#IWD2024: Creative Women - Ellen Fincher

06 March 2024

To celebrate International Women's Day on Friday 8th March 2024, we're featuring interviews with dynamic, trailblazing, and courageous women working in creative fields, who have a connection to Lancashire. Meet Ellen Fincher, a 2nd year filmmaking student at UCLan.

#IWD2024: Creative Women - Ellen Fincher

International Women's Day (IWD) is an annual global event celebrating women and their achievements.  

First initiated in 1911, IWD has since grown into a global movement encouraging us to stand up for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world, free of discrimination and stereotypes.

This year's campaign theme is #InspireInclusion to collectively forge a more inclusive world for women.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.

And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

As part of our #IWD2024 "Creative Women" Series, meet Ellen Fincher, a UCLan Filmmaking student and RTS Scholar.

Ellen Fincher at Blackburn Cathedral, image by Christina Davies, Fish2Photo

Ellen, tell us more about what you do?

I am a 2nd Year Filmmaking student at the University of Central Lancashire and was awarded a Royal Television Society Bursary Scholarship in 2023.

I also work part time as a Safety Steward at Preston North End and Morecambe Football Club.

What is your connection to Lancashire?

My maternal grandparents were both from Burnley and were in the Salvation Army.  

I was born in Wolverhampton. My mum, dad, brother and I moved up to the Fylde Coast in 1974, and I grew up in Thornton.

By the time I was 22, I had moved house eight times, and arrived in Preston because of my job (in the Civil Service). That was thirty-five years ago.

I love it here so much that I stayed, and I’m a very Proud (adopted) Prestonian.

What inspires or motivates your creative practice?

Ellen Fincher with Boom Mic at UClan

I love to discover new things in my community and moving house so many times has fueled that curiosity and given me new perspectives on narrative.

This is important, because to me filmmaking is all about telling stories. 

I’m curious about people, the human experience is fascinating, I love listening to people’s stories.

Making films is my way of making sense of the world and my place in it.
Ellen Fincher with Camera
Ellen Fincher with other RTS Scholars

Any advice for women starting out or making their mark in the creative industries?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. 

You absolutely can!

Be tenacious, be you, and be magnificent.

Network the hell out of every opportunity – you never know who you might meet.

Say yes to as many opportunities as you can.

Ellen Fincher with Ben Frow, Director of Programming Channel 5 and VCBS UK, image Paul Hampartsoumian

How do you think we can encourage inclusion, remove barriers, and offer the right types of support to increase opportunities in our universities and the creative sector?

I’m a Royal Television Society Scholar 23/25 and I read a recent article by Harrison Bennett, in the RTS Television Magazine, titled “Men get cameras and women get clipboards" about the gender disparity in factual TV.  

It struck a chord, as it highlighted the imbalance on set. Even where women are employed, it is often not in a technical capacity, but in a research or production role.

We need to notice imbalances, call them out and make changes.

I get a lot of support from my mental health support advocate, my tutors, and my student coach.

I’m also embracing the fact that I’m neuro divergent (a bit of a shock to find this out at 57).

Ellen Fincher-50 at Blackburn Cathedral, image by Christina Davies, Fish2Photography

Follow Ellen's journey on Social Media

Image credits:

Images of Ellen practising her craft provided by Ellen Fincher.

RTS Awards Images: Ellen with other winners and with Ben Frow, Director of Programming for Channel 5 and VCBS UK, images by Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

Ellen was photographed at Blackburn Cathedral by Christina Davies

Christina Davies (Fish 2 Photography) is based in Preston and specialises in branding, interior, and commercial photography. She started her business in 2008 and loves working with small Lancashire and North West based businesses. 

  • View Christina's profile on our Creative Directory here.

About IWD

International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

About IWD

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people.

Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

We invite you to inspire inclusion in your own work and life.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion.

Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity.

IWD Belongs to everyone, everywhere. 

Inclusion means all IWD actions is valid. 

#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion

Website: internationalwomensday.org

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