Emily, ilaw ng tahanan

"I live inside a box, but one day I will live outside the box."
Most people keep their trauma locked up inside
but for Emily, opening her "box of trauma" and confronting a painful past is the only chance to break free.
The documentary takes place entirely within a red box.

  • Anna Prokou
    Director
  • Anna Prokou
    Producer
  • Prum Mesa
    DOP
    Graves Without a Name , The Missing Picture , Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell, Paper Cannot Wrap Ember , Gibier d'élevage ,Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell ,Paper Cannot Wrap Ember, The Burnt Theatre , The People of Angkor , 2003 S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
  • Severin Favriau
    Sound Desinger
    Raw , On Tour , A Bluebird in my Heart ,La belle époque ,Black Tide ,150 Milligrams
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 15, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    Qatar
  • Country of Filming:
    Qatar
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Canon c300 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • CANNES COURT MÉTRAGE FESTIVAL DE CANNES
    Cannes
    France
    July 6, 2021
    Official Selection
  • DOC LA. Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    November 11, 2020
    AWARD: “Best Mid Length Documentary Award”
  • European Cinematography AWARDS (ECA)
    AMSTERDAM
    Netherlands
    March 16, 2021
    AWARD: Best Director
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival
    Houston
    United States
    April 22, 2021
    REMI AWARD
  • Asian Cinematography AWARDS (ACA)
    Manila
    Philippines
    September 8, 2021
    AWARD:Best ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Short Film
  • Video Art and Experimental Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    November 19, 2021
    Honorable Mention
  • Rochester International Film Festival
    Rochester
    United States
    May 6, 2021
    Honorable Mention
  • Brussels Independent Film Festival
    Brussels
    Belgium
    February 7, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival
    Ghent
    Belgium
    April 19, 2021
    Official Selection
  • New York City Independent Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    June 6, 2021
    Official Selection
  • New Jersey International Film Festival
    New Jersey
    United States
    June 4, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Athens International Film and Video Festival Athens International Film and Video Festival
    Athens, Ohio
    United States
    October 15, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    May 30, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Golden Ger International Film Festival
    Ulaanbaatar
    Mongolia
    June 18, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Jade Jaguar Cinema Festival
    Salvador
    Brazil
    Official Selection
  • Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival
    Yerevan
    Armenia
    October 3, 2021
    Official Selection
  • FIDBA, International Documentary Film Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina. FIDBA, International Documentary Film Festival
    Bueno Aires
    Argentina
    December 2, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Portland Film Festival
    Portland
    United States
    October 10, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Cyprus International Film Festival "Golden Aphrodite"
    Nicosia
    Cyprus
    November 11, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Anna Prokou

Anna Prokou is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and film/video editor from Greece who is currently based in Qatar.
She studied film directing at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University from which she earned her Bachelor’s degree with distinction.

Anna has also obtained diplomas in film/video editing, sound engineering and music technology in Greece.

In addition to her film experience, she has a strong background in music studies and has earned several degrees including in piano, fugue, counterpoint and harmony.

Since 2003, Anna has edited more than 65 documentaries for independent production companies and private channels, as well as the national Greek Public Television and the Al Jazeera Media Network, including many that have won multiple awards at major international film festivals.

For the past six years, she has been working as a video editor
at Al Jazeera while also creating her own documentaries.
Her previous documentaries are "Tasawwuf Inspiration" 2015 and "Dukes on the Ropes" 2018.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"Emily, ilaw ng tahanan" is based on an interview with a Doha based Filipina singer who narrates her real life story.
The documentary was unscripted, allowing Emily freedom to express herself in her own words.
Having built a strong personal relationship with her, Emily was willing to open up about her personal life, seemingly seeking to find a way to externalize everything that she was keeping deep inside her – a kind of catharsis.
It was during one of our many conversations when she confided that, "I live inside a box, but one day I will live outside the box."

I instantly thought of the ancient Greek myth of Pandora’s Box and decided to shoot a documentary inside a box painted red
- to match the strength of Emily’s personality - and filled with various props that would symbolize her life journey.

The choice of the square frame and the close-up of the interview mirrors the theme of entrapment, consciously reducing the space between Emily and the viewer in order to create an emotional bond between them.
By unrolling balls of thread - referencing another ancient myth, Ariadne’s Thread - Emily tries to find the end of the string that would help her find a way out.

I made this documentary with the aim of understanding our inner strength; to discover what it means to break free from the shackles of the past and move forward by unsealing and delving deep into the "box" that carries everything we keep well-hidden within us.