On The Surface

A young Black woman goes swimming in the Icelandic sea and reflects on her experience of raising a child in a country that feels nothing like home. As she enters the freezing water, she relives her traumatic pregnancy. Being in the wild and facing her fears is helping her heal.

Director Biography

Fan Sissoko is a French-Malian artist and filmmaker based in Reykjavik, with a background in design for social change. Her work explores themes of migration, motherhood, otherhood and neurodiversity. Notable commissions include work for the Migration Museum, the Museum of London, the Science Gallery Dublin and the National Trust. Her animated short film 'On the Surface' was awarded a grant from Art With Impact, and screened at festivals around the world, including Clermont Ferrand ISFF (France), Encounters (UK), Ottawa International Animation Festival (CA), Margate Film Festival (UK), Rex Animation Festival (SWE). It won the Heartwired Award at Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Festival (US). Her co-directed documentary, ‘We The People’ (2019), has won the Film Futures Awards as part of Little Wing Film Festival 2020.


Fan Sissoko


Iceland, Mali









In Transit

Sunday, 12 June 12:15 - 14:00 / Kijkhuis 1
105 min.

Also in this session

1. On The Surface
Fan Sissoko, 4
2. F1-100
Emory Chao Johnson, 14
3. Displaced
Samir Karahoda, 15 min.
4. Under the Lake
Thanasis Trouboukis, 17
5. The Bayview
Daniel Cook, 18
6. O Resto
Pedro Gonçalves Ribeiro, 21