Yep, you read it properly. Singled Out. Pronounced sɪŋgəld awt. Singled as in single. Out as in off, fuera, ciao! Singled out as in apart, different, weird. But also: singled out as in particular, uncommon. Unique.
Singled [Out] tells the story of five women who are coming to terms with being single, and who are finding their place in the modern world.
Shot in Australia, China, Turkey and Spain, the film is an intimate and personal four-year journey exploring what it means to be a single woman in a time of increasing independence and choice.
This film was conceived by us: Ariadna Relea and Mariona Guiu. We are independent Spanish-born film-makers. Mariona is based in Melbourne, Australia; Ariadna in Barcelona.
The film comes from a very personal struggle with being single and what we saw in the world around us.
We have travelled the world talking to other single women. We interviewed experts, travelled the world and discovered our concerns are part of a bigger picture.
As feminist writer Eva Cox said: "The fact that you started this film illustrates ... how myths are so embedded that women just assume that if they don't want a partner .... if they can't get a partner, there's something wrong with them."
It's been a long journey to bring this story to life and we've had the help of wonderful humans. We are almost there.
Now we need your help. Back this project, and let's finish this film, together.
Rewind to 2013 — or maybe earlier than that. Maybe to our failed relationships, to our parents and loved ones telling us: there's someone out there for us, to save us from being alone.
Either way, in 2013 things came to a head for Mariona. She was single and didn't know why. And even worse, her obsession with partnering up was stopping her from living a full, rich life as a single, independent woman.
Mariona decided to stop her search for a man, and start her search for answers. She started with a call to her best friend and fellow fellow film-maker Ariadna.
Ariadna — who sees potential documentaries everywhere — responded.
Can you help us bring it to life?
Talking to experts, we discovered modern relationships are at a crossroads. Women are more economically independent than ever before, they have more choice, and the number of single, educated women was on the rise.
This shift towards singledom and with it, singlism, the subtle yet pervasive stigma and discrimination against single women, is deeply impacting their lives and changing the very structures of our communities.
What we discovered is a real game-changer. It changes the dialogue women like us have about ourselves, but also the bigger conversation about the place of single women over 30 have in our communities.
Can you help us change the conversation?
Demographer Bernard Salt (Australia) said the idea of a man drought was very real and women don't need to lower their expectations, rather they need look in different places to find available men.
Researcher Albert Esteve (Spain) spoke about how social status in traditional marriage was being turned on its head. Women no longer needed to "marry up" but rather "marry down".
Sociologist Eva Illouz (Israel) said a consumerist, capitalist culture was leading to people treating love like a buffet. We live in a great era for sex, she said, not for love.
Writer and feminist Eva Cox (Australia) struck a deep chord. She said so often we seek validation as individuals by getting the right things: a house, a partner, a kid, a car.
Then she said something that turned our documentary on its head.
Listening to Eva, we knew we had go deeper, and more global. We knew we couldn't just make a film just about our experience. We knew we had to talk to other women and find out their stories in all four corners of the world.
We have done some serious myth-busting in our film. Now we need to get the story out.
Singled [Out] follows the lives of five single women in four different cities: Melbourne, Istanbul, Shanghai and Barcelona.
Each story reveals a different side to the personal struggles and social pressures of single life in four very different cultures.
Jules lives an independent life in urban Melbourne. She searches for Mr Right online. After dating several men who turned out to be Mr Wrong, Jules begins to accept that online dating is far more difficult and complicated than she first realised. Disheartened, Jules uses her stories and frustrations of the dating world to launch her new career as a stand-up comedian.
Yang is a successful lawyer with her own law firm. Having always prioritised her work, she refuses to lower her expectations just to find a husband. But in China, Yang's single status comes at a high price. Unmarried women over 30 are labelled shengnu, or leftover. Along with her high-pressure job, Yang must deal with her marriage-obsessed mother. Despite her own financial success, it becomes clear to Yang that her family will not accept her life choices.
Shu is an entrepreneur, with her own cosmetic brand. She lived in Paris for many years. Now, back in Shanghai, she finds it difficult to connect with Chinese men. At the same time, she craves love and she lives with the anxiety of having to justify herself in front of her family single life. Her anxieties are reaching boiling point.
Melek is the daughter of a progressive imam who recently passed away. Born in a very small town close to the Greek border, Melek moves to Istanbul, where she lives alone. Her father always encouraged her to get an education and leave her town, despite the stigma attached to single, unmarried women. After her father dies, Melek increasingly finds herself under pressure to move home and renounce her urban, independent life.
Manu is a high school teacher, DJ and a fashion designer. Single for several years, and feeling her age, she knows she has limited time to become a mother. She opts for fertility treatment and finds it soul-destroying. After much deliberation, and feeling her biological clock, Manu gives it one last try.
This is a story that needs to be told. It’s a story for any woman who has ever struggled to live a rich and full life, and be single at the same time.
- Singled [Out] offers an insight into the pressure, sense of failure and stigma many women face as the result of being single and not finding “the one”.
- Our documentary, through the voices of experts, will give a global context to the stigma and expectations single women face. In creating the bigger picture, Singled [Out] will advocate for a positive, stigma-free society.
- At a time that has been described as a great era for sex, we will open up a new conversation for both men and women about the place of love and partnering up.
But without your help, we cannot finish our film and start a new, more sophisticated conversation about single life.
Can you contribute today?
We've talked a lot about making a contribution to our documentary, and helping us, in turn, open a new conversation about single life for women over thirty with our documentary.
But this is a two-way street. We'd also like to offer you a range of rewards and gifts for supporting our film.
They range from exclusive backers screenings and special Singled [Out] dinners to custom designed gifts featuring artwork Spanish artist Coque Azcona.
We are also offering exclusive access to our professional services: digital storytelling workshops and social media ready, custom-made videos for your service or organisation.
A baby takes nine months to grow. This baby of ours has taken four years.
Here's an insight into our film-making journey, and what it's going to take to get it over the line, and on the big screen.
We are so close to finishing.
We are not asking you to fund our whole documentary. We just need a final injection of funds to cover cinema-grade post production.
The film is being produced by Suricata Stories and Lacivert Film.
We've been blessed with support from Televisió de Catalunya, who are coproducers and have been from the beginning, and funding Euroimages and the Institut de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya (ICEC).
We've done so much on our own, but we now need a whole range of post-production services to get it onto the big screen.
We need audio mixing and sound design, colour grading and professional mastering, and subtitles in five languages.
We also need to produce enough DCP copies of the film can for a global distribution.
We need your donation to get the project over the line.
In these final stages of post-production, we need one last of injection of funds to get the film to the big screen.
It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to produce a documentary.
Can you help us bring this film into the world?
Risks and challenges
Many hands are needed to bring a documentary to the big screen. It’s never a straight-forward process and risks and challenges do arise.
There are challenges with storytelling: are our characters strong enough? Can the audience go on a journey with our film?
There are challenges with on-location shoots: gear fails, the weather turns sour, someone starts chopping carrots off-camera and ruins your sound.
Happily we have met all these challenges. The women in our film have compelling stories that will open up conversations about single life for women. The location shoots are beautiful and poetic. And we have finished filming.
We have two distributors who are interested. Our kickstarter rewards are all in place, and if we are successful, they will be distributed by February 2018.
We are literally in final stages of production. We are not asking you to fund our whole documentary.
Rest assured: every dollar raised will be used to get the film to big screen, and to pay our collaborators fairly.
This is not easy to ask for help. We are independent film-makers and, until now, we have secured the money needed to fund our documentary on our own.
But now we need to ask: can you help us finish this film?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)