In the exotic world of cinema, some like to create another world that couldn’t be more remote from what we humans are familiar with. Randomly speaking, this can be a world where it is fine for parents to transform into pigs and for little girls to work for faceless divinities that eat their employees to calm their nerves – yes, the trauma caused by Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away on eight year-old me WAS great. Others, like Daniel Nickson, prefer to focus on the everyday. In Foxes in the Underground , his very impressive graduation film for the University of Westminster, he depicts the coming together of entirely different men to save their jobs at a British news broadcasting station. With this short film, Nickson surpassed academic expectations and reached international recognition as he was nominated for a number of foreign festivals like the Cannes Court Métrage or the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Today, Nickson is studying in Columbia University Film School but his life in the Big Apple does not keep him from staying true to his mother-country. He was born in Manchester, studied in Westminster and now claims that he is working from both New York and from London. Focusing on masculinity and ordinary episodes from the everyday lives of the British people is central to his work. He is successful in rendering his stories touching without over-dramatizing them. From Shadowboxer, the story of a father pressuring his son into being a boxer, toThe File, which portrays the absolute alienation of an employee because of his bureaucratic job, Daniel Nickson impresses by his technical skills and by the maturity of the themes he develops. There is almost a James Joycan spirit to his short films as they highlight the tragedy of the protagonists’ lives like Joyce did with his Dubliners. Fine with me, as long as Nickson doesn’t start getting his inspiration from Ulysses.
His next project, Ferry, is a short film about migration and trafficking in Eastern Europe, that he is making in collaboration with Reka Posta and that should be released by May 2014. It focuses on how car trafficking is changing the lives of migrants in Hungary, and was funded entirely by donations. To find out more about this project or to donate, you can visit the project’s fiscal sponsor’s website. To be kept updated of Daniel Nickson’s latest news, you can also visit Brainwash , a cultural blog that he co-directs and that organizes film events every month. Or follow him on Twitter. Or visit his official website. Your call!