Play Your Gen­der slays

Look­ing at sex­ism in the mu­sic stu­dio, this lo­cal doc­u­men­tary lays bare some harsh re­al­i­ties.


Play Your Gen­der Au­gust 22-24 pris­mat­icfes­ti­

Awoman has never won Pro­ducer of the Year at the Grammy Awards and only five per­cent of women are mu­sic pro­duc­ers, de­spite the Tay­lors, Bey­onces and Ade­les dom­i­nat­ing the pop land­scape. The doc­u­men­tary

Play Your Gen­der gets to the core of the prob­lem— sex­ism in the stu­dio.

“Take a look at the gen­der and race of most of those peo­ple” be­hind the scenes, says Play Your Gen­der direc­tor Stephanie Clat­ten­burg. “There are a lot of white men.” Clat­ten­burg has played drums in bands such as the Su­per­fan­tas­tics and SheMa­chine, and also has a short in this year’s fes­ti­val, Play Rewind Play.

The film’s scope is im­pres­sive, with host Kin­nie Starr get­ting key in­ter­views in New York and Los An­ge­les while main­tain­ing a fo­cus on the Cana­dian in­die mu­sic scene— Ndidi Onuk­wulu, Sara Quin, Chan­tal Kre­vi­azuk, Melissa Auf der Maur and Lily Frost all re­port from the front lines of a cre­ative in­dus­try slow to change. The film even takes a look at the dis­par­i­ties in clas­si­cal mu­sic, and finds three women in a mari­achi band.

“It’s not overt,” says Clat­ten­burg. “But if you have no role models, it might not oc­cur to you as a lit­tle girl to do this. And it might be in­tim­i­dat­ing as a woman in a class of 40 guys, and even if you get through, men get hired more. And then there are the sex­ual ad­vances more women have to deal with than men. There are a mil­lion mi­cro-ag­gres­sions,” she says, adding, “At least now we’re talk­ing about it.”


Play Your Gen­der has an im­pres­sive scope.

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