Reflection Syndrome

Short film | 2022

During an absurd time where global disasters (climate change, pandemics, war, etc.) have become the norm of everyday life, a young art student – Daphne – and her flatmates are grappling with their own personal problems. Looking for some private space and hoping to get away from the constant threat of catastrophes, Daphne finds peace by climbing into the world of her own painting. But here too Daphne encounters a figure of unease – an eccentric, masked trickster. Both worlds collide.

The original goal of the film was to talk about a potential and absurd future of the world, in which people’s personal problems play a disproportionately large role compared to the problems of global disasters. However, recent world events have made this imagined environment a reality.

Conversations are taking place among the public that we must not normalize war, forget about the recent pandemic, or ignore the impact of ecological problems. Therefore, this work reflects a common human paradox – in order for us to continue our daily life, we have a need to normalize worldly problems and worry just about our relatively small everyday issues.

Our film brings this paradox to the foreground, using caricatured characters, seemingly insane situations and strange relationship dynamics, thus reflecting the absurd nature of people in a stylized way, and allowing each viewer to look at themselves and their environment from the outside.


Cast – Sandija Dovgāne, Rihards Zelezņevs, Ieva Estere Barkāne, Ketija Dzene, Tomass Ralfs Ābolkalns

Director – Emīls Alps

Producer – Marta Šleiere, Emīls Alps

Director of Photography – Artis Pārups


Art Director – Justīne Jasjukēviča

Costume Designer – Marta Folkmane

Makeup artist – Linda Sams

Sound directors – Kārlis Zvejnieks, Jānis Eglītis