Skip to main content

Attend a special screening of Geographies of Solitude with director and alumna Jacquelyn Mills

NOV. 10: Join the filmmaker for a discussion about the award-winning documentary after the film
October 24, 2023

A former film production student at Concordia, Jacquelyn Mills BFA 08, is the creative force behind the documentary Geographies of Solitude. Delving into the unique ecosystem of Sable Island, the film showcases the extensive knowledge of naturalist and environmentalist Zoe Lucas, who has made Sable Island her home for over four decades.

This 1km wide island is a remote strip of sand situated 161 kms off the coast of Nova Scotia, and serves as a stunning backdrop for Mills cinematic exploration.

Geographies of Solitude has strong ties to Concordia, as several alumni contributed to its success. Mills emphasizes meeting key collaborators on her first day at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in 2005. Notable contributors include Andreas Mendrtizki (BFA 08) the co-sound designer, and Aonan Yang (BFA 08) the executive producer.

This film has earned worldwide recognition, with 28 international awards, including three awards from the Berlinale, Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs, a critic's pick from The New York Times, a nomination for an IDA award, and a Canadian Screen Award.

The unusual island scenery is the most striking element of the film, but it also features innovative and eco-friendly filmmaking techniques, reflecting Mills’ commitment to sustainability and a respectful connection with the filming location. On the island Mills was mostly a one-person team shooting on 16mm film:

“The physical demands of traversing the island by foot with the weight of the heavy film gear is worth noting. I filmed in conditions of blowing sands and snow, in fierce winds, in fog and rain. I only had enough film to capture 10 minutes a day. In that way, I was able to fully experience the realities of the island before filming, which were so rich they paled any physical challenges I encountered.”

The film’s soundtrack also contains music generated by the island's bugs and plants, through the use of electrodes, for an even-more immersive experience.

As noted by The New York Times, Geographies of Solitude stands as “an informative exploration of ecology and a testament to dedicated, single-minded artistic pursuit”.

The screening takes place November 10 at 7 p.m. in Concordia’s J.A DeSève Cinema (LB 125). After the screening, there will be a discussion with Mills who fulfilled the roles of both cinematographer and editor.

Learn more about the film production program at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.


Back to top

© Concordia University