Saved events

Inner States: Lockdown States (PG*) a programme of shorts

Cinema On Demand

a woman eating an apple looks into her fridge and sees some probiotic yogurts

Taking some liberties with the idea of ‘inner states’, we curated an extraordinary set of Covid-induced lockdown short films, made over the course of the pandemic.

For filmmakers, Shahzaib Naik & S M Seraj Ali, the pandemic lockdown pales in comparison to the military crackdown they’ve experienced in Kashmir since August 2019. While for documentarist, Brett Story, the most unexpected aspect of this time is how it has prompted people to internalise official and medical restrictions to the point of policing others’ behaviour. 

Carol Mansour, in Beirut, reveals both sides of the pandemic lockdown, with its liberating and its devastating effects. Student, Taylor-Alexis Gillard, emphasises the absurdly humorous aspects of the mind-numbing isolation produced by lockdown. 

Join us at 8pm on Mon 21 Sep for a virtual ScreenTalk, with Lockdown States directors Brett Story, Shahzaib Naik & S M Seraj Ali, and Carol Mansour hosted by season co-curator and Barbican Head of Cinema, Gali Gold.

Programme running time: approximately 45 min

Four of our short films are exceptional shorts from the Canadian film project ‘Greetings from Isolation’. 
Created by Canadian veteran film programmer Stacey Donen in the hopes of finding inspiration and enlightenment from our shared human experience of isolation under COVID-19, Greetings from Isolation has invited a broad range of Canadian filmmakers to participate in a capsule collection film project. 

The b&w logo for the BFI Film Audience Network
Supported by the Mayor of London


Hand holding a photograph

ScreenTalk Live: Lockdown States

Join us on Monday 21 September at 8pm for a live ScreenTalk, with Lockdown States directors Brett Story, Shahzaib Naik & S M Seraj Ali, and Carol Mansour hosted by season co-curator and Barbican Head of Cinema, Gali Gold.


A Season in My Paradise
From Kashmiri filmmaker, Shahzaib Naik &  Indian filmmaker, S M Seraj Ali, this is a haunting and imaginative video essay that asks young people living under lockdown in New Delhi to imagine an alternative version of lockdown currently experienced by those living under harsh military occupation in Kashmir.
India 2020 Shahzaib Naik & S M Seraj Ali 12 min

COVID-eo Diary
My Father
Lebanese filmmaker, Carol Mansour, firstly explores the strangely liberating aspects of this unique moment—the traffic-free streets, the time to reflect, the freedom to go braless. Then she records what has been so devastating in this same period, losing a loved one, in this case Mansour’s father, as he dies alone in a care home. 
Lebanon 2020 Carol Mansour 6 min & 5 min

It’s Fine
One young woman’s experience of lockdown in New York City, expressed with absurdist humour and exceptional timing.
US 2020 Taylor-Alexis Gillard 4 min

Greetings from Isolation
A collection of films curated by Canadian film programmer Stacey Donen. In the hopes of finding inspiration from our shared human experience of isolation under COVID-19, Greetings from Isolation has invited a broad range of Canadian filmmakers to participate in a capsule collection film project:

In This Moment 
There’s nothing like a pandemic to get great artists to reflect on fleetingness of life and the passing of time. As the ground beneath our feet dropped away, filmmaker Yuqi Kang managed to capture that sinking feeling.
Canada 2020 Yuqi Kang 4min
An exquisite cine-poem that takes us into the interior dialogue of a beautiful mind, and out into the world of painful oxymorons created or exacerbated by Covid.
Canada 2020 Laura Bari 7min

Are you prepared for the coming apocalypse? Do you have your safety bundle? If the pandemic is a dress rehearsal, are you ready for the real thing?
Canada 2020 JL Whitecrow 4min

The Cop in Our Heads and the Cop in Our Hearts 
‘Don’t walk so close’, ‘sneeze into your elbow, please’, ‘keep to your side of the pavement’. How many of us haven’t had the urge to police our neighbours’ perceived Covid-infringements? This film explores how many of us turned into self-monitoring cops before we even realised what was happening. 
Canada 2020 Brett Story 4min


How to watch

1.    Choose the film you want to watch.
2.    Add to basket and proceed to checkout.

3.    If you already have an account, you can log in during the purchase. If not, create an account as you buy. 

4.    Once your selection has gone through, you can click on the button to click to ‘Watch your films', or click on the link in your email, or go to your account.
5.    Start watching your video. From purchase, you have 48 hours to start and finish watching the film. Enjoy! 

If you have any issues, please contact our Box Office team via [email protected] between 9.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.