Written by Nadia Emam Directed by Jordan CarrollProduced by Nadia Emam and Jordan Carroll
We’re keeping it close to home with this month’s ShortSpace pick, as Sheffield filmmaker Jordan Carroll steps away from his documentary roots to bring us this poignant, poetic short film. Working closely with writer and star, Nadia Emam, the pair have put together a stirring piece which combines stunning visuals, punchy writing and a raw, guerilla style of filmmaking which has to be admired. We chat to director Jordan Carroll here about this film and his other work.

To My Father // by Nadia Emam (2019) from Jordan Carroll on Vimeo.

JB: I believe the shoot for this was somewhat spontaneous, so could you talk us through the process of heading out to the hills with nothing but a camera and a poet?

JC: The shoot had somewhat of a plan. We initially looked over some of Nadia’s poems and agreed on which one we liked the sound of most and floated some ideas about. Then we sat down and discussed where and what we would film. The spontaneous nature of the film is that I never made a shot list or storyboard, so I kind of just winged it when I was out there. Which was a challenge in itself, because as it was sunrise it was a race against the sun coming up too high! I have a load of experience in documentary filmmaking, so this kind of approach really suits me well and is what I find most exciting about my job.

JB: You seem to be putting out a few micro shorts lately (we also loved your comedy short The Day The Tea Stood Still that you released recently), so what is it in particular that you enjoy about this concise form of storytelling?

JC: The reason behind making so many micro shorts lately is because in truth they are easier to pull off. A big problem with independent filmmaking is that when the paid jobs are coming in, it’s hard to find time for the more creative stuff. As I was eager to get back into narrative filmmaking I told myself and the people around me that the answer was in super-short scripts. Usually they only take half a day to film so they really don’t disrupt my paid work and it means I can get a load of portfolio material of different types out there quickly. Plus the main bonus is that in a social media age you are guaranteed to get more viewers. I sell these films on the idea that my friends must have at least 2 minutes of their time spare to watch my new work

Fun Fact: The filmmakers actually had to change the main location of the film slightly at the very last minute because a group of photographers were camped out up the mountain waiting for sunrise too. In the end however, Jordan and Nadia were actually happier with the new location so it worked out nicely, although the photographers might not be too happy with their shoot being interrupted.