British Independent Film Festival Logo

    BIFF | 2021    
Online | May 28th -June 4th

Enfer & Paradis
The Fell Runner
Livin in the Light
The Gospel According to Gail
Fires in the Dark
What Is Ian
To Nowhere
Clairevoyant

It's The British Independent Film Festival's twelfth year and we have an

incredible line up!

The Festival aims to promote and support independent filmmaking, providing opportunities for independent filmmakers to have their films screened at great red carpet-style venues to a passionate audience of film professionals, film students, journalists and the general public. 

There are a number of awards up for grabs at the Festival, including the prestigious British Lion Award for Achievement in Film on a Low Budget.

This year we screened online between the 28th of May and 4th of June.

    The Official Selection    

The Gold List

The Film Festival Guild Gold List is for screenplays of outstanding quality. These projects are up for the title of Best Unproduced Screenplay.

Feature Films

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Clairevoyant

(89m)

Director: Micaela Wittman

Writers, Producers & Cast: Micaela Wittman & Arthur Diennet

A spoiled rich girl hires a camera crew to document her journey as she attempts to shed her ego and attain enlightenment.

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Fires in the dark

(94m)

Director: Lienhard Dominique

Writer: Yoshimura Akira

Producers: Preel-Cleach Fabrice & Latourrette Emmanuelle

Cast: Van Dessel Igor, Girardot Ana & Elkaïm Jérémie

Seventheen century. Set in a small village, nestled between the sea and the mountain, the father of Alan, a young fifteen-year-old boy, has sold himself for two years to indentured service. Alan is forced to take the place of his father and struggles to support his family.

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I WORK AT THE CEMETERY

(100m)

Director: Oleksii Taranenko

Writer: Pavel Belyanskiy

Producers: Andrii Kornienko, Artem Koliubaiev & Maksim Leshchanka

Cast: Vitalii Salii, Anna Ivanova & Andrii Korniienko

Forgiving the mistakes, learning to love and stop being afraid of life – it is rather difficult to cope with at the cemetery, but it is quite possible. Even though it sometimes seems that the cemetery is not outside, but inside of you.

Sasha - a man of about 35 – manager of a firm that installs tombstones at the cemetery. He has a lot of customers, each of whom experiences a personal tragedy. However, Sasha is full of cynicism and irony. One day his 14-year-old daughter appears to return her father into her life. Sasha also meets a young business lady who has just buried her son and a lonely old man who has ordered a tombstone for himself. Sasha becomes involved in the struggle for power between the “eminence grise” of the cemetery and the new manager. And in this whirl of personal tragedies and criminal clashes, it gradually becomes clear that Sasha has a severe psychological trauma because of what happened in his past.

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Kol (The Lake)

(100m)

Director: Emil Atageldiev

Writers: Emil Atageldiev & Erke Dzhumakmatova

Producers: Erke Dzhumakmatova & Sadyk Sher-Niyaz

Cast: Artykpay Suyndukov, Bolot Tentimishov & Malika Aydabosunova

In our time a small Kyrgyz village on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, where our heroes live as neighbors for many years. Temirkul - a 75-year old lonely history teacher, who in past tragically lost his only daughter, follower of old legends that Kyrgyzs’ since ancient times never eat fish from sacred lake believing that those are souls of ancestors waiting for new incarnation. His neighbor - Askhat - feeds his family by being a fish poacher, embittered by daily survival. And 11-year-old poacher's daughter Jyldyz, who feels a deep inner protest against poaching. She is being under deep influence of old man, believes in the legend and doesn't eat fish is like old man too, which causes lack of understanding of her family and peers.

When the wife of an old man suddenly dies, they have a conflict with Askhat. The old teacher doesn’t want to bury his wife according to Muslim traditions. But Askhat impose by force his will on the old man and takes all the worries about "decent" funeral upon herself.

