Not quite ashore – the in-between world of a cargo-ship rest stop
Due to visa restrictions and short turnarounds, many crews of international cargo ships stay in port after docking. Their brief stints ashore are frequently spent in seafarers’ centres, where they can unwind and connect with families who are often oceans away, before climbing back aboard and shipping out. In her observational short documentary Seafarers, the UK director Eleanor Mortimer spends a shore leave with a cargo-ship crew at the Felixstowe Seafarer’ Centre – a small and sparse space, equipped with just a few amenities, including a piano, a pool table, WiFi access and a souvenir shop. Providing a small window into this largely unseen world where cargo-ship crews experience countries in strange, truncated increments, Mortimer’s film is also a subtle reflection on international trade and borders in an age of rising nationalist tides.
Director: Eleanor Mortimer
Producers: Matt Diegen, Georgia Rose