On land but not quite ashore: new film highlights the in-between world of seafarer centres

A new short film details the lives of crew making a brief call to a seafarers’ centre in the UK, showing viewers the in-between world of a shipping rest stop where those featured are on land but not quite ashore.

For many Seafarers, the new eight-minute documentary from British filmmaker Eleanor Mortimer, will be the first time they get to understand and appreciate how fleeting and sterile port stops can be in modern shipping.

“I travel the world but it all looks like my gangway,” comments one seafarer on the stark reality of shipping today.

Due to visa restrictions and short turnarounds, most crew these days stay in port after docking. Their brief stints ashore are frequently spent in seafarers’ centres. Mortimer spent a shore leave with a crew from a Maersk ship at the Felixstowe Seafarers’ Centre.

In the promotional text for the release it states that the film provides a small window into this largely unseen world where crews experience countries in “strange, truncated increments”. The release adds that Mortimer’s film is also a “subtle reflection on international trade and borders in an age of rising nationalist tides”.

Splash readers can watch the film for free by clicking here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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