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To Nowhere

(99m)

Director & Writer: Sian Astor-Lewis

Producer: Georgia Hurt

Cast: Lilit Lesser, Josefine Glaesel & Orlando Seale

A chaotic day trip spins out of control, as two troubled teenage friends grapple with love and trauma.

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Short Films

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Asynchronous

(Nicholas Afchain, 2m)

 

asynchronous - adjective
/eɪˈsɪŋkrənəs/
(formal)
def. (of two or more objects or events)
not existing or happening at the same time.

Through a series of vignettes, we see fragments of a couple’s relationship. In sync with each other, yet out of time with the world around them.

As the story unfolds, we slowly start to see their relationship deteriorate. She becomes out of sync with him and thus in sync with the world.

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Audrey

(Riyadh Haque, 5m)

 

Audrey has to choose. But she doesn't want to.

Beavers without Borders

(Nina Constable, 16m)

 

A brand new short documentary produced for Beaver Trust, following science communicator Sophie Pavelle on a journey of discovery, as she visits sites around Britain where beavers have been reintroduced. Meeting the extraordinary people behind their story so far, this film explores what a future might look like, with beavers living wild in our landscapes and rivers across Britain.

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Blindfold

(Adam Wawrety, 12m)

 

‘Blindfold’ explores ideas of love, family and control. While these are themes we all encounter daily, the focus here is on the way Alice interacts with her husband. The things she does—although they might seem trivial—add up to paint a picture of someone whose unhealthy behavioural patterns impact not only her husband’s but also herself.

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Clean

(Richard Paris Wilson, 10m)

 

The story of a man who loses his clothes at a laundrette and his journey to get them back.

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Enfer & Paradis

(Antoine Chicoye,

Michael Darrigade & 

Alex Lesbats, 53m)

 

Nazaré this small Portuguese fishing village has a jewel discovered only ten years ago. Now known for hosting the biggest waves in the world, it welcomes the world's surfing elite to challenge these water monsters. Among them, a woman, Justine Dupont continues on the path to becoming the best surfer in the world.

This 53’ minutes documentary will immerse you in the daily life of this young Frenchwoman, in the heart of an environment mainly reserved for men. Experience for the first time a total immersion behind the scenes of the first mixed surfing world championships. An adventure full of twists and turns that will make this competition a historic moment.

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If Everyone Knew

(Imogen Harrison, 24m)

 

IF EVERYONE KNEW is a raw and honest account of miscarriage and stillbirth experienced by five different women. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet the conversation around baby loss in our society is muted.

The film seeks to show the isolation that so many women experience after both miscarriage and stillbirth. While experiences are varied, nebulous and unique, we see that women are connected by the isolation they feel, resulting from the overwhelming stigma society has imposed on open discussion of pregnancy loss and baby loss. Stifled by this silence, we hear the contributors grapple with shame and embarrassment while also navigating their own personal grief and trauma.

In providing a space in which the women speak freely and candidly about their nuanced experiences, the film weaves a message of empowerment throughout, aiming to encourage other women to break through the stigma and have their experiences be heard.

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Livin' in the Light

(Hannah Hefner &

Emmanuel Henreid, 4m)

 

Livin' in the Light is a music video for a new original single by Onry, who has been singing in Portland during quarantine and leading civil rights protests as one of the only Black male professional opera singers in the Pacific Northwest.

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Rosa

(Jean-Michel Gervais & Gabriel J. Lemay, 19m)

 

After being touched by a patient's story, a psychiatrist learns the hard way that appearances are sometimes deceptive.

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Shots of Light

(Christian Scharfenberg, 4m)

 

‘Shots of Light' is an animated music video by Christian Scharfenberg based on the song 'Shots of Light', by Morgan Finlay. The film follows 'Shemp' as he walks through the city, observing the world around him and taking hope from the shots of light that appear through the cracks.

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Smokers Delight

(Jamie Whitby, 12m)

 

A short film celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1995 classic.

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Tanner Emmeret

(Helena Charlton-Jones, 3m)

 

Tanner must find a way to get some money or never fulfil his dreams of becoming an astronaut. A film about hopes, dreams and delusions.

