UK filmmaker Simi Abe is passionate for stories about identity, love and loss. Abe is especially interested in the stories behind black lives, and specifically black women. Black Fish is about a mother's emotional response to her son's death. We follow her in a denial-like attempt to resurrect her son's identity through imagined pictures. The film was commissioned by the BBC and Arts Council England as part of the BBC New Creatives scheme.
Abe << I wrote Black Fish in 2018, it initially came about as screenwriting practice. I studied Creative Writing at university and took a module on screenwriting. That’s when I realised screenwriting was something I enjoyed and was good at. Encouraged, I wrote a script in my own spare time. That script was Black Fish.
In early 2019 I came across the application for the BBC New Creative scheme on Facebook. I applied on a whim and fortunately, I was one of the successful applicants. That’s how I got the chance to bring this film to life.
Parts of the film changed during development – I’d written some pretty tricky and expensive special effects which weren’t feasible for the time and budget. However, the heart of the story was never lost. This short film has always been about a mother losing her son and the heartbreak of seeing who he could have been if he’d lived long enough.
I decided to tell this particular story because I wanted to challenge myself to explore a familiar theme in a way that felt new. Since completing this short film, I’ve gotten a lot of new exciting ideas that expand on the concept. The goal is to turn this story into a feature someday, special effects and all. >>