AWI Short Film Competition

On the Surface

Ada, a young Black woman, goes swimming in the Icelandic sea and reflects on her experience of having a baby in a country that feels nothing like home. As she enters the freezing water, she relives her traumatic pregnancy and postnatal depression. She tries to find ease and healing by facing her fears in the wild.

Content heads up: mention of race- and gender-based medical discrimination

Director: Fan Sissoko

Fan is a French-Malian artist and filmmaker based in Reykjavik, with a background in design for social change. Her work explores issues of motherhood and belonging through visual storytelling and writing from an immigrant and neurodivergent lens. Notable commissions include work for the Migration Museum, the Museum of London, the Science Gallery Dublin and the National Trust. Her last project 'On the Surface' was awarded a grant from Art With Impact, and selected to be screened at Encounters, Ottawa International Animation Festival, FaB Berlin, Fringe of Colour (UK). In addition her co-directed documentary, ‘We The People’ (2019), has won the Film Futures Awards as part of Little Wing Film Festival 2020.

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Depression causes severe, negative changes in the way you think and feel which makes it difficult to manage day-to-day tasks and activities such working, sleeping,...


Stigma is: Always untrue Always negative Can be felt toward yourself Stigma around mental illness includes having fixed ideas and judgments about mental illness and/or...


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