As part of this year’s Grimmfest celebrating women in film, Saturday’s short films were all directed by women. Film Daddy managed to catch up with Faye Jackson, writer and director of The Old Woman Who Hid Her Fear Under The Stairs

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. We just saw the film and it was great! Tell us, how did the film come about? 

I haven’t made anything in a long time. I made a feature which was shown at Grimmfest about 9 years ago (Strigoi), then I had a kid so I didn’t make anything for a while. I have been trying to get money for features, but it had been so long since I made something that I just had to do it. It was something I had written ages ago and suddenly it occurred to me how it would work and I think it worked really well.

I was reading a review that said the film dealt with mental illness, but I felt it was more about emotional repression. What did you feel you were tackling when writing the film? 

I think it is more about emotional repression. Everyone experiences fear and I think most of us repress our emotions and repress our fear, so it was more to show how people repress their emotions. 

So is the box that she keeps her fear in a metaphor for anything? 

It’s the idea of emotional repression, with her living through her fear and not trying to experience it. But it is also showing how we treat ourselves, so when you see the fear it is this tiny vulnerable thing when it is separate from herself. So you can see what it is like for people when they don’t deal with their emotions. 

Sara Kestelman, who plays the old woman, was brilliant in the film. 

Yeah she is such an amazing actress. The funny thing is she is known for her voice, she has this amazing singing voice and she won an Olivier Award for it, and I put her in a film where she doesn’t talk [Laughs]. 

So what is next for you? 

Well I am about to shoot a little fairytale short in a couple of weeks, and then I have a feature that I am shooting the opening of early next year, so I am insanely busy! 

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