Using the practices of birdwatching and nature observation as a gateway, we unravel the story of Joan McNaughton, a woman whose passion for the natural world was born from a dark and tumultuous history with alcohol addiction.
AWARDS AND SCREENINGS
HARRIER premiered at Glasgow Short Film Festival 2022, where it was shortlisted for the Young Scottish Filmmaker Prize. It won the St. Andrew's Film Festival Sara Gomez award for Best Documentary Film, was the recipient of Plymouth Nature Film Festival's Innovative Thinker Award, won Doc.London 2023's award for Best Documentary Film (UK), and Europe Film Festival's Best Documentary Short Award.
The film has also screened at Encounters Film Festival, Wildscreen Festival, Andaras Traveling Film Festival, Kendal Mountain Festival and London Mountain Festival.
To watch the film in full, please get in touch via the contact box.
"Ciara Flint’s Harrier beautifully blends a wildlife documentary and a story of human nature together. Set across Scotland, we follow various animals navigating stunning hilly landscapes, colourful woodland areas and rocky cliffs. Opening in the dead of night, there is a palpable tension akin to horror, furthered by a jarring offscreen scream by an unknown creature. Yet, the next scene is shot in tranquil daytime with peaceful commentary on grazing birds, a juxtaposition that sets the precedent for a mixture of tone. Our narrator is Joan McNaughton, an avid birdwatcher who shares her talent for nature photography with us throughout the short film. She is also a rehabilitated alcoholic, her pictures sometimes the only proof of a holiday due to frequent blackouts. Recounting anecdotes of drunken mishaps that concerningly ramp up, McNaughton paints a candid picture of the struggles she has battled with on a daily basis. Raw emotion radiates through her calm voice as she honestly details the admirable journey to recovery. When paired alongside deer butting heads against each other, McNaughton's narrative feels superimposed onto our exploration through the moors. In the same fashion, Harrier adds new meaning to the healing power of nature."