Night for Day

Night for Day sets out with a fake mother-son relationship between three real people living in contemporary Lisbon. The ‘mother’ is Isabel do Carmo, who co-ran the Revolutionary Brigades in Portugal that helped to overthrow the longest fascist dictatorship in Europe, and the ‘sons’ are two young men, Alexander Bridi and Djelal Osman–astrophysicists running a start-up in Lisbon that attempts to programme computers to recognise moving images. The film collages a subjectivity from fragments of cameras struggling to see at night, of presences out in the cold watching families inside their homes, and images that attempt to describe a loved one in frequencies of three. Their imaginary house is the real family home of the architect António Teixeira Guerra, finished just before 1974, designed in the shape of a triangle and shot at the time he always chose to invite guests–the magic hour. (Emily Wardill)
by Emily Wardill
with Isabel do Carmo, Djelal Osman, Alexander Bridi, Kimberley Pearl Febich, Paula Barco, Aurora Santos, Christina Gonçalves, Carloto Cotta
Portugal / Austria 2020 English, Portuguese 47’ Colour

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Isabel do Carmo (voice, herself)
  • Djelal Osman (voice, himself)
  • Alexander Bridi (voice, himself)
  • Kimberley Pearl Febich (woman on the beach 1)
  • Paula Barco (woman on the beach 2)
  • Aurora Santos (woman on the beach 3)
  • Christina Gonçalves (woman on the beach 4)
  • Carloto Cotta (man at home)


Written and Directed by Emily Wardill
Cinematography Emanuel Garcia, José Marques, Emily Wardill
Editing Emily Wardill, Francisco Moreira
Music The Louis Moholo Octet, Dominic Fitzgerald, Emily Wardill
Sound Design Dominic Fitzgerald
Commissioned by Vienna Secession
Producers Anže Peršin Stenar Projects, Emily Wardill

Produced by

Stenar Projects

Emily Wardill

Emily Wardill, born 1977 in the United Kingdom, lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal and Malmo, Sweden. Her films, photographs and objects probe the complexity of perception and communication, the question of how reality appears authentic to us, and the displacements of substance and form effected by the individual nature of the imagination. The films that she started making in the mid-2000s are typically defined by a narrative framework, but the plots as such tend to be secondary. The focus is on other aspects: the mechanics of storytelling, the relationship of imaginary space to language and the interplay between gesture and word. Wardill’s work has been exhibited in museums, art spaces and biennials internationally. Currently, Wardill works as a Professor at Malmo Art Academy, Sweden and as a visiting tutor at Maumaus, School of Visual Arts, in Lisbon.


2006 Ben; 10 min. · Basking in what feels like 'An Ocean of Grace' I soon realise that I am not looking at it, but rather, I AM it, recognising myself; 8 min. · Born Winged Animals and Honey Gatherers of the Soul; 9 Min. 2007 Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck; 12 min. 2008 Sea Oak; 51 min. · The Diamond (Descartes Daughter); 10 min. 2009 Game Keepers without Game; 72 min. 2010 The Pips; 7 min. 2011 Full Firearms; 81 min. 2012 Found himself in a walled garden...; 45 min. · The Third Person; 43 min. 2013 The Palace; 7 min. 2014 When you fall into a trance; 72 min. 2016 I gave me love a cherry that had no stone; 8 min. 2017 No Trace of Accelerator; 48 min. 2019 Bi; 14 min. 2020 Night For Day

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021