A teeny-tiny hospital bed, an undersized ironing board, dinky steaks, plastic-wrapped, just a few centimetres long… Welcome to Kath Holden’s little world.

Her job? Making miniatures. But don’t count on Kath to craft dolls’ houses or toy soldiers. No, her ‘thing’ is the world that surrounds her; those everyday things back home in Bradford, Yorkshire. That’s because, first and foremost, Kath is proud to be an artist who captures our day-to-day.

Directed by Ellen Evans
Photography: Tom Doran
Editing: Jon Crook
Music: Danyal Dhondy
Colour: Chris Bell
Thank you to Jodie Clifford


Ellen Evans | 99.media

Ellen Evans Filmmaker

Kath’s miniatures are a direct representation of her own experiences.”
  • Tell us about yourself, Ellen.

I’m a filmmaker based in London. I make independent films and I teach at UCL, where I’m the Programme Lead on the MFA in Creative Documentary. Over the past few years, I’ve made a series of short documentaries, and “Life in Miniature” was among the first.

Life in Miniature | 99.media
  • How was this project born?

I was part of a talent development program run by the Indie Training Fund. During the scheme, you’re given a small budget and 8 weeks to develop and produce a 3-minute film. It struck me as such a small amount of time, I thought it would be playful to echo that with the subject matter.

  • When we think of miniature objects, we immediately think of the imaginary world of childhood: dolls’ houses, toy soldiers, figurines… But Kath Holden is instead interested in everyday, contemporary objects that belong to the adult world. Why didn’t you choose a professional who, on the contrary, would rather build Victorian houses or more childlike objects from the past?

I’m interested in how people narrativise their lives, and I was drawn to the idea of using miniature objects as a visual storytelling device.

Of all the miniaturists I spoke to, Kath stood out because she’s open and honest and finds meaning in what she does. Kath’s miniatures are a direct representation of her own experiences and what she sees in her everyday life in Bradford.

Life in Miniature | 99.media
  • Tell us about the shooting and its technicalities.

It was a two-person crew: I was doing sound, and my collaborator, Tom Doran, was shooting. “Life in Miniature” was one of the first films I made, and I was still working in quite an instinctive, ramshackle way. Luckily, I had a talented and resourceful DP!

  • What are your current projects?

I’m currently developing a script with Sixteen Films, it will be my first drama.

“Goodbye Mandima” is excellent, I show it to my students every year! The film is so stripped back and minimal, and yet it expresses so much. I think it’s brilliant.

  • A word about 99 and adapting your film in several languages?

It’s a great concept! I love the idea of “Life in Miniature” reaching a global audience!

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