sea / film : 005

Shifting Sands

Sea / Film undertook a project 'Shifting Sands' funded by Film Hub North. A micro-festival of untold stories - unheard voices; And archive film. This project used archive, documentary, shorts and artist moving image, to think about the changing face of the Yorkshire Coast and Scarborough in terms of both its human and natural geography. 

It took the form of Three Volumes: 

Volume 1: 1st December 2019: Documentary Takeover: Two environmental documentaries The Great Flood (3.30pm) and Honeyland (6.30pm) with guest panels at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Volume 2: Nov 2019- Dec 2019: We gathered your stories and images of experiences of living in around Scarborough and how it has changed for a zine and online resources. 

Volume 3Early Jan 2020 : Immersive Archive screening in Scarborough Market Vaults, with contents from Yorkshire Film Archive.

Volume 1: 1/12/19: Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Our first event as part of shifting sands was a great success we hosted a double bill of documentaries at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. 

 The films were Bill Morrison's 'The Great Flood' followed by Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska's 'Honeyland.' Issues of flooding, migration, archive, subsistence and biodiversity were all explored.


The films were both followed by Q and A's made up of local experts to contextualise local and global environmental issues.

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Q and A after 'The Flood' screening

Volume 2: Nov - Jan 2020: Story Gathering/ Community Zine

As the second part of the the project we produced a community zine. This was made up of photographs, poetry, artwork and personal histories of people who live in or visit the North Yorkshire Coast.

We really want our audiences to be a key part of our events and programmes and this project put them at the heart of the project and spread the idea of 'archive' and 'heritage' beyond the traditional holders of archive to the people in the community. 

Volume 3: Friday 17th Jan 2020: Immersive Archive Film Event

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When: Friday 17th January, 7pm

Where: Market Hall Vaults, Scarborough


The culmination of our project Shifting Sands, saw a might of immersive moving image and live performance in the Market Hall Vaults Scarborough.

There were four rooms dedicated to installation, one was a commission from the Yorkshire Film Archive around costal erosion, accompanied by a number of other of their films depicting Scarborough. Another room focused on two films by Esther Johnson ‘Hinterland’ and ‘Retreating the Line’ that are 15 years apart and depicting the eroding coastline of North Yorkshire. The third installation was a collaboration with Martha Cattell and sound artist, Jonah Hebron/cacero lazo ‘A mild and equable climate’ exploring the future of Scarborough and lastly a sound installation by Jayne Dent/melostme ‘The Waves Like Braids, Unravelling’ which was a response to works found in the women artists of the north east library. We also had small stands dedicated to the work Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre, and also a sound recording stations with recordings from the talks from the first events and peoples voices recorded whilst filming ‘a mild and equable climate.’ The whole of the space was candle lit and dressed with props such as model seagulls, netting and lobster nets created by artist Nina Hughes, a bar was also open for refreshments. Audience members had 45 mins to walk around the installations before the performance started, this was made up of two readings from the zine, a talk by Esther Johnson about her films and then a 30min set by Jayne Dent/melostme accompanied by ‘Retreating the Line’ and two films from the Yorkshire Film Archive. 


About Esther Johnson: 


About Yorkshire Film Archive:


About Scarborough Maritime Centre: 

about melostme: