FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT: DAISY ASQUITH
“My films are made in a personal way but I hope they have a political nature. The politics
should come in the back door without [the viewer] noticing. If you’re having fun with [it],
people don’t feel lectured.Everyone wants their documentary to change the world.”
In more than twenty years as a filmmaker, Daisy Asquith has told human stories the length and breadth of the UK, and beyond.
She has also taken viewers into the world of clowns, young mums, Holocaust survivors and house clearers, in empathetic, nuanced portraits which have earned her multiple awards. She forms tight bonds with her subjects, some of whom she has been filming for many years.
In Crazy About 1D for Channel 4, Daisy memorably explored the legion of passionate One Direction fans. The response to her film was so vitriolic that she decided it was worthy of further study. The resulting PhD thesis This is Not Us focuses on performance, relationships and shame in documentary filmmaking. Daisy now runs the MA in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths.
Daisy’s most recent work includes her moving personal documentary After the Dance. From behind her camera she embarks on a journey with her mum to find out more about her grandparents, who gave her mother up for adoption after she was born illegitimately in Ireland in the 1940s.
Daisy has also directed the archive based Queerama. Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 the film edits together 100 queer films to an original soundtrack by John Grant, Goldfrapp and Hercules & Love Affair.
In the next episode of Dochouse Conversations, to be released 29 April, Programme Associate Carol Nahra talks with Daisy about her life in documentary. They discuss her research into the themes of shame and performance, as well as her relationships with the people she films. They’ll also discuss her latest project, Memento, in which she is making personal memorial films for victims of COVID-19.
Please use the below links to explore her body of work, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast.
AFTER THE DANCE (2015)
Daisy Asquith tells the personal story of her mother's conception after a dance in 1940s in Ireland, in an adventure in social and sexual morality.
CRAZY ABOUT 1D (2013)
The most tweeted about documentary ever on television. Daisy spent 6 weeks following the tour of global pop sensation One Direction, to make a film about their twitter-tastic fandom. It was filmed during One Direction's Take Me Home arena tour in April and May and broadcast on 15 August 2013.
THIS IS THE REAL ME: DOC PARTICIPANTS SPEAK! (2018)
A fascinating, reflexive part of This is Not Us, in This is the Real Me Daisy returns to meet participants of her past documentaries to ask why they allowed her to make a film about them, and what the impact has been. Watch here.
Queerama started life as a 69 minute film for the BBC and BFI. The film has screened all over the world including South Korea, Russia and Romania. It was broadcast on BBC4 in July 2017. The film was made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967.