Silence – Sean Lìonadh – UK

In the isolation of lockdown, a lonely young man stays in contact with the outside world through voice messages, sent by friends and lovers. Those messages seem to fill his void and slowly enter his mind as the day passes. Soon, however, he finds himself inhabited by a multitude of lonely beings. His only solution to the physical isolation and his overcrowded mind, is to make music from the noise, finally finding his own voice.

Sean Lìonadh is a poet, writer, filmmaker and musician from Glasgow, known for his visual poem Time for Love which reached millions of people online, won a 2019 Royal Television Society award and was translated into five languages. Sean worked with the Royal Opera House as the librettist on modern opera Honest Skin, live next season.

With producers Alfredo Covelli and Ross McKenzie, Sean is developing his first feature film, Nostophobia, a horror relationship drama exploring the terror of adolescent intimacy and trauma through a gay relationship. Sean took part in Berlinale Talents 2020, and BBC Writer’s Room Scottish Voices 2020. Sean published his first book, a poetry collection called Not Normal Anymore in 2019 with Speculative Books.

Director Statement

When lockdown arrived in my home city of Glasgow, I felt an overwhelming urge to document the first day. I lived alone, and the only thing that kept me company were voice messages from friends. Then, quarantine was fresh and new, and the world wasn’t so despondent or incredibly bored of the subject yet. I wanted to capture a series of images that I might share online, and didn’t consider it to be a work for festivals. But a story emerged amongst the images, and I found myself becoming very excited to create something between reality and distortion. For the first time, I was working unscripted and confined only by the laws of government, not of short filmmaking. As the day progressed, I stopped being an observer and became a storyteller, with the voices of my friends and my ex-lover as guides. While lockdown was frightening and difficult, it became – like most frightening and difficult things – an opportunity to explore the human condition and to confront the things, and the silence, evaded so easily in a virus-free world.

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