A short film set in a German WWI submarine. Following the misjudgement of its ambitious young captain, a WWI U-boat is forced to wait for a prolonged period on the bottom of the North Sea, facing the threat of enemy torpedo ships. This will cause unprecedented physical and mental challenges for the captain and the whole crew.
Although this year marks the 100th anniversay from the end of the Great War, submarine warfare is not very often acknowledged in WW1 narratives, especially in films and literature. yet it was one of the most dangerous and deadliest battlefields. As I was reading about the German U-boats operating in the North Sea, I came to realise that it was in fact one of the most dangerous and deadly battlefields.The crew would live for weeks in small, unventilated compartments, and every dive beneath the surface would put their lives on the line. This is what inspired UB-13: I wanted to explore the human experience of being blocked in such a constrained space, with no chance to escape. It also lead me to investigate some timeless themes: what is a good leader? What should their priority be, personal success or safeguarding the group? What is the best attitude for a leader in time of danger?
UB-13 was made entirely by students at the London Film School and shot on an purposely built set in the school’s smallest stage. Inspired by the aesthetics of period photographs of German U-boats, the film is shot entirely on B&W 35mm.