy and inspiration?
This is essentially what we are trying to do at HerArts Film Lab. We try to nurture you and that spark of an idea you have, so that you can get yourself to a point where you sit down and start to pour it all on paper – in a form and shape that you’re confident will be understood by others. We provide you with everything possible for you to do so: comfortable lodging filled with history and stories of its own, pleasant and quiet surroundings, an abundance of good food and drink, skilled and highly competent mentors, and the best company of like-minded, open and friendly creatives. And as it happens, just like you, they’re all women, so that you can share your female point of view with them without fear of judgment or misunderstanding.
The first edition of our Lab that took place April 4-9, 2022, in Paestum, Italy, is proof that it actually works. What happened that week of early April was something close to magic. Discussions were passionate and fruitful, projects moved forward, participants left inspired and once again excited about writing and the work to be done. It’s not just the place or the food, or the people, or the female energy, or the quality of feedback from our loving mentors; it’s not just about fresh coffee early in the morning and sweet limoncello late at night; not about a walk through the ruins of ancient temples, or a dip of the feet in the Tyrrhenian Sea before delicious lunch of homemade ravioli… It’s ALL OF IT TOGETHER that makes HerArts such a special experience. And above us there was the watchful gaze of Goddess Hera, our patroness, whose aura of care and love we felt as the week progressed.
That week was something different, something unique, and the joy it brought to all of us – the organizers, mentors and participants – convinced us that we have to continue doing it. And we will. Stay tuned ☺