By Kaylee Kruser
The All She Wrote documentary is a unique look into the lives of female graffiti writers from all over the world. Actress and filmmaker, Idalina Leandro is the mastermind behind this project. She’s given I AM Magazine a sneak peek into what the documentary will entail. Leandro tells of her love for street art, and experience with graffiti. She says there has been more than enough exposure for men in this field.
Why did you choose graffiti as the basis of your film?
I think I was a graffiti writer in another life. It has been my favourite thing to photograph for years. Everywhere I go around the world, I have a photo of some type of writing on the wall. When I am on the bus or walking down the street, it’s the graffiti that pops out to me the most. I love the freedom and the rebellion in it – the art of it. I wanted to see what the major differences were in style and technique. I wanted to know the girl who would go on the train tracks and bomb a train in four and a half minutes; the girl who would keep a spray can in her pocket so she can occasionally tag her name against the wall at any moment she found fit. I wanted to create a documentary that would follow the lives of these women.
Why did you choose female writers only?
I think men have enough things said about them. There are so many graffiti documentaries and movies out there and none of them are solely about the women. There is usually the token girl in each of these movies, but it makes it seem like there are just a handful of them, when that is the complete opposite. More and more women turn to graffiti each year. I wanted to get a different perspective of the scene and a perspective that I could relate to. I wanted to know what it is like to be a female writer in such a male dominated scene. I am all about empowering women. I knew that if I looked deep enough there would be women out there who were just as good, if not better, than the guys.
What are you hoping to achieve with this project?
Ultimately, I want people to be inspired by this film. After speaking to these women I realised that it wasn’t about graffiti. It’s about the women behind it – their story. These women were not only talented artists, but dedicated, ambitious women who stand up for what they believe in; push themselves to the limit, and at times risk their lives for their art. Each of these women has unique and individual circumstances. All of them are from completely different parts of the world but all of them brought the exact same passion into their hearts – graffiti.
Who are some of the writers involved?
All She Wrote will follow Shamsia Hassani - Afghanistan’s first and only graffiti artist, Rush from New Delhi, Nardstar* from South Africa, Tin.G from China, Shiro from Japan, Toofly from New York city, Tikky from Holland, Rafi and Jaguar from Portugal, Wuna from Montreal, La Bomba from Toronto, and Shalak from Montreal. We will also include a memorandum for ACB, a well-known and respected graffiti artist from Chile. Andrea aka ACB died of Cancer at the young age of twenty five in 2007.
What is the main message of the film, and when will it be released?
If you believe, you can achieve. The film will be release at the end of 2013, beginning of 2014. We are still in production and shooting in the spring next year, so I am hoping things will wrap up by the summer.
Have you worked on any other similar projects?
I have produced three shorts – Invaded, The Apology, which I wrote as well, and Smile/Lost/Girl, which I also directed, and a feature film called The Last Seven starring Tamer Hassan and Danny Dyer. This will be my first documentary as a producer and director.
Where will people be able to see the film? Where is the funding for the project coming from?
The film will be screened in Toronto, Lisbon and New York City – hopefully, other cities too. Right now, we are in the middle of production and are in the process of looking for funding. We will be started an Indie GoGo campaign early next year. Whether we get the funds or not, we will make the movie. It will just take longer than expected. We have been shooting since March of 2011 with a very talented staff and crew who are doing this film for the love of it.
Give us a short history about your film career.
I am a Meisner trained actor and accomplished photographer born in Toronto, Canada, to Portuguese parents. In my early years, I studied drama and musical theatre at The Etobicoke School of the Arts. In my twenties, my passion for photography led me to Paris where I began working on script writing, directing and acting. My love for cinema was soon revived. I began to act in several short films and TV, while writing as well. In 2005, I went to London and was introduced to the Meisner technique where I studied acting with Scott Williams at the Impulse Company.
Is there anything you’d like to add about the All She Wrote documentary?
Unlike most graffiti films, this is not your typical doc film. It is filmed in black and white with a very cinematic feel to it, bringing emphasis on each woman’s story and not the actual graffiti.
>>> To view the All She Wrote teaser, click here.