International Competition

Island Of The Hungry Ghosts

Gabrielle Brady
Screening time  
25.02. / Monday, 12:00 - 14:00 Theatre 3  
26.02. / Tuesday, 14:00 - 16:00 Theatre 3  
02.03. / Saturday, 18:00 - 20:00 Theatre 4  
An intuitively composed metaphorical mosaic of a tropical island.

The scenes of migrating crabs on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean would not have been out of place in a nature film. But in this documentary, Gabrielle Brady contrasts the phenomenon with a very different kind of migration. We see idealistic trauma therapist Poh Lin visiting the island’s heavily guarded Australian detention center for illegal immigrants, many of whom have been held there for many years without any prospect of release. The camera calmly observes Poh Lin’s conversations with the detainees, and these scenes are juxtaposed with other observations of the tropical island to create an intuitively composed metaphorical mosaic. Conservationists come to the aid of the crabs, while the local Chinese community is preoccupied with the wandering ghosts of workers who died there a hundred years ago.


Gabrielle Brady

Gabrielle Brady is an Australian filmmaker who makes documentary and hybrid films. She studied Documentary Direction at the Cuban international film school (EICTV). Her short film Island was commissioned as part of The Guardian documentary series and premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2017. Island Of The Hungry Ghosts (2018) is her first feature film.

General sponsor

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Germany, Great Britain, Australia
2018, 98'

Directed by:
Gabrielle Brady

Screenplay by:
Gabrielle Brady

Michael Latham

Edited by:
Katharina Fiedler

Aaron Cupples

Alexander Wadouh

Produced by:
Chromosom Film

Festivals & Awards:

Tribeca Film Festival 2018 – Best Documentary Feature; Visions du Réel 2018 – Buyens-Chagoll Award: Mumbai Film Festival 2018 – Grand Jury Prize: Valletta Film Festival 2018 – Best Documentary Feature: Crested Butte Film Festival 2018 – Best Documentary Feature: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018 – Special Mention for Best Documentary Feature Film; Adelaide Film Festival 2018 – Feature Documentary Award; Festival des Libertés 2018 – Prix SMART