Simon Aeppli was born in Belfast in 1972 and grew up in the small village of Eden, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He studied film at Newport Film School in the early 90's were he developed an interest in artist film and video, which was nurtured further in the Time Based Media department of Cardiff Art School, where he graduated with a First Class Honours in BA Fine Art.
Since then Simon has worked predominately with single screen digital video creating work that uses personal and subjective forms of documentary and essay film. His films focus on place and memory and use the landscape of his hometown of Eden, Northern Ireland as a site for investigation. Eden exists around the perimeter fence of one of Ireland's largest power stations. The name implies a place of great happiness and innocence but this is not an earthly utopia, ironically here the Garden of Eden is a cul-de-sac.
Since his 2004 short film EDEN, which was commissioned by Film London's Artists' Film and Video Awards, he has made three more films about Eden, Northern Ireland. Simon captures the eccentricity and beauty within this strange and half forgotten place with humour and respect.
His films use an associative process that includes photography, notebooks, observational material, literary and poetic texts and anecdotes and chance encounters with local people. Within his practice keeping visual journals have been central to the filmmaking activity. The books use a mixture of photography and writing and form a diary-like film script that Aeppli uses within the final videos.
The Eden films have been screened at a number of festivals throughout Britain and abroad. The third film in the series 'In case I disappear' won Channel 4's Fourdoc My hometown competition and was broadcast on Channel 4 and distributed through Soda Pictures on Canadian Artist filmmaker Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. In 2010, the series was exhibited as part of Tales of the North, Photon Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenija, alongside photographers, Jonathan Olley and Stephen J. Morgan.
Recently he has received a research award from the University for the Creative Arts to research and develop a web native film set in the once notorious 'Bandit Country' of South Armagh, Northern Ireland. Using a mixture of essay film and observational documentary Aeppli finds human stories of love, loss, migration, national identity, hope and freedom. The result will be an interactive road movie that melds documentary and narrative, past and present to create an impressionistic view of this place apart.