Born Digital: First Cuts

Eleven innovative short films about the digital experience, commissioned by the BFI, BBC Four and BBC Arts to mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web in 2019.

As part of BFI’s Born Digital celebrations, BFI and BBC, in collaboration with Plimsoll Productions, have partnered to offer new and emerging filmmakers the opportunity to present their distinct and compelling viewpoints on what it means to be ‘born digital’. 

These exciting films tackle a range of topics relating to the connected world; exploring themes such as AI, data, privacy, isolation, community, love and more. Additionally the films offer a commentary on a range of social issues, reflecting the diversity of the UK and are a mixture of genres including drama, documentary and experimental filmmaking. 

The narratives explore the digital landscape through the eyes of both digital natives and those who experienced the pre-internet world. Filmmakers have been challenged to reflect on, respond to and capture the experience of living in a digital environment, as well as show how they have been shaped by it or even resisted it. The filmmakers have also emphasised the tools, techniques and visual grammar developed over the last 30 years of technological change.

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Binge WatchingBinge Watching

Drama20197 mins

A drama set in the near future where virtual reality allows a person to see life through the eyes of someone very different, which questions whether experiences become shared or commodified.

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Drama201912 mins

Set in the undisclosed future where developments in technology mean less personal privacy, Skin explores questions of our autonomy and essential humanness – and what it is to experience love and loss in the futuristic age.

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Ill, ActuallyIll, Actually

Documentary201912 mins

A short documentary exploring the challenges of being young and chronically ill in a carefully curated online culture. When you’re too ill for IRL, where do you turn?

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Have We Met Before?Have We Met Before?

Drama-documentary201912 mins

A short docudrama exploring the history of sex in the homosexual community from the 1970s to the present day, and how the internet has changed the way gay men meet forever.

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Drama201913 mins

In this drama about a cutting-edge gig-work app, Lena embarks on her new job as a “Roger”. Unnerved by her new role, she strives to build a relationship with her employer through unexpected means.

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Janitor of LunacyJanitor of Lunacy

Drama201912 mins

A young woman descends into a digital wormhole via her obsession with a BDSM account run by an unknown user.

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My Sweet PrinceMy Sweet Prince

Drama201912 mins

Short film about the evolution of identity and online exploration of sexuality in the early 00s, constructed from the director’s own teenage video diaries.

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Without Bounds to BeatWithout Bounds to Beat

Documentary20199 mins

Without Bounds to Beat is an experimental documentary that recounts a town’s revival of an ancient folk tradition, placing it in contrast to today’s digital technologies.

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Drama20197 mins

In search of an identity, Candy wanders through the digital landscape, leaving fragments of herself behind in this experimental short drama.

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Documentary201911 mins

A documentary on one of Scotland’s most isolated and breathtaking islands, where all 35 residents prepare for the remarkable roll-out of fibre-optic broadband.

Animation 2018

13 short films from emerging animators, commissioned through a prestigious initiative by the BFI, BBC Four, and BBC Arts.

Listen to Britain 2017

BFI and BBC's previous initiative produced 12 films inspired by Humphrey Jennings and Stewart McAllister's classic documentary.