Meet Isla Ure, writer and director with a particular interest in exploring the exchange between realism and the poetic, often in relation to psycho-social issues. In 2019, she won Ermantourage’s Cinefluential screenplay contest focused on socially conscious material with her script “The Tides.”
Briefly describe who you are as a creative! What got you into pursuing a career in entertainment, and why your field specifically?
Movie nights were always a ritual in our house and I grew to love storytelling. I’d write stories and poems and charge my mum a small fee to watch me and my friends perform. After drama school, I quickly realised that truly interesting and nuanced roles for young women were few and far between – so I began writing scripts and haven’t stopped since. I’m fascinated by people and psychology so my scripts are always driven by characters and the transformation a plot takes them on.
-Can you think back to your first piece of work and what you learned most from it? How much of your voice has changed since you began?
My first piece of work was a short film called Passengers, which I wrote and directed with one other actor and a one-man crew, for a total of £50. It’s a simple story with low fi production but from it I was nominated for the BFI Future Film Award and won Best Actor at Underwire festival. For a long time I could only see its flaws but now I look back and realise that people connected with it because it wasn’t trying to emulate anything, it was simply a story I wanted to tell. Since then, it’s always been the works I’ve created from a place of authenticity that has had the best response. The many many other scripts are still sat in a draw. I wouldn’t say my voice has changed dramatically but having a better understanding of the craft and structure of writing has allowed me to take more risks with my work and gain confidence.
-Do you feel you are still finding your voice? What can you say your voice is right now?
I think that if a writer is always responding to the world around them then their voice is an ever evolving thing. I’ve always been driven to tell stories about characters, situations and worlds that aren’t regularly seen on screen and right now that’s what links all my projects – it’s really exciting!
-What do you hope to be known for during your career?
I hope to be known for having integrity in my professional life, both through the way I work with people and the stories I tell. It would also be a huge achievement if my work was the kind that people felt moved and intrigued by enough to still be talking about it a week later. For me that’s a sign of great art!
-In what ways do you plan on utilizing your platform to better the world?
My plan is to change the narrative around characters that have previously been misrepresented or stereotyped on the screen, and hopefully contribute to a more empathetic society.
-What do you have in the works at the moment?
I’m currently redrafting a pilot and a feature treatment ready for meetings with producers. I’ve also just completed an audio drama and submitted a couple of shorts to festivals. I’d love people to check out the teasers on my instagram page!
-Where can folks find you on social media!
I’m on twitter (IslaUre) and instagram (isla_ure_stories)