Hidden Door

Interview: unDependence

unDependence Film Festival is a thematic film festival harnessing the spirit of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum to deliver a programme of international shorts and features that deal with themes of dependencies.

What are your key creative motivations as a film company?

All of unDependence’s films are linked by the theme of dependence.

We were motivated by the conversations and creative energy surrounding the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and by extension the 2016 EU Referendum. Specifically we were interested in the individual’s relationship to and dependence on the social and/or cultural context they find themselves in. From the personal to the political, we invite our filmmakers to explore questions surrounding dependence through shorts, feature films, documentaries, animation and experimental work.

The festival is about more than just the screenings. As a project of Pop Up! Scotland it aims to generate a creative community by hosting a series of filmmaking workshops, talks and Q&As to promote audience engagement.

unDependence is not about just about exploring obscure avant garde film or making anarchical political statements. Instead, it’s a platform for creativity, both in the films themselves and in our interactive program of workshops, talks, and screenings. UnDependence aims to open up independent and arthouse film to a wider audience. The festival showcases a mixture of creative, independent films from all over the world which might lack blockbuster budgets but exemplify great craftsmanship, storytelling, and cinematography.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

In 2016 we hosted then-student filmmaker Hsin-Wei Chen, who had travelled all the way from Taiwan to attend the festival in Edinburgh to view her film alongside the rest of our programme. The same year director Ryan Hendrick (Perfect Strangers, 2015) complimented unDependence on our programme.

What do you love about film as a medium?

Its ability to appeal to and entertain people from all walks of life. Not only that, but it can serve an educational purpose – both emotionally and intellectually. The real fun comes when you get to construct a film programme. A well curated film programme reveals an entire story and message that goes beyond the individual film. A tale that carries the audience from Edinburgh, to Spain, to Kyrgyzstan, exploring multiple mediums and textures along the way, exercises our ability to empathise and connect to people across the globe. This is indispensable after recent political events.

Can you say a few words on what Hidden Door is about for you?

Collaborating with Hidden Door gives us a chance to celebrate the dynamic society that inspired unDependence in the first place. Exciting things are in store at Leith Theatre.