In September 2017 I began creating animated GIFs that showed female filmmakers. The style of each image followed the same template: the picture of a female director on set, behind the camera, with her name displayed in big bold letters, under the words “This is what a film director looks like.” The project’s mission was simple: to populate GIPHY – the world’s no.1 repository of animated GIFs – with images of female directors, in order to make them more visible, and allow people to discover them and learn their names.
Fast-forward to the present day: by now, I have created almost 200 animated GIFs of female directors and cinematographers. GIPHY has given me not one, but two official channels: in the second one, I began posting images that celebrate women and girls across professional fields: from activists, to authors, CEOs, politicians, scientists and engineers.
1 billion views
Because of GIPHY.com’s integration with Twitter, Slack and Instagram, my GIFs now prominently show up as the top result in searches – and they’ve accrued more than 1 billion views thus far. The Huffington Post, A Plus and Mashable have written articles about the project.
Instagram Stories Stickers
In June 2019, I expanded my representation mission to Instagram, creating stickers that celebrate the visibility of women at work. Anyone can use my stickers in Instagram stories, proudly stating: “this is what a filmmaker (or author, artist, CEO) looks like.”
To find my stickers on Instagram, start a new story, look for GIFs > Stickers and search for “byelena”.