Knit’s Island

a film by

France / 96' / 04/2023 / animated documentary

Somewhere on the Internet, there is a space of 250 square kilometers in which individuals gather in community to simulate a survivalist fiction. Under the guise of avatars, a film crew enters this place and makes contact with players. Who are these inhabitants? Are they actually playing?

“Eye-opening exploration of the communities which exist inside survivalist online video game ‘DayZ’”
Square Eyes - Unknown
Square Eyes - Lauriers 202337
Square Eyes - DocumentaMadrid23
“Eye-opening exploration of the communities which exist inside survivalist online video game ‘DayZ’”
Square Eyes - Unknown
Square Eyes - Lauriers 202337
Square Eyes - DocumentaMadrid23

Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin L'helgoualc'h

Combined biography

Guilhem Causse, Ekiem Barbier and Quentin L’helgoualc’h met at the School of Fine Arts of Montpellier. In 2016 they formed a research group that questions the relationship to reality in online video games. In 2017 they tried their hand at a first documentary exploration in the game GTA V Online, and directed the medium-length film Marlowe Drive, which they screened during a retrospective exhibition of David Lynch’s cinema at the Art Center of Montpellier, MO.CO. The film goes to meet avatars animated by real people and addresses issues concerning our relationship to virtual through the representation of the American consumerist dream suggested by the game. The film was presented at the Brive medium-length film festival, at the FIFIB Bordeaux, at the Centquatre studio and at the Cartier foundation, among others. In 2018 they began writing a feature-length documentary, also shot entirely in an online game. This time, they each chose to play an avatar in the survival simulation video game DayZ. For several years they immerse themselves in the game within a community of players willing to take part in the project. In 2022 the film production was completed. Meanwhile, they take part in seminars and conferences on digital technology, like at the Turing Centre at ETH Zurich, at the Sorbonne and at the University of Paris 8.

Combined filmography

● Knit’s Island, 2013 (documentary)
● Marlowe Drive, 2017 (short documentary)

Square Eyes -


Director: Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin L’helgoualc’h
Screenplay: Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin L’helgoualc’h
Producer: Boris Garavini
Production company: Les Films Invisibles
Associate Producer: Anna Medveczky, Joachim Herard
Cinematographer: Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin L’helgoualc’h
Sound Design & Mix: Mathieu Farnarier
Editor: Nicolas Bancilhon
Color Grading: Graziella Zanoni
Composer: Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Marc Siffert


  • Visions du Réel, Switzerland (21 – 30 April, 2023)
    Burning Lights Competition Won: Jury Prize – Burning Lights Competition & International Critics’ Award – FIPRESCI Award
  • Documenta Madrid International Film Festival, Spain (3 – 7 May, 2023)
    International Competition
  • Millennium Docs Against Gravity, Poland (12 May – 4 June, 2023)
    Debut Competition
  • Subversive Film Festival, Croatia (14 – 29 May, 2023)
    Subversive Competition Special Mention
  • Transilvania International Film Festival, Romania (9 – 18 June, 2023)
    What’s Up, Doc? Competition
  • Biografilm Festival | Int. Celebration of Lives, Italy (9 – 19 June, 2023)
    Fiction section
  • DokuFest, International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kosovo (4 – 12 August, 2023)
    International Feature Dox Competition
  • Fantoche – International Animation Film Festival, Switzerland (5 – 10 September, 2023)
    Official Selection
  • DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Korea (9 – 16 September, 2023)
    Frontier Competition
  • International Film Festival Cinematik, Slovakia (12 – 17 September, 2023)
    Official Selection
  • Camden International Film Festival, United States (14 – 17 September, 2023)
    Cinematic Vision competition
  • Ottawa Int. Animation Festival, Canada (20 – 24 September, 2023)
    Official Competition – Animated Feature Category


Press materials

EPK: Click here

Stills, poster & directors photos: Click here

Dialogue list English, French: Click here

Trailer: Click here

Excerpts and trailer: Click here

Press quotes

“A film distinguished by its visceral aesthetic adventure. It plunges us into a parallel universe which, despite being virtual, unbounded by geography and common law, addresses the violence of the present times. Where brutality, satirical humour and a sometimes tender sense of community commingle, often in the same frame.”
Jury statement – Visions du Reel ’23

“Eye-opening exploration of the communities which exist inside survivalist online video game ‘DayZ’.”
“Knit’s Island is a gentle enquiry into the reality of the video game world which yields fascinating results.”
Review: Tara Judah – ScreenDaily

“The result is an immersive and existential deep dive into the world of gaming, accessible to all audiences, whether gamers or not.”
Interview: Lise Pedersen – Variety

“a fascinating, original and disconcerting portrait of its inhabitants”
Review: Nick Cunningham – Business Doc Europe

“A masterful editing work achieves avoiding the typical discontinuity of long gaming sessions in building a dramaturgic line where the unknown players becomes acquaintances, friends – and where the virtual and the real will be felt as perfectly melded.”
Review: Giuseppe Di Salvatore – FilmExplorer