To mark Scotland’s Year of Stories, Glasgow Short Film Festival presents a selection of new award winning films telling diverse stories in fiction, documentary and animation. From the surprisingly international setting of a Macduff boarding house to the claustrophobia of a dysfunctional family home, via a bathroom, a beauty salon and a Skype conversation between estranged cousins, these five films collectively present a vision of Scotland and Scottish identity that reaches way beyond its traditional cultural and geographical boundaries.
Daniel Cook | 2021 | 19m | Documentary
On the north east coast, an extraordinary family have turned the previously-derelict Bayview hotel into an unofficial respite for international fishermen. Susie Seui (aka Mamma Susie) provides a home away from home for the foreign crews who are the lifeblood of Macduff’s fishing fleet.
Susie is crucial to this diaspora community who face life-threatening conditions every day and who are constantly tossed between the sea, land and home. This documentary is an intimate glimpse into her home and the transient identities of those who pass through it.
Based in Glasgow as an artist and filmmaker, Daniel Cook immerses himself in the lives of his subjects, creating work that is at once performative, factual and fictional. The Bayview won the Scotland’s Year of Stories Short Film Award at GSFF 2022, as well as a European Film Academy award nomination at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival 2022.
Eilidh Nicoll | 2021 | 6m | Animation
Taking place entirely in a bathroom, a ritualistic evening of self-care spirals into claustrophobic self-scrutiny when a young woman discovers a grey hair. Drawing on horror tropes and intersecting the analogue and digital by using skin-like paper textures alongside naïve illustrations, animator Eilidh Nicoll explores the mundanities, absurdities and potential horrors of ageing and the anxieties surrounding it.
Eilidh Nicoll is an animator from Dundee and recent graduate of Edinburgh College of Art. She works primarily in 2D animation – hand drawn and digital – and is driven by an interest in process and materiality. Silvering won the Young Scottish Filmmaker Prize at GSFF 2022.
Leyla Coll-O’Reilly | 2021 | 17m | Drama
Hannah is a withdrawn and awkward teenager who has been asked to leave school for not participating. Her mother has set her up with a trial shift at a beauty salon. Hannah must navigate the hypersexualised beauty salon and controlling boss in order to turn her life around.
Leyla Coll-O’Reilly is a writer and director originally from Glasgow. She is also a theatre maker and poet and was named in The List’s top 100 artists to watch in 2019. Leyla was selected for the Scottish Film Talent Network’s Write4Film and for the New Talent Shorts development programme in 2019. Groom won Best Director at the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2022.
Born in Damascus
Laura Wadha | 2021 | 15m | Documentary
After ten years apart, a Scottish filmmaker tries to reconnect with her closest cousin. Once so similar, their paths were separated by war. As they piece together memories of Syria, they begin to wonder – “What happened to our family?”
Laura Wadha is a half Scottish/half Syrian recent graduate of the National Film and Television School where she studied an MA in Directing Documentary. Born in Damascus won a Crystal Bear at the Berlinale 2022.
Sean Lìonadh | 2022 | 17m | Drama
After a night of intoxication, a hungover and hysterical Nick wakes up next to his boyfriend Charlie and must conceal him from his own homophobic and dysfunctional family.
“Writing and directing this short film gave me the exciting opportunity to describe and face the world I was born and raised into. This short film is based on my family, on my life, on my pain. I hope that people could empathize and learn something from it.” Sean Lìonadh
Sean Lìonadh’s work has gained a huge online presence and left a notable social impact. His previous film Time for Love made for BBC, reached 16 million people online and won a Royal Television Society Award, led to a TED talk and a book, as well inspiring an LGBT movement in Boston. Too Rough won the Scottish Audience Award at GSFF 2022, as well as a Special Mention from the Scottish Competition jury.