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The Artist Who Disappeared

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The Artist Who Disappeared / Q Films


When artist Sergei Ivanov moves with his partner Tszman Chan to the remote Scottish island of Papa Westray, they start an International Arts Festival, bringing an eclectic mix of artists, performers and musicians to the island from as far afield as Japan and Norway.
With the festival entering its seventh year they invite their friend and filmmaker David Kew to make a documentary about their extraordinary life on the island.
But when Sergei suddenly disappears without trace on Papa Westray three months into filming, the filmmaker is forced to embark on a profound journey of discovery and contemplation.
As the filmmaker interviews those left behind each in their own way trying to make sense of Sergei’s vanishing, the film gravitates towards Tszman as she attempts to come to terms with her grief by creating an elegiac and moving tribute to Sergei on the island.
Shot over several years, THE ARTIST WHO DISAPPEARED includes profoundly moving scenes with Tszman and their daughter Snaedis in the wake of Sergei’s disappearance, interviews with islanders, artists and close family members.
THE ARTIST WHO DISAPPEARED goes to the very heart of what it means to be an artist, how we judge success and failure, and the nature of loss.


Type of film
Running Time
77 min
HD Video
David Kew
David Kew, Sarah Hamilton, Tsz Man Chan
David Kew
Director of Photography
David Kew
James Hesford


Production status


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Last updated 15th July 2022

Production Company

Q Films Limited
Hermitage Moorings
16 Wapping High Street