Female Filmmaker Friday: Honey Kinny Ross

It’s Female Filmmaker Friday! Okay, I know every day is a Female Filmmaker day – we don’t just exist on Fridays. But today is the day that I celebrate one extraordinary woman: Honey Kinny Ross. She produced Right Place, Wrong Tim and co-founded the Pink Protest

Charlotte: Tell me a bit about what you do and what you’re working on.

Honey: I’m doing quite a few bits at the moment – of course I would say my main job is writing, but I’m also a producer and an activist! I’m currently developing a few scripts which is very exciting. But on top of that, I’m also part of the Pink Protest, so we’re always working on what causes to approach next, and how to get more young people involved in activism.

C: How did you get involved with each of your projects?

H: Early on in my career, I went through much more professional channels for getting work – which was great, but not very fun – whereas now, I tend to work mainly with friends on creative endevours. I surround myself with very motivated people – far more motivated than me, so often find myself getting swept up into new projects. I’m lucky to have so many incredibly talented friends that make the most amazing collaborators.

C: I was gutted that I couldn’t see Right Place, Wrong Tim at FrightFest last month. For anyone that doesn’t know, what is it about?

No fear if you missed Right Place, Wrong Tim at FrightFest – we’ve got two screenings of it at LFF (London Film Festival) and on top of that, it will be airing on the next season of Channel 4’s Random Acts!

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, but my dear Eros has created a film that I would compare to Only Fools and Horses on acid. It’s very gory, chaotic and full of puns.

C: How did that project come together and what was it like working on it?

H: Eros Vlahos, one of my best friends in the whole world, sat me down in a coffee shop in Camden and asked if I would produce Right Place Wrong Tim with him. I loved the idea so much and immediately jumped on board. We then spent a bit of time developing the idea and coming up with clock-related puns. Eros delivered a brilliant script and the wheels were fully set in motion.

Random Acts agreed to help us make it, and we started convincing our wonderful cast to partake. It was a total whirlwind, with a very quick turnaround. We got a lot of support from friends and family – the costumes were designed by my housemate and other best friend, Lulu. And all the people you see in the audience are our pals!

The experience was really fun, but emotionally exhausting. We had to get a set built and taken down in in two and a half days. I’ll never forget hysterically laughing whilst literally scrubbing fake blood off the floor with Eros.

C: What have been your favourite things to work on?

H: I wrote a screenplay at the end of last year, that I’m really proud of. That was probably the biggest job I’ve ever done, and I was mainly just proud of myself for surviving it. But in terms of favourite, probably Tim, just because of how much fun it was to see it come alive, from just a little conversation in Camden, to it getting into festival – that’s a wonderful feeling of achievement!

C: You’ve already spoken about how growing up in the public eye affected your self-esteem and self-image. Has it affected your life in other ways, good and bad?

H: I try not to speak about this too much, because I feel like it’s quite a unique and niche issue to have. I do often say, the downside to growing in the public eye, is that all the normal anxieties and fears you have as a teenager are basically confirmed and projected back to you – in my case via the Daily Mail online comment section. But of course, there were so many upsides and privilidges that came from it, I kind of feel like I can’t really complain. I think being a teenager is basically shitty for everyone, I just had a few different elements playing into that.

C: I really enjoy your honesty and openness on social media about body image and feminism. Have you always been passionate about that or has it evolved over time?

H: I’ve always been a very open person – I don’t think I have it in me to be any other way! But my feminism really started to develop when I was at school. I kind of feel like it’s impossible to exist as a woman in this day and age and not be angry at about social inequalities. I was lucky to be part of really good debating society that let me explore and discuss issues going on in the world – and also I was able to found my school feminist society when I was in my last year.

In terms of body image, I think that’s obviously in a way interlinked with my feminism, but to me that journey is still very much ongoing and complicated. Being a plus sized woman is a very politized thing, and I’m still shocked at how people react to me being happy with my body. If you have larger body, people really expect you to hate yourself, and for a very long time, I bought into that and did. My passion for unlearning that self-hatred and embracing myself started around my last year of school, after a bout of glandular fever. Learning about the Body Positive and Self Love movements really helped me get to where I am, so it was very much an evolution.

C: It can be really easy to get sucked into a vacuum with Instagram. Is social media a big part of your life, or do you try not to get too involved with it?

H: I really love social media. Mainly Instagram. I can fully do without facebook or twitter. So even though I know it may not be the healthiest thing, I’m fully sucked into the vacuum of ig. I can see how it can be a very toxic thing, but I like to believe it is ultimately a force for good.

C: How did you become a part of the Pink Protest? How did it come to life?

H: The Pink Protest was founded by Scarlett Curtis, Grace Campbell and Alice Skinner – earlier in the year Scarlett asked me if I wanted to become one of the co-founders, and I instantly said a huge yes. They’re the most incredible women and I’m so honoured to work by their sides trying to make positive changes in the world.

C: Is there a societal change that you’d like to see happen within the next ten years? Is there something you’re fighting for?

H: I mean… where to start. I think we live in a world where if you’re not angry you’re not paying attention. I mean in the next ten years I’d like to hopefully see more shifts in the ingrained racism, misogyny and transphobia of our society. I think you can’t be fighting for just one cause – all of these things are interlinked because of the way the system is in place. It very overwhelming, but I guess it’s just about doing what you can and having these difficult conversations.

Thank you so much to Honey for chatting to me!

 

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