"It became a massive challenge, we were constantly battling against the elements..." - hmv.com talks to Limbo director Ben Sharrock & star Amir El-Masry
When director Ben Sharrock began writing a screenplay around five years ago about asylum seekers being detained on a remote Scottish island, it seemed like an absurdist way of telling a story that has seen much coverage in the press, but little in the way of representation on the big screen.
The fact that island detention is now being discussed as a very real policy option by the UK government is a grim development which only ads an extra layer of poignancy to Sharrock's film, Limbo, which makes its way into cinemas this weekend.
Filmed largely on the Hebridean island of Uist - which makes its maiden appearance on a cinema screen in Sharrock's film - Limbo revolves around a group of asylum seekers at a detention centre in a Scottish island where they attend 'cultural awareness' classes while they await the out come of the asylum applications.
At the centre of the story is a Syrian refugee named Omar (played by Amir El-Masry), who fled to Turkey with his family before leaving them behind in a gamble on UK residency, making the long journey with only his grandfather's Oud for company.
With the film in UK cinemas from Friday (July 30) we spoke to Sharrock and El-Masry about the importance of telling their story and the challenges and delights of filming on an island in the middle of nowhere...