A woman is alone by the sea, stuck in a cyclical dream and consumed by guilt over an unspeakable crime. As the border between reality and dream erodes, a fundamental truth suddenly becomes uncertain - is she the perpetrator of the crime or the victim?

Director: Linnéa Haviland

Dramaturgy: Rita Domonyi

Genre: Experimental, Poetic documentary

Medium: Mixed media traditional animation and live action

Format: Short, 7-10 minutes

Target Audience: Adults, 15+

Stage: In Development


'Before I Wake' is a mesmeric short that moves through the dark dreamlike space of the subconscious as a way to find closure. The film is based on a personal story and explored feelings arising from being gaslighted in an abusive relationship. Almost all of us have at some point questioned the validity of our perceptions and thoughts. But what happens when this is used as a form of manipulation, and you lose the ability to trust your memories and experiences? The film delves into the subconscious at a time of being trapped within someone else’s reality, endlessly repeating the other’s viewpoint in an attempt to find resolution.  It acts as a window: at once a reflection on, and a representation of, the emotional landscape during trauma.

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