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Little Bird

It’s London 1941 and the women of Great Britain have been called upon to aid the war effort, freeing up men for action. Little Bird explores how far one young woman will go to create a new life for herself and what she is willing to leave behind.

  • Georgia Oakley
    Callow & Sons, Frayed, Hush
  • Emily Taaffe
  • Rebecca Cronshey
  • Victoria Zalin
  • Emily Taaffe
  • Imelda Staunton
    Key Cast
    Vera Drake, Harry Potter, Pride
  • Nanu Segal
    Director of Photography
    The Levelling
  • Sinead O'Sullivan
    Costume Designer
    Black Mirror
  • Isobel Waller-Bridge
    Fleabag, True Appaloosa
  • Erline O'Donovan
    Shades, Just Charlie
  • Carly Reddin
    Production Designer
    The Face of an Angel, Aber Bergen, Hello Carter, Playhouse Presents: Foxtrot
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 14, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 16mm
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tribeca Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    April 22, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Galway Film Fleidh
    July 15, 2017
    European Premiere
  • Rhode Island Film Festival
    United States
    August 11, 2017
    New Jersey Premiere
  • Hollyshorts Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    August 11, 2017
    East Coast Premiere
    Best Shot On Film
  • Aesthetica Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 9, 2017
    UK Premiere
Director Biography - Georgia Oakley

Georgia is an award winning writer / director based in London.

Her latest project Little Bird, a 1941 drama written by Emily Taaffe and starring Imelda Staunton, will premiere at the 2017 TriBeCa International Film Festival. Prior to completion the film was awarded the Kodak Kickstarter Grant, the Jameson Works Film Bursary and the Audience Award Jury Prize. Georgia and the team are being supported by the British Council's Short Support Scheme.

After an English Literature degree, Georgia cut her teeth as an in house director, creating short content for Channel 4 and other leading brands such as Red Bull and Pepsi. She has screened short films at dozens of international festivals including New York Film Festival, London Short Film Festival & Berlin Short Film Festival. Her 2014 film Callow & Sons was funded by the Kevin Spacey Foundation and picked up awards in San Francisco and Mumbai. Alongside her narrative work Georgia makes documentaries; in 2014 she spent time in India documenting the lives of the trans community in the wake of a landmark new ruling.

Georgia was recently selected as one of six emerging filmmakers on the BFI Flare & BAFTA mentorship scheme. She's currently developing the screenplay for her first feature with the Screen Arts Institute at the BFI and directing a web series that explores sexual fluidity in the digital age.

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Director Statement

What immediately struck me about this story was that despite being set in 1941, it appeared to be saying something that to this point I’d not seen on screen. Here was a narrative about a young woman using the war to broaden her horizons, to escape the monotony of a life planned out before she was even born. And when I began looking into it, it quickly became clear that this was a pretty universal narrative. Hundreds of thousands of women, from hard up working class families to upper class aristos, were using the war as a means of escape and adventure; something pretty incomprehensible in today’s world.

It was also particularly fascinating to me that in 2016, nearly everyone I mentioned the story to, male or female, recoiled when I got to the part about our protagonist leaving behind a young child, proving that such stigma is still very much alive and well - and as a result compelling me to challenge it! Male characters leave behind their children in real and fictitious stories every day of the week, so how is it that people won’t look past this outdated prejudice to read situations for what they actually are - incredibly nuanced and shaped by individual circumstance.

Needless to say by the time Emily mentioned she was keen to work with a predominantly female crew, I was hooked. Gender bias in the industry is something I feel passionately about, and although I think we’d all like to work towards a future where everything is completely meritocratic, I strongly believe that in order to get there, we need to make more films with women in HoD roles and allow that to trickle down.

The decision to shoot on film was a significant one. One which I’m really glad we managed to pull off with sponsorship from KODAK. Like any artist, I believe a filmmaker should own the right to choose the medium that fits their particular story. And for this, 16mm was the one - for various reasons including the 1941 setting and the fact that I drew almost all my visual references for the film from street photographers of the period. If filmmakers don’t get the chance to shoot analogue at this point in their careers, I worry it will die out - so I’m really pleased we managed to follow through on this pledge.

What followed was an incredibly enlightening experience for me, pooling inspiration and ideas with our insanely talented team and working out the best way to visually translate this story, which in a nutshell focussed on fusing visual symbolism with nuanced performances and textured sound design.

Moving forward I’m really excited about the possibility of sharing this lovingly created film with audiences and potentially opening up a wider discussion about women’s experience both during the war in our society today.

Thank you.

Georgia Oakley