Superbia Spotlights: “Internal Anxieties of a Young Woman who identifies as Bisexual”

An interview with filmmaker Sophie Broadgate...

Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year-round programme of arts and culture, designed to support, curate, fund and promote LGBTQ+ events throughout Greater Manchester.

Superbia supports LGBTQ+ artists by promoting events through its events page and social media, funds LGBTQ+ events with Superbia Grants and by curating original events through collaboration with partners, venues, groups, curators, community members, artists and creatives.

Filmmaker Sophie Broadgate has an impressive variety of beautifully made film work in her repertoire, including art film, narrative storytelling, dance, documentary and more. In her Superbia Spotlights original commission, Sophie has produced a touching and revealing autobiographically inspired short film that shares some of the internal anxieties of a young woman who identifies as bisexual. We interview this talented artist about her work and her new Spotlights film.

Welcome to Superbia Spotlights Sophie, can you tell us a bit about your creative practice?

I think I gravitated towards filmmaking because it’s a visual medium that allowed me to explore, be curious and to connect with people and my environment in a different way. My ideas usually come from a personal experience, interest or question that I feel a need to communicate with others.

As a naturally shy person I feel I developed a storytelling practice in order to externalise my thoughts and feelings without having to be the loudest in the room. I scribble down ideas frequently. The strongest ideas become obsessions and I find myself spending a lot of time daydreaming and living in the world I’m trying to create. My main focus currently is a narrative short film that sits across drama and science fiction genre.

What is the inspiration behind your Superbia Spotlights film ‘She / He & She’ and what would you like your viewers to take away from it?

This film is incredibly personal and is the culmination of years of questioning. I’ve always found defining my sexuality difficult because even though I have a desire for both women and men I found myself becoming more and more uncomfortable in long-term relationships with men.

I felt my identity being challenged by how society viewed me and also felt male partners subtly pushing me into a role that wasn’t me. This film was borne from the dialogue between desire and internal logic. I suppose I’d like to start conversations and encourage questioning of the life models we are presented. I’m always interested in hearing how viewers experience my work, their thoughts offer a chance to continue exploring and gain a diverse range of perspectives.

Why do you think the B is so often hidden in LGBTQ and what can we do to change that?

I think there are many reasons for it. In my experience biphobia lingers in the collective consciousness. Comments are often presented as jokes that are passed off as meaningless but these words strengthen false narratives. I have laughed off many comments from strangers, friends and partners that create a feeling of otherness. I think the only way to change things is more conversation, curiosity and sharing.

What are you looking forward to on the other side of lockdown life?

I’m looking forward to so many things! I can’t wait to be able to hug my family, I miss my Sister a lot. I keep imagining the first time I get to go and dance in a club again, dancing until I’m tired and sweaty. Professionally I can’t wait to be in a room (not a zoom room) with other creatives, sharing ideas and experiencing a collective buzz that comes from making new things.

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