Michelle Siu

MA Film and Television Production

Michelle Siu is a Canadian photojournalist transitioning into cinematography in the UK. Her work in stills and motion focuses on the theme of belonging and identity.

Cheerleading may be quintessentially American, but a rise in British cheerleading is taking the All-American sport by storm. Michelle's introduction into UK cheer culture began with the Ruskin Raiders cheer squad in Cambridge. The young women were decked out in all the glitz and polish you expect, but once you peel back the layers of hair and make-up, a brand of grit and determination was laid bare.

This story is Michelle's love letter to her younger self - the tight-knit girlhood bond, sense of identity and longing to belong is something she relates to and feels others would too. The hustle and heart and intensity and intelligence, all wrapped up in the joys and sorrows of 20-something-year-old girlhood is something she wants to show. As she follows the journey of a group of young elite cheerleaders, she questions the narrow definitions of femininity in the sport and what it means to be a young woman now. And she wonders, if in time, this American sport may become uniquely British.