In his dramatic short Seagulls, director Martin Smith explores the superficial yet insurmountable cultural bonds which prevent a newly arrived young showman from finding a place amongst his local peers. Ahead of Seagulls’ world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival – where it will screen on the 10th, 12th, 13th & 14th February – we sat down with Martin to discuss the importance of authenticity to his process and why a watery jump could have spelt the end of his directing career.
When a young showman visits a new town he struggles to fit in. Seagulls follows Ryan as he attempts to bond with a group of local boys. The film explores the subtle differences in the lives of these teenage boys and how cultural bonds are deeply ingrained and are never far from the surface.
What really drew me to working with non-actors, particularly with young people, was that the authenticity comes from who they are.