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The Amazing World of Emma

(Laurence Roberts, 10m)

 

A University student's life is turned upside down when she discovers the existence of a website dedicated to her.

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The Fell Runner

(Alex Simpson & 

Phillip Suddick, 4m)

 

A short documentary about Calum Tinnion who spends his free time running Fells.

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The Gospel According to Gail

(Florence Winter Hill, 8m)

 

At 17, all Mia wants is to live life in the fast lane, but learning to drive with Gail is so much more than a driving lesson. It's a life lesson.

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The Opposite of Eternity

(Joshua Jádi, 15m)

 

The Opposite of Eternity tells the story of Anna who tries to get her mother into the room where her father is dying so they can be together one last time. But her mother runs away. She runs and runs since hours and with her time is running out.

Anna has the difficult task of accompanying her mother Eva during the slow death of her father. She wants to gather the family one last time in one room. While she seems to almost break down at this task, her mother finds one reason after another not to enter the room next to the bedside of her dying husband. But Anna doesn't give up and tries to put an end to her mother's flight from reality.

Trifle

(Mike Callaghan, 15m)

 

Alice, a grieving and disconnected pharmacist struggles with the knowledge that her husband was having an affair before his death. When she encounters ‘the other woman’ mourning her husband’s ghost-bike it forces Alice to confront her detachment, accepting compassion and understanding in the unlikely form of her trifle-loving methadone patient.

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Violet

(David Hayes, 18m)

 

A young nurse lies his way into the home of an elderly patient.

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What Is Ian

(Rob Price, 12m)

 

Ian is in the bath. It makes him calm, allowing him to forget things. Not just bad things - all things. He has developed a method whereby he can forget the meanings of words and objects. He now begins to apply the same method to his estranged wife as she attempts to get him to leave the bathroom. The film raises questions around the relationship between object and meaning, emotional distance and meditation.

    The Awards   
2021

Best Feature Film

Fires in the dark

The Lake

*To Nowhere*

Best Short Film

Asynchronous

Audrey

Blindfold

Clean

Livin' in the Light

Shots of Light

Smokers Delight

Tanner Emmeret

The Amazing World of Emma

The Fell Runner

The Gospel According to Gail

The Opposite of Eternity

*Trifle*

Violet

What Is Ian

Best Student Film

Blindfold

*The Amazing World of Emma*

The Opposite of Eternity

Best Music Video

*Asynchronous*

Livin' in the Light

Shots of Light

Best Director

David Hayes (Violet)

*Florence Winter Hill (The Gospel According to Gail)*

Joshua Jádi (The Opposite of Eternity)

Best Actor

Jack Staddon (Violet)

*Jordan Stephens (Smokers Delight)*

Nobuse Jnr (Clean)

Best Actress

Amy Manson (Trifle)

*Gail Sixsmith (Violet)*

Harriett Webb (The Gospel According to Gail)

Best Supporting Actor

*Orlando Seale (To Nowhere)*

Theo Barlem-Biggs (Smokers Delight)

Victor J Griffiths (Clean)

Best Supporting Actress

Deepica Stephen (Smokers Delight)

*Madeleine MacMahon (Blindfold)*

Sarah Agha (The Amazing World of Emma)

British Lion Award

(best achievement on a low budget)

Audrey

*Clean*

Trifle

Rising Star Award

*Jamie Whitby (Smokers Delight)*

Richard Paris Wilson (Clean)

Rob Price (What is Ian)

The Milsome Award for Cinematography

*Fires in the Dark*

The Opposite of Eternity

Violet

Legend of Cinema Award

*Amy Manson*

Best Unproduced Screenplay

Cheremere (written by Paolo Taddei)

Face Painters (written by Giovanni Sanseviero)

Modern Art (written by Laurence Fuller)

Six Weeks of Summer (written by Serena Chloe Gardner)

*The Crystal Wall (written by Fernanda Alvarez)*

.