Spotlight Film Director Meena Ayittey
Shaw says: “She’s been one of the most important people in my life, and remembers me from when I had long hair, wore torn red trousers and purple nail varnish on four fingers. It’s good to have people around you who have known you that long and remind you of who you are.
He added: “Meena is still one of the most talented people I know, and I know she’ll keep making vital work.”
Through writing stories and making films, Meena Ayittey is able to champion voices who often go unheard. It is this passion that has been a driving force in her work, which covers a broad range of subject matters including music, art, and her own experiences as a Black woman.
Ayittey says: “Art and music have always been huge inspirations for me. I have quite eclectic tastes that range from electronica, heavy metal to rock, to classical. I particularly admire classically trained musicians who have migrated into other musical styles such as Trent Reznor and Björk. As a visual person, I try and surround myself with as much art and photography as I can, too. I usually feel my most creative after discovering new music or after exploring my favourite galleries around London such as the Chisenhale and the Victoria Miro.”
With a number of award-winning documentaries and short films already under her belt, including All The Little Things, which was named the most watched film of 2021 on industry website Shots.net, we can’t wait to see Ayittey’s next project, her first feature film, come to life.
She adds: “The first draft of my debut feature film was a huge personal achievement. It is a culmination of several years of work and the feeling that I got once I had finished it was emotional. There will be many, many more drafts to come but being able to relay a specific chapter of my life into a screenplay was cathartic and has enabled me to utilise the skills that I have been developing as a screenwriter.”
About the champion
Artist Tim A Shaw co-founded the charity Hospital Rooms with his partner Niamh White, in response to visiting their friend who was admitted to a mental health hospital. Their visit revealed facilities that were in desperate need of change, and art. Teaming up with artists including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Sonia Boyce, Hospital Rooms has helped to transform these spaces. The duo also collaborates with Dentons to host a biannual prize for emerging contemporary artists.