Alongside a wide range of Cornish based filmmakers, Jonny’s latest project on Penzance based luthier, Hannah Sedgwick, was commissioned as part of the Hypatia Trust’s Women of Cornish Music: Past and Present project. The project, which commissioned eight short documentaries, aims to explore and celebrate the contributions of women to Cornwall’s musical heritage.
Jonny’s project is not only a first step in to documentary, but also a first chance to experiment with Super8 film, which he will be using to capture the tactile qualities of Hannah’s craft, pairing this with conversations and sounds of repair to explore the many aspects of Hannah’s life.
From her Penzance-based workshop, Hannah Sedgwick continues the town's long line of luthiers; those who take battered instruments and turn them towards a new lease of life. Through a web of conversations and sound, Jonny’s project reflects on the meaning of craft, showing a woman working with her hands, and listening to the interactions that make up her daily life.
Other commissioned filmmakers include Sky Neal, who’s recent feature documentary Even When I Fall was nominated for a 2018 BIFA and Sheffield Doc Fest in 2017, and won the Audience Award at RAI Film Festival in 2019. The film, described at “sensitive, intimate, graceful” by Total Film and “visually arresting” by Little White Lies, follows Sheetal and Saraswoti re-building their lives after returning to Nepal having been trafficked as children in to Indian circuses.
The rest have been brought together from across Cornwall, each exploring distinct areas of musical practice; from musician’s such as Martha Tilston, to the work of music therapists like Ruth Bolton and a sweeping generational perspective on Helston Flora Day. The films will sit as a permanent collection that captures female role models in Cornwall and work to rebalance the awareness of women’s roles in Cornish music-making.
The wider project, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cornwall Heritage Trust and Screen Cornwall, will run for 15 months and encompass a wide range of events and projects in heritage and education. As well as the eight commissioned films, a wider programme of events and volunteer archive work will explore and celebrate Cornish music through a female lens, discovering stories and music of historical women and displaying strong female role models for the next generation.
More information can be found through the Hypatia Trust’s website.