Image for Haulout




On a remote coastline of the Russian Arctic, in a wind-battered hut, a solitary man waits to witness an ancient gathering. But warming seas and rising temperatures bring an unexpected change and he soon finds himself overwhelmed.

Sea: grey. Sky: grey. Land: grey. And over it all lies a thick, heavy blanket of fog: the fog is grey. One man is not enough to make a landscape like this look any less empty. Somehow, he makes it look more so. The scientist watches for life in the spotless sea, and among the rocks that surround his wooden hut. 

He has only what he needs: a jar of spoons and forks (no knives) used to eat from cans; a book of photos that remind him he is not the first to dine here; those who came before did so with their families around them.

One morning, the grey turns to brown (this is more exciting than it sounds). Blubber heaves and tussles and thwacks, tusks rear up in indignation. The land cannot contain the animals, they push their way into the little hut.

When they return to the easy expanse of the water, some are left ashore. As the snow falls they will be covered in white, an extra few bumps in the landscape. The scientist will board up his hut for another year and carry away that which he brought with him and that which he has learned.  

Oriana Franceschi

Director filmography: VOY (2019), Genesis 2.0 (2018), The Hunters (2015)

  • Director Evgenia Arbugaeva, Maxim Arbugaev
  • Country UK
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 25m
  • Scottish Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 1: Soon what remains?

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