calendar girls: the film collective mixing astrology, magic and girl power
We all look at our star signs and we all use a calendar. But what if the two things came together in the form of a short film that explored the trope of the “calendar girl” through a female, trans and non-binary lens?
We are experiencing a shift into cosmic-consciousness. One reason for this is the dawning of The Aquarian Age, happening around now. It is a time of seeking knowledge, challenging authority and collective communication. And so, in the face of our current social climate, with old traumas resurfacing and new tragedies birthed daily, we’re seeking different methods of survival and of navigating the world and ourselves. Astrology is one such method, and it’s provided the starting point for a new short film series from cinematographer and filmmaker Amy Dellar, titled Calendar Girls. As astrological signs traditionally come with their own normative gender tropes, Amy sought to disrupt these through an exploration of sexuality and the stars. But before that, the series started life as a desire to reinvent the ‘calendar girl’ caricature. “Typically the calendar girl is a heterosexual product and is produced to entertain men. I wanted to reclaim this idea,” Amy says.
The Melbourne, Australia-based all-female, trans or non-binary cast and crew changes for each film. “It's important that there is a spectrum of perspectives shared throughout the series that aren't just heteronormative and cisnormative, especially since astrology is traditionally focused in that way,” Amy says. “I wanted to aim the series towards women, femmes and queer people because I wanted it to be an inclusive and equal space for those involved and those watching.” The brief is kept open, allowing “directors to let their creative juices flow”. There are no restrictions, so the outcome of each film is unique, as director’s opt to break away from cliched astrological traits, producing more nuanced and imaginative sign stories. For now the series recruits mostly local filmmakers, but as it grows Amy hopes to work with people internationally. “We’re developing fundraising ideas to keep it running after Gemini is complete. And we are working harder to broaden our crew base, focusing on diverse storytelling from the perspectives of people of colour, trans and queer people.”
Miss Sagittarius -- director’s statement
Domini Marshall: “The goal was to create a film that was dreamy, playful and fun. Something that referenced Sagittarius’ love of travel, exploration and big dreams, alongside their capacity to lose touch with reality -- one of their supposed traits. For that reason, the idea was to capture a mood and a place that was slightly otherworldly and a little fantastical. Our muse Serafina is travelling to somewhere new and unknown, excited for the possibilities ahead. She stops at a motel for the night, carrying with her the hand drawn map seen on the vanity, which follows the Sagittarius constellation -- depicting charted and uncharted territory. The film is a celebration of Serafina and the beauty of embracing self-love and independence.”