A still from 'In(di)visible'.

Personal reflections of a pivotal moment in modern history, taken from an unwavering Parisian viewpoint, will make their way to this year’s Antenna Documentary Film Festival in the form of Ben Ferris’ In(di)visible.

Filmed through the window of the filmmaker’s studio during a three-month residency at the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris in 2017, the experimental short feature merges personal diary entries with anecdotes and dreams to make sense of a world at the time of President Trump’s inauguration.

The Australian-French co-production is produced by Ferris via Artemis Projects, alongside Marie Berriex, and Hippocampe Productions’ Jordane Oudin. Also involved are editor George-Alex Nagle and sound designer Hugh Fasher.

The writer/director told IF he had the idea for the concept while planning another film that was to be shot as part of the residency, one of four awarded annually by the University of Sydney-based Power Institute.

“This film was a kind of document about the process of being over there on the residency and having to come up with an idea,” he said.

“It ended up being a witness to the residency and almost a deconstruction of the creative process.”

Ferris is mostly heard and not seen in the film, with his visual presence restricted to only passing reflections as he discloses his thoughts and feelings in the background.

He said the title of the film refers to the relationship between an individual’s interior world and external events, such as the Trump inauguration, and how they affect each other.

“In my case, there was no doubt that the inauguration of Donald Trump sent shivers down my spine and had this big, visceral impact on me personally, in terms of where the world was heading,” he said.

“All that uncertainty and fear affects you as a person; you can’t separate yourself from those things and that’s what I ended up exploring.”

In(di)visible is Ferris’ third documentary after 57 Lawson and Great Observers.

The founder and artistic director of the Sydney Film School said it was while filming the former – a documentary-drama hybrid film that follows the tenants of a social housing block in Redfern – that he became aware of the imbalance that can sometimes exist between a documentary filmmaker and their subjects, prompting him to turn the camera on himself.

“There can be a tendency in documentaries to have this privileged position of the filmmaker going into less privileged people’s lives, and then there is this weird power dynamic that takes place and it’s not a good one,” he said.

“I wanted to make a film where I wasn’t in a privileged position of hiding and see what happens because I was awkward about that relationship from that previous film.”

Going forward, Ferris will be completing work on the five drama features he is producing with Ulysses Oliver for Breathless Films, an independent production company the pair founded last year.

In(di)visible will screen at 2:45pm on Sunday, February 6 at Palace Verona as part of the Panorama section of the 10th Antenna Documentary Film Festival, which runs February 2-13.

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