Ajyal Film Festival 2023

All Films

On The Surface

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2022

Fan Sissoko / Short Narrative / Iceland, United States of America, Mali / 2021 / 5 min / Colour / In English / Arabic subtitles
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.


‘On the Surface' is a short contemplative animation about a young Black woman who goes swimming in the Icelandic Sea. There, she reflects on her experience of raising a child in a country that feels nothing like home. She relives her traumatic pregnancy and postnatal depression as she enters the freezing water. Facing her fears, she begins to relax in the deep wild abyss—helping her to heal on her emotional journey.

About the Director

Fan Sissoko is a French-Malian artist and filmmaker based in Reykjavik, with a background in design for social change. Her work explores themes of migration, motherhood, otherhood and neurodiversity. Notable commissions include work for the Migration Museum, the Museum of London, the Science Gallery Dublin, and the National Trust. Her animated short film 'On the Surface' was awarded a grant from Art with Impact, screened at festivals around the world, including Clermont Ferrand ISFF (France), and won the Heartwired Award at Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Festival (US).


Fan Sissoko
Fan Sissoko
Fan Sissoko, Art with Impact
Fan Sissoko
Production Company
Art With Impact
Arnar Guðjonsson
Tariqh Akoni, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir
Sudu Connexion
Enid Mbabazi

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