I've always thought that director Eilidh Munro made a fabulous film with A Long Winter. A brave and uncompromising look at the realities of human control over their environment that confronts the viewer with things they'd rather ignore. It hadn't taken hold in the festival market though, perhaps due to that harsh reality on-screen (although there's no violence per-se, there is extremely bloody scenes of cutting up deer corpses) or the difficult and stoic central character. So it was a surprise that it was nominated for a BAFTA, and an even greater surprise that it actually won, particularly with such stiff competition in the widely acclaimed Clean and multi-BAFTA winning animators Ainslie Henderson and Will Anderson's Shackleton.
I was absolutely thrilled, as it felt like a vindication of all the tough decisions that Eilidh made to create a film that resisted the standard documentary formula and all the recent trends in documentary that I find so tiresome: 'likeable' characters, explanation over immersion, ever-present voiceover, directors inserting themselves in the story, and surface-level thematics.
I hope this win gives the film a new jolt of life and more people are able to see it. It stands as one of my favourite editing experiences and, along with Crannog - with which it shares similar qualities - one of the short films I'm most proud of working on.
Art & Design
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