PHILIY Page is a a production manager for feature films and a lecturer at Bath Spa, who founded Creative Women International - an initiative in which professional women can discuss their work and share experience, which now has 700 members in over 20 countries and counting. She has also worked as secondary school teacher in inner city London and a photojournalist.
HOW long have you lived in Bridport?
I moved to Beaminster about 10 years ago for one year, then left for a year to travel and then came back to Bridport. I think I have been here eight years now.
WHAT inspired you to start Creative Women International?
As a freelancer you spend a lot of time on your own, either working or looking for work. I am a city girl and a real people person, so I was finding it lonely working from home in Bridport. I met with my friend Niki, who runs the Lyric Theatre, for coffee and found out she was feeling the same way. I knew that the creative women I met during my British Council work also felt that way, and many of them wanted support and information to help them move their career forward. So after coffee with Niki I went home and set it up. I then organised some UK get togethers with some of the members and that was a great success. It has grown organically from there and now I am planning on making it my main career.
YOU worked as a photographer on the reality TV show Castaway? Was it really hard?
I loved it. Loved the place, loved being with the people. I'm actually off to lunch with some of them tomorrow. The hard bit was the weather. But as my husband says, I seem to come alive when things are difficult, whether that is travelling alone across the world or hiking across the Arctic.
WOULD you say photography is a big passion of yours? What encouraged you to peruse it?
It was, not so much now. When something you love so much becomes your work it is hard not to fall out of love with it. Photojournalism is a very solo and competitive business. I made a decision that I wanted more from life. I could see my friends 15 years older than me who were struggling to have relationships or homes. And with my background I wanted to have more stability. So when I met my husband, who is from a farm near Hinton St George and runs www.theyurtretreat.co.uk, I knew I had to make a choice about how I wanted my future to be. So I chose him and Bridport.
WHAT has been your greatest achievement so far?
Surviving and creating a career despite no solid family. My dad left when I was four. He died three years ago in Shanghai, having not seen him since he left, and my mum died of breast cancer when I was nine. In terms of work achievement, being sent to the Arctic on a photo assignment was pretty high up there, but the Creative Women International gives me the most reward.
HOW would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A people person who loves to see others thrive and gets excited about working in teams.
WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Joni Mitchell for the dinner entertainment, Nellie Bly who was the first female journalist to travel around the world in 72 days, and Bill Clarke, who gave me my first camera, he has been like a father to me.