Marian Evans

Scriptwriter Marian Evans’ autoethnographic PhD on writer/director gender in feature film development in New Zealand contributed to a global, activist project.

PhD awarded 2009

Marian writes: 'Sometimes I close my iPad or my book, turn out the lamp, lie down, close my eyes and notice that the pulses of my body are weak. Is Tonight-The-Night? I wonder. And run through a short list. Anything that needs urgent action? List of passwords up-to-date? If Yes to the first question, or No to the second, I get out of bed, scribble notes in my big Moleskine diary, leave it open nearby. It's a matter-of-fact procedure, like locking the back door. Then I sleep.

'My auto-ethnographic PhD, "Development: Opening space for New Zealand women's participation in scriptwriting for feature films?" found that New Zealand women writers' and directors' participation in feature filmmaking was very low and my post-doctoral Development Project built on the PhD and – alongside others – investigated global factors that help women filmmakers to make and disseminate their work. It’s been a glorious and satisfying adventure, based at Wellywood Woman. And it's (maybe) almost over.

'I say No (but thank you) a lot these days, except for small projects with people I love, documented at MarianEvansonline. Daphne Bush and her series, starting with High Teas in Wellington. A Spiral eBook to celebrate its 40th birthday and an online festschrift-in-progress for its founder, poet Heather McPherson, and its collectives. A short film about a World War II pilot. A radio play about Muriel Rukeyser, maybe the only result of a long project that's also explored Ursula Bethell's and Robin Hyde's lives and work. My Bee-Loved Flowers blog, from afternoons gardening-without-water-and-to-attract-bees, on the public zigzag outside my front door; and a long essay about the zigzag, This is The House That Joe Built. Collaborations with Fiona Lovatt , a poet and educator based in Nigeria, and on Minimum with filmmaker Kathleen Winter, documenting the lives of minimum wage women workers. Soon, I'll make my first electronic book-with-video-clips, a guide to international women's film festivals.

'And I have a final complicated question I want to explore. Over the last 10-15 years, some entirely breast-fed babies have become constipated. This is something new. Is there any connection between what's happening to bacteria in these babies' guts and what’s happening to bacteria in the guts of many bees? I may not get far. But the question matters to me.'

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