Please introduce yourself …
I am Daisy Ifama, I’m a director and editor, working in short docs and the commercial space. I’m also the co-founder of media platform, Gal-Dem, by and for women and nonbinary women of color. I pitched, directed, and edited Twinkleberry.
It’s a story about my life that I have over the last decade realized how bizarre and beautiful it is. Felt like the world needed to see it and to see the power of the teenage community and what can happen when people support and understand each other. It also really fulfills the Netflix brief of Britain’s Not Boring. There is no story like this out there.
Tell us about your team …
My producer Grace Shutti is great and we worked very much as a duo during this process. We have worked on projects together before and also know each other from Gal-Dem. Mahalia John, our incredible DOP. Great girl who could read my mind. I was really supported by Jason Hendrickson at Netflix and finally Elisabeth Hopper at WDW, who is just our girl and we could rely on her for anything. It was so great to have so much support on both the production and creative side.
What’s the story for you?
It was so amazing to put the stars of my life, my school friends, on screen. It means so much to me and my family, as my family still live in Tewkesbury and I have roots there. At the time we all felt our experience was so normal but then realised after that it was actually unique. I wanted to show how we grew up made us who we are.
Tell us a memorable moment from idea to final edit?
During the pitch to Netflix, we had to do a video pitch. I then remembered I had spent four years with a camera basically glued to my hand. I then went rummaging through old archives and found I had all this amazing footage from the 2000s and 2010s, from when we were 13 to 18, just living this carefree teenage queer life. I wouldn’t have found it if we hadn’t had to do that video pitch. It was also amazing to show to the contributors whilst filming, as it brought them back to that time and brought back a lot of memories. It made us all think “wow, we really lived through that”. It felt like a unique chapter in queer history during the 2000s and 2010s.
Share a skill-defining moment making this film?
We did a Pride parade and invited all our friends and family, which was a big moment. Trying to organise the crowd and film and make it authentic and capture those magic moments was a lot to balance. It was amazing to have the support of our incredible, DOP Mahalia John during these moments. She even managed to teach my cousin how to use a camera whilst juggling all of this.
Being a recipient of the 2021 Netflix Documentary Talent Fund means …
There is huge belief in the story and that incredibly respected platforms like Netflix are interested in unique stories like this. The fact they saw the strength, love, and appeal in a story that happened 10 years ago in the middle of nowhere is amazing. I am so glad they saw the joy in this bizarre story of mine.
Twinkleberry the Musical! I also think there is a great basis for a scripted series too. I want us to keep looking at this period of history, where gay marriage was still being debated.