The Tristan Da Cunha Project

Tristan Da Cunha is considered to be the most remote inhabited island on earth. The tiny volcanic island in the middle of the South Atlantic is home to just under 300 people who live in a village called Edinburgh Of The Seven Seas. Tristan is a unique and special place but both the architecture and the way of life have echoes with remote Scottish crofting communities – perhaps a result of the influence of the first settler William Glass of Kelso, Scotland.


In 2010 director David Mackenzie spent three and half months in Tristan shooting research footage which he cut into a short film of personal impressions which screened at SXSW in 2011.

The short’s live score from members of the band Shearwater was recorded and put on to the cut below. Mackenzie hopes to return to the edit to re-explore the material, but please enjoy the current version with the music attached.

Mackenzie plans to return to write a script for a dramatic film in collaboration with the islanders and, “then go back a third time with a small crew and find the cast and live there for four months making this movie with local people both behind of and in front of the camera, almost like an old fashioned workshop movie.” Unfortunately this is yet to happen due to logistical challenges caused by the extreme remoteness of the island in conjunction with Mackenzie’s other work commitments.