Private Project


Claire has never moved on from the loss of her brother, Jack. He disappeared when he was just 6 years old, never to be found.

On his memorial day after more than a decade on his disappearance, Claire dug a grave in the forest that is surrounding her house, it’s left empty, and the purpose of it remains a mystery.

The lonesome tranquillity of nature itself seemed to sour around her as her father’s unstable presence grew near - he’s returning for Jack’s memorial.

She is trying to forgive her father’s abuse to her and Jack when they were young. Claire’s suppressed anger is eating her alive, like a ticking bomb that is about to explode at anytime in the course of the dinner. The tension unfolds between Thomson (the father) and Claire, and the atmosphere becomes hostile.

All resulting in an ill-fate.

  • Aya Bassiouni
    Writer & Director
  • Matias Mario Contini
  • Evelyn Hui Zhu
  • Yuhan He
  • KC Flanagan
    Key Cast
  • Oliva Jones
    Key Cast
  • Jiakun LI
  • Tabitha Horsefield
    Production Design
  • Seyit Yildiz
    Assistant Director
  • Tommaso Ermoli
    Music Composer
  • Ellie Stiles
  • Ciwan Zengin
  • Jose Bica
    Sound Design & Mixing
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Drama, Crime
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    6k Red Komodo, Anamorphic Lens
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of the Arts London
  • Paris Film Festival
  • Prague International Film Awards
    Czech Republic
    Official Selection
  • Indie Shorts Awards Cannes
    November 19, 2021
    European Premiere
    Best Female Student Director
  • Indie Shorts Awards New York
    New York
    United States
    Best Actress
  • Venezia Shorts
    Best Original Score
  • London Lift Off
    United Kingdom
    December 5, 2022
    Official Selection
Director Biography

Aya Bassiouni was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1994. After achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Media Design from The German University in Cairo, she went on to the University of the Arts London, where she studied for an MA in Film.
“Carnation" is her thesis graduation short film for the MA Degree.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The title Carnation is a symbol of many elements in the film; Carnation is a white flower that embodies purity, innocence and untainted love. It’s usually associated with funerals and it’s called the flower of the Gods.

I have to say, this film is inspired by someone that I knew, it's about the untainted love for family and how that can shape a person thoroughly into becoming their future selves.

“When darkness breeds on innocent souls, it grows and blossoms within.”

All families have troubles rooted somewhere but it makes all the difference if you spotted the problems and asked for help. In some cases, it may never happen and this is when you’re left with a shattered family, unforeseeable future or incurable mental disorder that feeds on your soul. And this is exactly why I made this film, to shed light on the consequences of Domestic abuse.

I remember reading a sentence by Nietzsche saying “When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you” that sentence spoke to me, while I was in the pre-production phase.

Conveying as much as possible the dark side of human nature, that we don’t wanna believe it exists. It's about the consequences of human beings actions, a devastating glimpse of the unknown. A short journey where I am taking the audience inside the story with its endless possibilities and scenarios. As the movie is meant to evoke feelings whether it is aggressive emotions or ones of empathy and uncertainty, it's the realness of human nature that I am after with all its possibilities.