Selection of Press Reviews

Extract from article in WOMEN IN FILM about the screening of MY £999 WEDDING

https://womeninfilmse15.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/women-in-film-screening-my-999-wedding/

The title of Tanya Stephan’s documentary brought with it all the expectations of voyeurism in the manner of Benefit Street, a peering in to lives that are tackier and less fortunate than ours and perhaps an unfortunate tendency to feel smug. 

The experience of watching however was very different and actually left you feeling more reassured about the human condition than you did at the start. 

Stephan’s touch is light, her camera is descriptive, never intrusive or voyeuristic... gently asking pertinent questions in the manner of someone not looking down, but allowing them to have the confidence and space to have a voice. The documentary demanded hours of filming , every 60 minutes is worth a minute of useable footage, resulting in Stephan getting very close to her subjects not only filmically, she works with very little equipment and often alone, but emotionally too. Stephan’s list of previous documentaries reveals that she is no stranger to ‘difficult’ subject matter ; past projects include surrogacy, Muslim schools, gambling, and addiction . Yet her approach is constant, a quietly observational style she ekes out subtly the underlying themes and context of the people audiences love to devour in these documentaries, which have become the staple diet of TV viewing. It is reassuring to have someone like Stephan behind the camera...

ELSE THOMPSON