International Competition

The Shutdown

Adam Stafford

‘Look to the East, and you will see that the night sky is never quite as dark as it is towards the west.’ This is how novelist Alan Bissett begins his story, in an almost incomprehensible Scottish dialect. This short, picturesque film is the debut of filmmaker Adam Stafford. At night, the boring, drab green landscape near the Scottish villages of Falkirk and Grangemouth transforms into a mysterious, almost divine black and orange purgatory. Torches illuminate the discharge of the chemical factories and the smokestacks seem like a silent city. Bissett grew up in this industrial environment and talks about the accident in the factory that left his father disfigured. He introduces the smokestacks as fire-spouting monsters that gave his father hell and left him with terrible burns. Bissett discusses the orange glow that descends upon the houses, lovers’ lanes, and soccer fields of the Scottish villages. At first it seems romantic, but it also serves as an everlasting reminder of the chemical company’s more dismal effects: from cancerous substances that cause birth defects to deadly accidents on the job.

Adam Stafford

Adam Stafford is a filmmaker and musician from Falkirk, Central Scotland. After studying Film and Photography at Napier University, he formed the band Y’all is Fantasy Island who have, to date, issued four critically lauded albums including a collection of film soundtrack work. ‘The Shutdown’ is an extension of that collaboration.

General sponsor

The Shutdown

Great Britain
2009, 10', color, video

Directed by:
Adam Stafford

Screenplay by:
Alan Bissett

Leo Burges

Edited by:
Adam Stafford, Peter Gerard, Leo Burges

Adam Stafford

Peter Gerard

Produced by:
Accidental Media

Festivals & Awards:

Jim Poole Awards - Jury and Audience Awards for Scottish Short Film