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Exploring the silvery worlds and icy wildernesses of IFL’s Experimental Showcase

Until Monday the 8th of August 2022, Indy Film Library is streaming some of the best short experimental films we have received over the last year. The Experimental Showcase can be viewed for free, via our online screening platform, where you can also cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award. As part of the event, we asked the directors of the films to outline the elaborate methods behind their work, and what it ultimately means to them.

Kim Colmer, Director, Silver Seeds

Silver Seeds is at its core a road movie. The desire to travel, to leave one’s home behind, to search for deeper truths that shed light upon one’s existence, all of this is wrapped up in this film. There are also references to digital culture, the “silver screen” and artificial constructions of “natural” environments.

I create my own sets and characters, and envisioning these worlds is a big part of my process. It is very exciting to imagine something and then be able to make it. You don’t need crazy technology or special effects or expensive editing software.

The film was shot mostly on 16mm, with some scenes shot digitally. I love the tactile feel that comes across in 16mm film. This physicality, and also nostalgic aesthetic, was important to the meaning of my film. When filming I experimented quite a bit, even though I had a clear storyboard. When viewing your sets through the lens it IS like being in a new world and traveling – there is so much to see! Luckily, I was able to edit my experiments down and, hopefully, create a cohesive and enjoyable film!

Sando Heijnen & Charlotte Bernson, Directors, COMPLEX

Complex tells two synchronic stories within one building. That of a handyman, fighting for his life after locking himself in a machine room, and that of two buddies trying to figure out why their popcorn does not pop anymore.

The story is mainly based upon the study of what meaning and atmosphere a constant split-screen, and therefore a constant juxtaposition of images can create. We wanted to know how extreme stress and extreme relaxation are experienced next to each other. How does it make an audience feel when the mechanic could be saved if the rescuers would only know the situation? Most of all, we want you to enjoy the narrative and interpretation you take out of it yourself.

Catherine Forster, Director, Longing for a Shadow

Longing for a Shadow explores isolation and social distancing during Covid-19. The project was inspired by my mother’s struggle with the sudden and now long-term reality of day after day in her home, unable to hug her children, see her grandchildren, or gather with her friends.

The piece is dedicated to all who are coping, alone, amid the pandemic. And to those we’ve lost, who passed without loved ones nearby.

Andreas Aicka Thomsen, Director, Miasma

I came up with this type of project because of the challenges we would face. I wanted to get right into the tough parts, learning the hard way, not comfortable in a warm studio. Being inside in a controlled environment is an entirely different experience than being outside, constantly having to consider the cold, the rain, the wind, the snow. I wanted to experience the force of nature and allow us to be influenced by it. To let it swallow us whole.

One element which I find bothersome when absorbing horror-esque culture is the tendency to reveal the unknown, to reveal the pieces, to let it take form. Once the monster is out of the bag and pinpointed, it tends to lose much of its unnerving atmosphere, enabling one to visualise and analyse the previously unknown. The familiar aspect is habitual, safe, comforting, and by definition dull.

It has become a habit of mine to create works which have a non-forced narrative open to interpretation. At times it does bother me if people do not find merit in the work, but then I remind myself how I can be no different, and how the world is full of unique interpretations, which ultimately is what makes it.

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