When I think back 4 years ago and how I started this unknown career at my 32 years old and with zero experience, I feel surprised by all the work I have done so far and it encourages me to even go further.
When I came back to Peru from Europe after having done some internship in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2017, I had a lot of desires in order to support empowering stories and enhance all the amazing people and the culture we have in Peru. Sadly these desires bumped into some issues on the way as sexism was strongly rooted in my country.
I joined a Peruvian filming company in Lima in those days. I wanted to learn more about cameras, drones and equipment in general but my colleagues were not really into sharing experiences with me. All the people who filmed and touched the equipment there were men, the cameras they used were heavy and I had no clue how to become a documentary filmmaker in that environment. I could feel that they didn’t like me asking them questions at all. I was not sure if it was because I was a woman or because I was new but either way it shouldn’t have been that way. Later on, I found out a clearly sexism attitude from the director of the company blaming me for something I didn’t do and protecting one of ‘his camera man’. These and others situations that are not worthy it to mention led me to quit.
I never felt like that in Europe. In fact, I remember one day I was supporting my colleagues in recording a small interview and I ended up being like the director of photography without noticing LOL. Of course it was a really small project but my colleagues were so nice to me all the time and they took my suggestions as important as any of them. I never felt excluded, but here in my own country I felt different.
Working in a Filming company in Peru showed me that I had to play stronger if I wanted to survive in this industry here otherwise I would be kicked out. Women here were working more in the production area and not much involved with cameras or equipment. So I was wondering why was that for? Maybe they would actually love to be more involved in equipment but they were so shy about it? It was not until I was more involved in filming that I realized that one of the main troubles women used to have in the past was the heavy equipment and therefore more suitable for strong people which in majority were men. So yeah men had an advantage over women because of this and not only in Peru but in general in this industry in the world; but of course this was not their fault at all and I am not against to men; in fact as an heterosexual person I feel attracted to them in other scenarios but it was interesting to see this from an outside point of view.
I was lucky that I never felt that frustration of heavy equipment though, because when I joined this industry it was just when the Sony Alpha cameras were released and therefore their small sizes made my life easy.
When I left that sexist Filming company in Lima after 3 months of been there, I didn’t know what else to do or where to go at that moment but happily life took me to the path that I needed to go along these years. Cameras were more professional and smaller each time and the rest of the gear as well; like tripods, stabilizers, drones, batteries, audios, etc. So I was able to train myself with all this new equipment and never felt weak from carrying heavy things at all. Thanks to this I was able to work professionally and reached out to the biggest and most popular TV broadcasting around the world! I said this and I still can not believe it.
I even got to appear on TV, invited by a Peruvian channel to tell about my career and one of the projects I filmed and produced here. This journey indeed has been amazed and I don’t know what would have happened to me if I was born in a different generation before this new industry of small equipment arrived but one thing I was always proud is to be a woman! I always felt as stronger as men and I always believe that we can achieve the same things.
In the meantime, I am happy that companies are improving the production of smaller equipment that allows more women to be part of the game! And I hope life gives me enough years to keep telling the world how amazing is my Peruvian culture, its people and its places!
If you want to know more about me and my work, check http://www.humanafilms.com