Private Project

Duck Daze

Community outcast Johnina (Daniela Nardini) makes a disquieting return to her homeland on the Isle of Lewis, to attend the funeral of her father. When she steps back into her childhood home, Johnina is reunited with her estranged mother (Dolina MacLennan), reigniting a tense relationship in which neither woman chooses to speak the other’s language.

As Johnina slides back into her past, a dark and buried trauma begins to resurface and in order to acknowledge and confront it, Johnina shapes her trauma into the form of a quaking, flapping duck.

Johnina’s unexpected presence in the tightly knit island community is punctuated by whispers and uneasy glances. A film spoken in English and Scottish Gaelic, Duck Daze is a dark tale from the bleak and beautiful peat lands, in which community and congregation are intertwined in their strength, and also their complicity.

  • Alison Piper
    Free Period
  • Julia Taudevin
  • James Heath
    The Fitzroy, Biopunk
  • Tom Gentle
    In the Fall
  • Daniela Nardini
    Key Cast
    "Johnina "
    This Life, Sunshine on Leith
  • Dolina MacLennan
    Key Cast
    The Queen, Still Game
  • Anna Hepburn
    Key Cast
    "Miss Dickenson"
    Dear Frankie, Still Game
  • Tam Dean Burn
    Key Cast
    Outlaw King, Local Hero
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    21,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Scottish Gaelic
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival

    June 30, 2019
    Local Premiere
  • Underwire Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 20, 2019
    Best Screenwriter
  • London Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 4, 2019
Director Biography - Alison Piper

Alison Piper is a Glasgow based director, drawn to bold stories of activism and social change, particularly stories inspired by women.
After graduating from the Northern Film School in 2009 with a BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production, Alison’s career began with a fine-art filmmaking practice, she often collaborated with artist Rachel McBrinn and their film Installation ‘A Lower Volume’was exhibited as part of the 2015 Aesthetica Art Prize. Alison’s first narrative film ‘Stalactites’, starring Kate Dickie, premiered at the Glasgow Short Film Festival in 2015.
Alison’s second short film Free Period, a ‘Glaswegian stand-off between a schoolgirl and a tampon machine’, was acquisitioned by BBC iPlayer in February 2019 as part of the ‘Next Big Thing’ programme and will be broadcast as part of Series 2 this Spring. Free Period first screened in the Scottish Parliament at the launch of MSP Monica Lennon's members' bill to end period poverty in 2016. Since then, Free Period has been touring UK and international film festivals, winning the XX Award for best female representation at Underwire Film Festival 2017, where the film was also nominated for the Screenwriting award. Other awards for Free Period include 'Best Short Film' at Crystal Palace International Film Festival and 'Best Actress in a Short Film' for Jasmin Riggins at the 2018 Socially Relevant Film Festival, New York.
Alison’s latest short film Duck Daze is a bold story about a Hebridean woman who gets revenge on her childhood abuser, with the help of a duck. Written by award-winning playwright Julia Taudevin, Duck Daze stars BAFTA winner Daniela Nardini alongside the legendary Gaelic actor and performer Dolina MacLennan. Duck Daze was funded by BFI NET.WORK and developed as part of the Scottish Film Talent Network’s New Talent Scheme; the film will premiere at the 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Alison’s work as a director is benefitted by her career as an Assistant Director. Her full-time credits include Sunshine On Leith, Outlander, T2 Trainspotting, and Outlaw King.
Alison is continually inspired by Scotland’s rich history of activism. She uses Free Period as a tool to campaign for free access to sanitary care and she understands cinema as a platform to inspire social change. To this end, as she works towards her first feature film, Alison’s research is focused toward issues of land ownership and the history of land reform in Scotland.

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