Fanshawe-produced fashion film One Love shines on the global stage

A still from One Love showing a figure in the fetal position with netting over their face. CREDIT: FANSHAWE COLLEGE
The fashion film One Love has received a number of awards, including one for Best Fashion Film and Eco Message from the Portugal Indie Film Festival.

One Love is a short film piece that was directed, shot and produced completely by Fanshawe faculty and students. It was created for the fashion program’s annual fashion show UNBOUND. The film garnered international attention and had 12 screenings in different countries, like Portugal and Croatia. It also received numerous awards at film festivals and managed to win Best Emerging Talent from the Croatia Film Festival and Best Eco Fashion Film from the Roma International Film Festival.

The piece binds the topic of water protection and gender fluidity through environmental and social messages in the cinematography. The main focus of the plot was Lauren Bailey, a Fanshawe fashion student, and their personal journey with gender fluidity.

“I was in second year when these were the third years doing their collections because the film in the past, with Loren Couto being their design teacher, they’ve always done a film that went hand in hand that came from the program,” said Bailey.

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In the early stages of planning, the focus of the film was to be based on individuals who identify as gender fluid. That is when Bailey was approached and was asked to hop aboard the project and join the team.

“As a queer person within the program they stopped me and asked me if I would like to write a small thing about gender expression within fashion and kind of how to navigate life as someone who doesn’t necessarily conform to the gender assigned at birth, so I wrote down almost a journal entry that I think it’s like a couple pages,” said Bailey. “When I gave it to them, they really resonated with it and the other queer people within the class really felt like it was broad enough, but also personal enough that it could honestly like become the script for the movie.”

During the conception stage of production, director and fashion professor, Loren Couto, outlined how Bailey’s story fit hand in hand with the vision of sustainability the film was trying to portray.

“Over the last four years, UNBOUND has integrated a festival film and I take some time to evaluate and look at what’s resonating with that particular graduating student body and for this particular year we were so fortunate to have Lauren sharing their story and to represent that community for us with such a vulnerable and authentic piece,” said Couto.

In response to the film’s international success, Bailey called the film’s reach both at home and abroad “crazy.”

“Having it on an international scope freaked me out. We got accepted in the UK, we got accepted in Croatia, and it was crazy because even showing it in London, Ontario hit me more than internationally because it’s my community and me being there was the only screening I was able to attend,” said Bailey.

Through Bailey’s perspective, the film explains how as a society, love is a universal and boundless thing that transcends things in our world. The core message of the film is what Bailey and Couto is one of coming to terms with your true self.

“Regardless of One Love being a queer film, its core message is about struggling with coming to terms with yourself and then struggling with the world when you are content with yourself, but the world gives you that push back,” said Bailey.