Artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers' feature debut, beautifully shot on 16 mm, is a genre-bending and hypnotic study of an isolated visionary. The film was inspired by Knut Hamsun's novel Pan and is based on the life of an actual person who lived in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
A rare thing in cinema – a vision of true happiness.
About the film
A man called Jake lives in the middle of the forest. He goes for walks in whatever the weather, and takes naps in the misty fields and woods. He builds a raft to spend time sitting in a loch. Drives a beat-up jeep to pick up wood supplies. He is seen in all seasons, surviving frugally, passing the time with strange projects, living the radical dream he had as a younger man, a dream he spent two years working at sea to realize.
About the filmmaker
Ben Rivers (b. 1972, UK) studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in sculpture before moving into photography and Super 8 film. After his degree he taught himself 16 mm filmmaking and hand processing. His practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. He often follows and films people who have in some way separated themselves from society. The raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds.
Rivers films are screened extensively in both film festivals and galleries. He is the recipient of numerous prizes including: FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea ; the inaugural Robert Gardner Film Award, 2012 and the Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42, 2011.