I’m Katie Lee Lynch, and I’m the Festival Producer at Her IFF. My role means I’m the one overseeing every little thing that goes on in preparation for the festival. I lead the various teams and report to the Festival Director.

I’ve loved film for all my life. I would spend hours watching old black and white movies and modern rom coms over and over again throughout my childhood – I was particularly partial to Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes. When they were over I always liked to research the cast and crew online and make connections between the different films I liked.

Filmmaking seemed like the most incredible, rewarding, social, creative job I could dream of, but as I grew older I somewhat lost interest in it because I didn’t connect so much with “good” films. Movies about gangsters, cowboys, criminal gangs, businessmen, buddies and detectives were almost exclusively stories about men, told by men, and framed by men, which left people like me out of the equation. I appreciated that these films were clever and well made, but I was so much more invested in the films which I had been told weren’t up to the same standards as these landmarks of cinema, so I thought it wasn’t for me.

As it turns out, that’s not true. I found films like The Love Witch by Anna Biller. I learned that films about women, by women, and for women were as valuable as those by men, despite what many critics would have you believe. I found queer films, films by and about people of different marginalised genders, films from all around the world. I discovered my favourite activity, that is watching classic Hollywood movies from the early twentieth century and trying to spot where the filmmakers wanted to imply that a character was LGBT+ when they weren’t allowed to explicitly say it. Through these stories I saw a place for myself in the film industry, and I rediscovered my love of cinema. 

I’m delighted to be part of Her IFF. It’s a community that understands the value of films outside of the canon which was established by white men. It provides support and a network to young women internationally, across race, ethnicity, and nationality. Being a woman in a leadership position can be daunting, but the team at Her IFF make it easy. 

“The Enchanting Design of The Love Witch (2016)” from Katie’s YouTube channel The Female Gaze Channel