Following a misjudgment by its ambitious young captain, a German WWI U-boat is forced to wait for a prolonged period on the bottom of the North Sea, facing the threat of enemy torpedo ships. This causes unprecedented physical and mental challenges for captain and crew.
The idea for the film came from an image: a photo of the interior of a WWI German U-boat. It certainly looked like a very dangerous place, almost from a different world. It is only afterwards that I read more into WWI submarines, a somehow neglected part of the Great War, and about how ti looked like to work in these small and claustrophobic vessels.
The crew would live for weeks in small, unventilated compartments, and every dive beneath the surface would put their lives on the line. This is what inspired UB-13: I wanted to explore the human experience of being blocked in such a constrained space, with no chance to escape. Against this backdrop, I wanted to explore what it means to be a good leader.
UB-13 was shot on 35mm film in a purposely built set and was made entirely by students at the London Film School.