Screening of seven fresh short docs from Scottish Documentary Institute’s fantastically successful talent development initiative Bridging the Gap, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
This collection of shorts explores the theme of outsiders – those fearless individuals whose journeys across borders, conflict and time offer inspiring and thought-provoking stories of acceptance, reconciliation and love.
The films provide personal and deeply affecting insights into a diverse range of subject-matter, looking at the relationship between an amputee and her prosthetist, the experience of becoming a refugee due to the war in Ukraine, mythology surrounding dancers’ bodies, the pressures of interracial relationships, and more. One thing that unites these stories are the ways in which being an ‘outsider’ has impacted on each protagonist’s mental health. We’re proud to present these films as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Bridging the Gap filmmakers Meray Diner, Riad Arfin and Maria Pankova, hosted by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Hannah Currie.
The Sound of the Wind
Maria Pankova / United Kingdom / 2023 / 18 min
On 24 February 2022, chef Yulia loses her former life and becomes a refugee, along with her two adopted daughters, fleeing the war in Ukraine. The fear and connection to war doesn’t leave her even when she is thousands of miles away. She is fighting for her children’s future, and she fears losing her husband.
Friends on the Outside
Annabel Moodie / United Kingdom / 2023 / 10 min
Friends on the Outside tells the story of an incarcerated man called Jamie who finds joy and comfort inside by foraging for weeds and caring for birds. It questions why the UK prison system is currently in its biggest expansion in more than a century, exposing naturalising language around this expansion.
Sarah Grant / United Kingdom / 2023 / 14 min
After a lifetime of being told that she, as a fat person, could not dance (and believing it), Glasgow filmmaker Sarah Grant was very surprised to learn when doing dance classes over zoom in the pandemic (with the camera off, of course), that this was a big fat lie. Big Moves is an exploration of the mythology surrounding dance and dancers’ bodies, and how its cultural depiction of perfection has unintentionally fed Sarah’s lifelong struggle with perfectionism.
A Border Between Us
Riad Arfin / United Kingdom / 2023 / 14 min
When a Bangladeshi man moves across the world to be with his partner in the UK, they discover the unforeseen costs of following your heart. Director Riad Arfin explores his personal experience of being in an interracial relationship and trying to settle in a culture very different from his own. In a challenge to the idea that all you need is love to make you whole, when faced with the impact of loneliness and discrimination on his mental health, is love really enough?
Never Mind Walnut Street
Marta Dyczkowska / United Kingdom / 2023 / 13 min
Never Mind Walnut Street is Marta Dyczkowska’s heartfelt letter to her dear friend, walking him through the changes in the city they once shared. It pays tribute to the punks and city that once shaped Marta’s life, as the very fabric of her landscape changes around her, mirroring her own emotional journey of loss and change.
Caitlin McMullan / United Kingdom / 2023 / 11 min
Fitting explores the relationship between the director, an amputee, and her prosthetist, by their contrasting experiences during the making of a prosthetic leg. It asks what it means for to create an extension to someone else’s body, and the impact this has on both maker and amputee. The film demystifies this unfamiliar space and experience for the viewer, and questioning stereotyping and prejudice widely seen within our society’s consideration of body image.
Pembe Ay (Pink Moon)
Meray Diner / United Kingdom / 2023 / 15 min
During the Pink Moon season-rebirth after winter-a daughter revisits her childhood home from Scotland to work through the garden with her father as it blossoms in the politically and physically divided island of Cyprus. It once facilitated her nightmares of the conflict and now their conversations. The filmmaker digs into the inter-generational trauma and how the conflict, opposite views to her father, and restrictions in north Cyprus affected her migration.