SYSTEM is a film by artist filmmaker Cecilia Stenbom.

SYSTEM is a film about anxieties, irrational behaviour and the quest for control in a non-domestic space. Set entirely inside a shopping centre, the film follows the interactions between two sisters; one anxious about her personal safety, the other concerned with the invisible threat of infection. The sterile atmosphere of the environment quickly becomes menacing as the women’s personal safety systems begin to fail.

The fictional screenplay is developed out of a series of one-to-one interviews with members of the public about everyday behaviours and habits in communal spaces. Interviewees were encouraged to talk about their own experiences, routines and preferences within the framework of everyday situations such as: seat selection, personal security measures, hygiene practices, interactions with other people and unacceptable behaviour.

Starting point for this film was to create psychological thriller set in a shopping centre, turning the everyday and mundane into a minefield of terror. Playing with the lure of the practical, streamlined and franchised world of indoor shopping areas against the quest for a more independent consumerism among the comfortable middle classes.

Cecilia Stenbom’s work is concerned with notions of identity in a consumer driven and information rich culture and how even the most mundane and seemingly unassuming moments are affected by the abundance of information surrounding us. She examines our anxieties and desires, reinterpreting scenarios within entertainment, mass media, retail, and domestic life. She works across media including film, installation, drawing, printmaking and painting.

SYSTEM is produced by Pins & Needles Media in association with independent producer Mark Chapman. Cinematography by Emma Dalesman and edited by Harry Jenkinson. SYSTEM is shot at various locations in North East of England. 


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