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Two Years at Sea

Ben Rivers
UK 2011 / 88’

In the prime of life, Jake is an outsider who avoids contact with others at all cost and lives in the Scottish forest akin to legendary hermits. His several quirks include naps during forest outings, but he also likes to look at photos of people who were once dear. In Two Years at Sea director Ben Rivers accompanies Jake for the second time (previously Rivers filmed the short This Is My Land with Jake), but this episode is born of discussions between the artist and eccentric. In addition to recording reality, the film includes reenactments made after consultation with the protagonist. The film is shot on 16 mm, which supports the narrative theme of man’s strong relationship with the space in which he functions, and without which he cannot thrive.


Venice IFF 2011 – FIPRESCI Prize; CPH:DOX 2011 – Grand Prix

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers (born in 1972) is a contemporary experimental film maker and artist based in London. His work has been shown in many film festivals and galleries throughout the world, and won numerous awards. Ben Rivers’ practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. He uses near-antique cameras and hand develops the 16 mm film. Rivers has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards, including London Artists Film and Video Award 2007, Vauxhall Collective Commission 2008, Film London Artist’s Moving Image Network Production 2009, and was shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2010. He is recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists 2010. His first feature length film Two Years at Sea was presented in September 2011 in the Orizzonti section at the 68th Venice International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI prize.


2006 This Is My Land (short)

2008 Ah, Liberty! (short)

2011 Slow Action (short)

2011 Dwa lata nad morzem / Two Years At Sea (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Ben Rivers
screenplay Ben Rivers
cinematography Ben Rivers
editing Ben Rivers
sound Chew-Li Shewring
cast Jake Williams
producer Maggie Ellis, Rose Cupit, João Trabulo
production FLAMIN Productions
sales LUX
language no dialogues
colouration b&w