Image for Bill Douglas Award 4: Absurdity of labour, pt. 2


Bill Douglas Award 4: Absurdity of labour, pt. 2

24-25 March

The Bill Douglas Award at Glasgow Short Film Festival showcases new international short films that reflect the qualities found in the work of Scotland’s own Bill Douglas: honesty, formal innovation, and cinematic storytelling that places sound and image centre stage.

In 2021 our thematic programme Absurdity of Labour considered working conditions in the context of COVID-19, with reflections on exploitation, value and care. This competition selection traces the trauma of rapid, constant modernisation, and notes that the contradictions of economic growth are not confined to the human workforce. Whilst casual labourers risk life and limb for literal handfuls of grain, or ceaselessly pace the boardwalk pounding in nails, others have found a way to foist the hard work onto machine learning or giant talking newts.

All films captioned for d/Deaf viewers. 

The Newt Congress

At a conference building surrounded by nature, participants have come together to optimise the exploitation of giant talking newts.

The Earth Will Swallow It All

In the 1990s, a period of rapid modernisation in Poland brought about anxiety and fear inflicted by the hegemonic order, alongside a complete disregard for the social costs.


Ensnared by the Brazilian economic crisis, men risk their lives breaking into moving freight trains to recover leftover grain and sell it on.


Park, apartment, 6-core processor. My avatar learns a backflip.

Hardly Working

Turning the spotlight on video game Non-Player Characters. A laundress, a stable boy, a street sweeper and a carpenter are observed with ethnographic precision.

  • Recommended age 15+
  • Duration 1h30m
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