Dwell - A short film single-handedly shot entirely in lockdown

A dialogue-less short film shot entirely in (the original) lockdown - a one-person crew, and one-mother cast. A unique experiment featuring the director's poor mum, who’s never acted, and a very, very unlikely hero…

A woman lives “alone” during a global emergency. Something terrible is happening outside but she carries on, safe; just her and the house. Everything is fine.
Until one day, the outside gets in.

  • Sandeep Gill
  • Sandeep Gill
  • Kulwant Gill
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 16, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    83 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    No Dialogue
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sandeep Gill

Sandeep Gill is a commercial and narrative film director, who also has an MSc in Infection & Immunity and a BSc in Immunology. Based in London/Birmingham and New York, his eclectic background means he has access to creative threads that are truly distinct. These are deftly realised in the diverse tapestry of his commercial work: idiosyncratic advertising work, haute couture fashion films, and tech startup product launches. His unique background coupled with his experience in advertising and fashion has allowed him to work for prestigious global brands such as Hermes, Vogue Italia, and IKEA.

His narrative work currently consists of a unique short film written and shot entirely in lockdown, Dwell (2021), and several theatrical hybrid film/live action productions including an epic theatrical adaptation of Tarsem Singh's 2006 classic, The Fall.

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Director Statement

A unique film, made in a way that perhaps no other film has, this is a product of our current times of madness. I wrote and single-handedly shot this entire narrative short film during the first lockdown. All set in my house (because lockdown), starring only my mum (because lockdown), with no crew (you see what’s happening here?), no actual actors, and essentially no budget.

It was inspired by, not only the unprecedented situation that we all collectively find ourselves in, but also an individual unprecedented event in my life; my dad’s recent, and very sudden, passing away. The process of grief is a strange and trying one, but one thing I hadn't anticipated was the fact that our home would change. Fundamentally but at the same time, almost imperceptibly. This place, that holds within it's walls, so many memories, emotions, lives, had been forever changed by the loss. And so I wanted to create, not only something to honour him, but something that reflected the fact that a home, each and every one, has a spirit. And that spirit changes as we do. In the case of Dwell, literally.

The pandemic meant that I had to write and shoot this project in a way I'd never even considered before. Under a strict lockdown in the UK (March 2020) I began to establish how I could possibly shoot an entire short film with such severe constraints. I shot it with no budget, on an eight year old camera (the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera), with the two lights I own, and edited on an eight year old Macbook Air.
The result is a film that is not only incredibly personal, featuring my family and my home, but also one that could only be made during a time of great global strife.
Something of vast potential beauty, to come out of something so, so dark.