Eyes On The Ground

Cristina Picchi

Eyes On The Ground

2012, 3’22”, HD, 16:9

7 May – 18 May 2015



ITN Productions, which made the original Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields documentary, asked graduate film students to make a short film based on the original documentary.  Eyes On The Ground was selected to air on 4OD – Channel 4 On Demand – and was the most watched video in November 2012.

“Channel 4’s documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished (2012) begins with a warning: the film contains shocking images. And it really does. When asked to edit a video using the film’s footage I felt overwhelmed: everything seemed so important yet, when decontextualised from the original narrative, so horrific and unnecessarily graphic. I then decided to take a different approach. Eyes On The Ground is a simple video documenting five people watching Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields for the first time. It deals with human emotions and with the processes of acknowledgement – a disturbing but necessary process that everyone can undertake by simply watching a film, a first small step towards the possibility of some sort of justice.”

Commissioned by ITN Productions for Channel 4, courtesy of the Artist.

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

On 17 May 2009 the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam finally declared defeat in the twenty-seven year civil war in Sri Lanka.  Following the end of the war, the Sri Lankan government claimed Sri Lanka as the first country in the modern world to eradicate terrorism on its own soil.  In April 2011, the UN says both sides in the civil war committed atrocities against civilians and calls for an international investigation into possible war crimes.  The Sri Lankan government says the report is biased.  In March 2012, UN Human Rights Council adopts a resolution urging Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Government forces during the final phase of the decades-long conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.  Sri Lanka says the move usurps its sovereignty.  In March 2013, UN Human Rights Council passes highly critical resolution urging Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into alleged war crimes.  In August 2014, President Mahinda Rajapaksa says a UN team tasked with investigating allegations of war crimes during the civil war will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka.

It Never Happened

Edited from footage taken from ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished’, It Never Happened is a more direct, traditional response to the documentary and was conceived as a companion piece to be set against the more oblique approach Eyes On The Ground.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 15.08.23

2012, 4′

Commissioned by ITN Productions for Channel 4, courtesy of the Artist.

Channel 4’s comprehensive investigation of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and analysis of alleged crimes against humanity can be found here and the documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished can be viewed on 4OD here.


A portrait of a season – a journey through North Russia and Siberia, through the feelings and thoughts of the people who have to cope with one of the world’s harshest climates; a reality where the boundary between life and death is so thin that is sometimes almost non-existent, where civilization constantly both fights and embraces nature and its timeless rules and rites. In these remote places, people, animals and nature itself become elements of a millennial yet unpredictable script, in which physical and mental endurance play an important role as much as chance does, where life and death constantly embrace each other. A reflection on fate, adaptation and the immutable cycles of existence.

Zima was created within the Cinetrain project travelling from Moscow to Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway in mid-winter 2013.  Zima was exhibited in videoanale.15 (Cristina’s videonale.15 page can be found here) and is currently screening on the film festival circuit (where it has numerous awards – see below).  Consequently, we are only screening a trailer (kindly produced by Cristina specifically for Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen):



Upcoming Screenings and Exhibitions

Keep the Dream Alive! 29th – 31st of May, Metro Kinokulturhaus, Vienna, as part of VIS -Vienna Independent Shorts 2015

Impossible Landscapes (videoinstallation), Asifakeil, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, from 3rd of June 2015


Cristina Picchi is an award winning Italian filmmaker, writer and visual artist based in London.  As a director she has directed and edited the short documentaries Zima (2013), Eyes On The Ground (2012), Under Your Skin (2011) and The Disassociated (2011); her films have been screened in festivals and galleries worldwide, winning prizes in festivals such as Locarno, Clermont-Ferrand and Thessaloniki. In 2013 she was nominated for Best Short Film at the European Film Awards.  Cristina holds a degree and an MA in European Literature from the University of Pisa and and a master’s degree in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths University.  She is currently working on her first feature film.



2015 Champ des possibles (experimental documentary, CAN, about 15 minutes – currently in post production)

2013 Cinetrain: Russian Winter (RUS, 90 min.) with the episode Zima

2013 Zima (experimental documentary, 11”30”’, RUS)

2012 Eyes On the Ground (experimental documentary, UK, 3 min.)

2012 It Never Happened (experimental documentary, UK, 4 min.)

2011 Under Your Skin (experimental documentary, UK, 8 min.)

2011 Il Disassociato – The Disassociated (documentary, ITA, 33 min.)

Awards for Zima

March 2015: Best International Short Film at Sguardi Altrove Film Festival, Italy

November 2014: Special Mention of the Jury, 22nd Acipelago Film Festival, Italy

October 2014: Audience award for the “Made In Russia” selection of Shnit International Film Festival

September 2014: Best International Short Film, Short Shorts, Mexico

August 2014: Jury Award, Concorto Film Festival, Italy

July 2014: Best score, San Giò Verona Video Festival, Italy

June 2014: Special Mention of the Jury for Cinematography, DokuMA, Croatia

May 2014: Emidio Greco Award for best emerging Italian director (with Zima) from the European Festival of Lecce and CNC – Italian National Centre of Short Film.

Prix Du Public at Visions Du Réel, Nyon for the feature film Cinetrain: Russian Winter

March 2014: WWF Award at Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Nomination for Best Cinematography at Byron Bay Film Festival, Honourable Mention at Oslo Screen Festival.

February 2014: Special Mention of the Jury, Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival for Zima.

August 2013: Zima wins the Pardino d’Argento Swiss Life, Pardi di Domani International Competition and Locarno short film nominee for the European Film Awards – Pianifica Prize, 66° Locarno Film Festival.

Film Credits – Zima

Written, directed and edited by Cristina Picchi
Produced by Mirumir Studio
Producers Tanya Petrik & Guillaume Protsenko
Cinematographer Saulius Lukoševičius
Sound Director Henri D’Armancourt
Music by Shoefiti
Production Manager Katerina Okhonko
Production Assistants Alina Lobzina and Alexandra Marchenko.
With the financial support of the Ministry of the Russian Federation.
This movie was produced during the Cinetrain: Russian Winter Project, Russia, 2013 (details here)