Limbo - IFFAM - 5th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

United Kingdom | 2020 | 103’ | Colour | English, Arabic | English subtitle | Group: B
Director: Ben Sharrock

2020/12/08 11:00

* Only available to Hong Kong and Macao area
* Please note that this film is complimentary and it is subjected to availability.
* 24 hours time window,12 hours playback window


Programmer’s Note

Limbo is supposedly a painful place, a part of the underworld consigned to oblivion. That’s partly true in Ben Sharrock’s follow-up to Pikadero: not much does happen, but this story, set amongst the eternally-waiting immigrants on a bleak Scottish island purgatory, isn’t easily forgotten. Endless days roll by with only chickens for company as Sharrock hones in on four refugees waiting for rulings on their asylum claims. They’re forced into awkward ‘cultural awareness classes’, but the locals clearly aren’t impressed. Yet time spent here, for the viewer at least, is rewarding: watching the small nuances of the performances, particularly from Amir El-Masry, smiling at the skewed humour which can only come from a place of sorrow, makes the time fly by. Sharrock takes a perspective here which is reminiscent of Kaurismaki at his sharpest and marks himself out with his second film as a talent to watch.



Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request. Due to the plaster-cast on his arm, he cannot play his oud and instead wanders the epic landscapes searching for answers to a complex past and daunting future. He may be stuck, but he is not alone. Omar and his new flatmates attend outrageously misjudged cultural awareness classes and binge the Friends boxset, debating whether Ross and Rachel were on a break or not. Meanwhile Freddie Mercury-obsessed Farhad tries to convince Omar to participate in the local open mic night.


Ben Sharrock

Ben Sharrock studied filmmaking at the Screen Academy Scotland and directed his first short film, Closure, in 2011. This was followed by Lost Serenity (2012), his graduation work The Zealot (2012) and Patata Tortilla (2015), which earned him the Best Drama and Best Writer accolades at the BAFTA New Talent Awards. His first feature film, Pikadero (2015), premiered in New Directors at San Sebastian Festival and landed, among others, the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival, the FIPRESCI prize at Kiev Festival, and the Cineuropa in Brussels. Limbo was part of the official selection for Cannes 2020, cancelled due to covid-19.

Cast & Crew

Director Ben Sharrock

Scriptwriter(s) Ben Sharrock

Producer(s) Irune Gurtubai, Angus Lamont

Cinematographer Nick Cooke

Production Designer Andy Drummond

Editor Karel Dolak, Lucia Zucchetti

Music Hutch Demouilpied

Costumes Designer Holly Rebecca

Cast Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Sidse Babett Knudsen,
Ola Orebiyi, Kwabena Ansah

Production Companies Caravan Cinema Limited


World Sales Protagonist Pictures Ltd

World Panorama