Monika Wilczynska, born in France and raised in Poland, has a theatre, literature and philosophy background and has graduated in July 2016 with a Honourable First Class Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film, TV and Digital Media Production from Regent’s University London, having achieved the highest results in the history of her course. As a Scholar, she has benefited from EU-sponsored film development courses all over Europe. During her studies, she has worked on over 25 productions, in the roles of director, screenwriter, production manager and sound supervisor. She has collaborated with organisations such as VICE UK, Frieze Art Fair and Desmond Tutu Foundation. Currently based in London, she works as freelance director, screenwriter and producer. Her work concentrates around under-represented communities and includes campaigns, commercials, music videos and short films. Monika is eager to team up with an international group of extremely talented individuals who are committed to making a positive impact on the world and is always on the lookout for new projects.
You can find out more about Monika’s work on her official website: http://www.elairecreates.com
As a filmmaker, I am interested in the subject of identity, and in how different human beings identify themselves versus how they are seen by society and portrayed by the media. Religion and spirituality are also an interest of mine because we are wired in such a way that our actions spring from our beliefs. Entire social, political, and economical structures are – at their core – based in religious teachings or, at least, in interpretations thereof. We are affected by them whether we ourselves are atheist, agnostic or members of a particular religion, which is why it is so crucial to encourage an open dialogue on subjects which have been deemed ‘taboo’ for far too long. Looking at life through the perspective of a transgender person raised in a deeply religious family can help many people in a similar circumstance to stand up for who they are. It can also help religious communities question what they have been taught without the need to be blasphemous or denying of their faith.
Many LGBTQ-identifying religious people are still being oppressed and feel the need to alter or repress their real self in order to be accepted by their surroundings. ‘Who I Am’ aims to raise awareness of the struggles which are encountered not only by members of the Transgender Community, but by anyone who feels that they do not fit ‘the norms’ established by our society. The way in which the project has been structured reflects the message broadcasted by the film : we have united a group of religiously, ethnically, and culturally diverse individuals, all of whom want to create a more open-minded, accepting, and loving society through their work.
We are continuously being told that we are separate, that we don’t matter and that we cannot change the circumstances in which we live. But if you look at Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King or ‘Tank Man’ in Tienamen Square, you see clearly just how much even the smallest action can change. The more we realize that, the more we can achieve in a shorter amount of time. The first step to take is to put an end to all sorts of prejudice; especially one based on an individual’s ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. ’Who I Am’ aims to help do just that.