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The Closer We Get

Official Trailer

2008 - 2016

A feature documentary directed by Karen Guthrie, produced by Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope, shot by Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope. Additional cinematography by Kate Reid and edited by Alice Powell. Sound design by Doug Haywood and score by Malcolm Middleton. Graphics by Koby Barhad. Distribution Producers Ged Fitzsimmons & Sally Hodgson.

Awarded Best International Feature at HotDOCS 2015 in Canada, Best UK Documentary at Open City 2015 (London), Best Feature Documentary at Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2015 and the Women Filmmakers Award at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival 2016.
Other festival screenings include Guth Gafa & Galway Film Fleadh (Ireland), Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland), Taiwan's Women Make Waves, Krakow Film Festival (Poland), iDocs (China), ZagrebDox (Croatia) & Chicago International Film Festival.

This bittersweet film goes under the skin of an astonishing story of broken dreams, loyalty and - perhaps - redemption, told by reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen. We witness the 50-year relationship of her parents - Ann and Ian - from glimpses of family archive to their present intimacy, unexpectedly-renewed in old age and shared with Karen on camera. The wisdom and wit of Karen's mother Ann, severely physically disabled, floors our expectations and shows us a mischievous and powerful figure still at the helm of her life and of this film.

Just weeks before Ann's near-fatal stroke in 2008, Karen had made a pact with her to make a film together. Despite being in Ann's words, "rivetingly normal" , they both knew their family story was anything but that. It's just that its protagonist - Karen's father, the endearing yet unfathomable Ian - isn't much of a talker, so they were going to have to do the detective work themselves.

Shelved in the fallout of Ann's illness, this film is reborn, when - apart for the many years since Ann had discovered his 'other' son Campbell, born in Africa in 1988 and now living nearby in Scotland - Ian moves back in under her roof as one of her carers, under the watchful eye of Karen and her camera.

Developed with support from the Scottish Documentary Institute, MEDIA / Sources2, Arts Council & Creative Scotland.
Very special thanks to the 333 Backers who contributed post-production funding via our Indiegogo campaign

DVD released Sept. 5 & VOD Aug. 31 2016

Photo: Nina Pope