On The Cusp, Longlist - Personal Project, Short Film - Fiction
Shortlist - Personal Project


Riffy Ahmed

Khameleon Productions

A reinterpretation of Euripides’ original play, Medea: After escaping her homeland and now abandoned by the man she loves, Medea must find strength from within to fight against growing injustice - how far is she willing to go? As a director I was very intrigued to take on the challenge of telling a reinterpretation of a classic story like Medea by Euripides from a BIPOC gaze, working closely with Francesca Amewudah-Rivers (who adapted the script/monologue) and Shivaike Shah, Producer and founder of Khameleon Productions. The story and character of Medea is often summarised as an anti-hero who committed heinous acts in the name of revenge but upon researching about her story further, realised how deeply layered her story was, especially in terms of being a migrant who moved for the man she loved (Jason), making sacrifices to build a life to only be abandoned and rejected again. As a director I love telling stories about ‘unlikely heroes’, characters who are at a turning point in their life to reveal their inner truth. It was my aim to visualise this monologue in a visual, immersive, emotional and cinematic experience whereby Medea navigates the audience through spaces revealing her story, and emotional states of mind in a modern and relatable way. The ‘house’ is a metaphor for the journey and structures migrants build; how they come to assimilate and set foundations and yet be told they don't belong and fit in. Using light and darkness in this faded grandeur space, I wanted to express dualistically both Medea and society's emotional cracks and revelations to enlightenment. Rejection and heartbreak are painful things to experience and wanted to present Medea’s inner turmoil and pain questioning their sense of belonging and roots. ‘The chorus’ surrounding her are multi-faceted in their roles in that they represent extensions of her emotions as well as commentary on society from a BIPOC experience to a transformative place. It was an absolute honour to work with the diverse cast and crew to make this piece of work which I hope people will connect, learn and see themselves in.

Riffy is a film director, writer, and visual artist based in London. Her work has been screened and exhibited in both the art and film world, with The Times, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, BFI Flare, Tribeca Arts Centre, Nour Arts Festival and the Saatchi Gallery. She has trained as a visual artist from Central Saint Martins. Riffy looks to tell stories of ‘unlikely heroes’ we don’t always see on the big screen at turning points in their lives, particularly framed around women and diaspora identities. Her work cross blends between genres through visceral forms of storytelling. She was the 2016/2017 H.Club Foundation's Emerging Creative for Film and Television, featured as one of Channel 4’s Spotlight on Directors in 2018. Riffy graduated from NFTS (National Film and Television School) Directing Fiction in 2020 with a full scholarship from Channel 4.