We met up with DOX:AWARD nominees Ewan McNicol & Anna Sandilands to talk about ‘Uncertain’ that has its European premiere at the 13th edition of the documentary film festival.

What is it that you wish to tell with ‘Uncertain’?

– In the larger sense, our aim was to tell a story about three very unique men, in somewhat extraordinary circumstances who are in fact just like you and me, and we are just like them. Within that, we wanted to subtly play with our collective perceptions of one another. You come to know the story just as we did; first as outsiders in what feels very foreign terrain, and slowly beginning to understand and recognize a place, and these people.

– As well, we wanted to tell these very personal stories from men we found to be fascinating, kind and brave.

What do you hope ‘Uncertain’ will result in?

– For us, as filmmakers we are taken in by characters and stories. At a time when much pressure is placed on documentary to motivate social change, we see instead documentary’s potential to compel without an agenda. Uncertain ends in an uncertain place, open to interpretation, much as life does. This for us was not only a play on the film’s themes and title, but also a statement. Better to leave with a series of questions than to leave thinking you have an answer.

How did you feel when you found out that you were nominated in DOX:AWARD at CPH:DOX?

– We were thrilled to be nominated for a DOX:AWARD. We have always thought of ‘Uncertain’ in the context implies universal themes, and at festivals we have seen that play out with an audience who find the same moments of humor and pathos that we did in making it. Nonetheless, the film has been received as something of an outlier in documentary, which we initially found surprising, and have now embraced. For CPH:DOX to deem Uncertain as worthy of competition cements our belief in making films that lie outside of the more standard definitions of the genre. In so many ways, especially creatively, we feel at home here at CPH:DOX.


Meet the directors on November 12 at 20:00 at Empire Bio. Read more about ‘Uncertain’ here