Media Co-op wins award for short film about Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild

‘What we’ve learned from history is that when we work together, we can make a difference’

Glasgow’s Media Co-op has won the People’s Choice bronze award in the UK Charity Film Awards for a short animated film about the Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild.

The stop-motion animation tells the story of Molly Mercer and other women’s rights campaigners in the guild 100 years ago, and the inspiration they offer to today’s feminist campaigners.

Media Co-op – a women-led, not-for-profit worker co-ops – made the film in partnership with charity Kairos Women+ for Paisley Museum, which will feature the piece as part of its refurbishment.

“Of all the awards, the People’s Choice Award means most to us,” Vilte Vaitkute of Media Co-op told Third Force News. “A huge thank you to everyone who voted for our film. We were blown away by the creativity of the Kairos Women+ volunteers who co-produced the animation.

“Their dedication and determination is outstanding. The story of co-operator and suffragette Molly Mercer is entirely relevant to audiences today.

“The Kairos group put it best in the script of their animation: ‘what we’ve learned from history is that when we work together, we can make a difference’.”

The Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild Growth developed in the 1880s and 90s to provide working class women with a voice and promote the co-op movement. It saw steady growth through the first half of the 20th century, peaking in the late 1940s with 484 branches with over 43,000 members. Membership declined in later years and the Co-operative Women’s Guild was wound up in 2016.

Annie Tothill of Kairos Women+ told Third Force News: “We’re so chuffed to have won this award. Our dedicated team of volunteers developed research and storytelling skills, uncovering the story of Molly Mercer and the Scottish Cooperative Women’s Guild, and using their creativity to co-produce a stop-motion animation for Paisley Museum. 

“As it says in our film, Molly Mercer joined the Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild and fought for better working conditions, education, housing rights and votes for women.

“Her story teaches us that when you stand up for what you believe in, you can make a difference. She encourages us to never stop fighting for equality for all women+.”