Home > Reviews > Shorts > I Am An Island, dir. by Damian Draven

I Am An Island, dir. by Damian Draven

Friday 7 May 2021, by Abla Kandalaft

Johnny drives home late one evening to spend time with his wife. He runs her a bath and goes to the kitchen to pour them both a glass of wine. We hear the disembodied voice of the wife shouting from the bathroom about a call from a producer whilst Johnny’s mobile is being constantly called by a woman driving and begging to speak to him. Thus begins the film’s opening sequence before things start to get confusing...

Damian Draven is a production designer and director, beginning his career on Ripper Street. I Am An Island is his third film as a director and another example of Draven’s keen eye for moody shots and eerie cinematography. The carefully constructed montage accompanied by composer Eimar MacCarick’s haunting score allows the tension to build and makes for very unsettling yet enthralling viewing. Lead actor Jonathan French’s very convincing turn as Johnny further cements his ability to pull off distressed and on the edge; he is excellent in Damian McCarthy’s Caveat on which Damian Draven was production designer.


Beyond the cinematography and the performances, the film is a powerful depiction of the post-traumatic stress that comes with the suicide of a loved one. It is sadly based on a true story and highlights the excruciating impact on those left behind.


I Am An Island is a powerful and moving short, carried by truthful performances and establishes Damian Draven as a filmmaker to watch. I’m certainly keen to see where he takes his skills in design and his knack for building tense and dark atmospheres.

Follow Damian on Twitter @Damian_Draven and Instagram @damian_draven and check the his Facebook page for updates.

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