Play Your Gender


Writer Matt Forrest

The Doc ‘N Roll festival is well under way this bank holiday weekend, and we were fortunate to attend one of the 11 documentary film premiers being held this weekend: Play Your Gender from  Canadian director Stephanie Clattenburg. Arguably more intriguing than the film, was the Q & A after the screening with film/theatre producer Alison Surtees, musician Jaheda Choudhury, Dr Katie Mikestone (a sociology lecturer at MMU), and sound engineer Yvonne Ellis.

The film takes a look at the under-representation of women in the music industry: from producers to sound engineers, there is a clear discrepancy between men and women with just 5% of women working as producers today.

Award winning producer Kinnie Starr aims to find out what the barriers are preventing women succeeding in this area. The film offers a great deal of insight into this area, with interviews from various female musicians who offer their opinions and what they are doing to change this.

A key scene in the film is a moment when the line-up of various festivals are shown and then decimated when only the female singers/musicians are shown. The film certainly has good intentions and hopes to engineer change. It is well worth catching for anyone with not just an interest in music but also a passion for equality.

However, for me, the highlight of the night was the Q & A with the panel who offered their experience on subject matter. They discussed and challenged aspects of the documentary which led to a lively, engaging and insightful discussion.

This has certainly set the bench mark high for the festival and if all the other sessions live up to this high standard, then those lucky enough to attend are in for a treat. Thought provoking, insightful and highly entertaining, you really couldn’t find a better way to spend your bank holiday.

Ticket details can be found here:


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