Online Edition: Spit That Out 2021: North West Artist Film Programme

Directed by Various Directors

Available to watch online, as well as on HOME’s cinema screens on Tue 27 Jul.

Discover a selection of recent work from artists who are living in, working in, hailing from or have studied across the North West. The showcase has been curated by Alice Wilde from open-call submissions to celebrate the innovative and bold moving image works being made across the region.

This will be screened in HOME’s cinema on Tue 27 Jul and will also be available to watch online from home. More details on how to book for either screening will be available soon.

The programme includes:

Isolated Canvas by BANKSIE (2020, 3 mins 42)
Made and produced during the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, Isolated Canvas was originally a public exhibition that evolved into a visual media piece due to social isolation restrictions. This experimental film is themed around the idea of injecting queer identity within a mainstream space. This manifested itself inside the artist’s own personal struggles, as a queer artist isolating within their own hometown. The films nonlinear storyline has two platforms: the conversation between the artist and the trans model Grace Oni Smith while in lockdown, and the process in which BANKSIE used modern social programs to connect, create and interact with an audience from a remote location. In association with Manchester School of Art and HOME.

If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever)
by Hope Strickland and Jessica El Mal (2021, 7 mins 58)
Cotton is a plant with connotations that far surpass its delicate white flowers, bringing to mind issues of enforced labour, of exploitation and of colonialism. Yet the very crop for which creole women were forced into labour offered a form of herbal resistance: cotton root bark could be used as birth control. Herbal knowledge, carefully gathered and held, was used amongst the women to defy a lineage of servitude. Beneath the inherent violence of the slave economic system, quiet resistance and moments of deep, loving rebellion exist. If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever) is in memoriam of this legacy.
A brand new HOME Artist Film commission for Push Festival 2021

The Whole Truth by Caroline Smith (2020, 15 mins 39)
Blurring the edges between the real and imagined, this all female production delves into historical and contemporary events, bringing the voices of communities and untold stories to the fore.A filmic interpretation of the ANU live production TORCH, this film is the outcome of a two year research phase working with the women of St Helens, an industrial town in the North West of England.

Monument by Elliott Flanagan (2020, 5 mins 19)
Monument documents rural walks during the ritual of daily exercise in lockdown. Commissioned by Spot On Lancashire, an organisation staging theatre and arts events in the county, the film commemorates the shared memories, intimacy and closeness of such communal experiences. Made at the height of the pandemic, the freedom to gather and share an experience together has become magnified in its absence. The work marks the impact of the arts in these often ignored and neglected places, highlighting the importance to protect this right and advocate for more. The soundtrack is a collaboration with musicians William Brown and Ashley Snook.

Happiness Works by Kieran Healy (2020, 10 mins)
A satirical short film made in response to the TED Talk culture and the corporate wellness industry. Happiness Works follows a stereotypical motivational speaker format; opening with our orator, a pompous and pretentious talk-bot who is devoid of humour. He is about to deliver a once in a lifetime speech to an audience who seek his guidance. They feel lost, confused, and are desperately in search of meaning. With the aid of an animatronic arm designed to “mash things”, our orator demonstrates how happiness and meaning can be achieved through increased productivity, and a fresh work-based outlook on life.

The White Ship by Graeme Arnfield (2021, 12.56)
The White Ship is a seascape film as historical re-enactment, imagining the potential conversations shared amongst the bored and exploited workers of Hastings who, for a week at the end of 1120AD, were enlisted to spend their nights shivering in the cold, scanning the foggy horizon, pondering an uncertain future as they waited for King Henry I’s “White Ship” to arrive – one of the earliest recorded shipwrecks.
A brand new HOME Artist Film commission for Push Festival 2021

my lover is a Black woman (distorted) by Kevanté Cash (2020, 2 mins)
Inspired by the poem my lover is a Black woman, this film explores coping with the projection of disappointment from family members towards a love that is seen as ‘forbidden’. The film highlights how we may never find acceptance from the ones we love, and we have to be okay with that, because the greatest lesson of queer-shaped trauma is learning to accept yourself and lean into the love standing before you. The film responds to the difficulty of attitudes in the Caribbean and how experiences of homophobia impacts an person’s mental health. This film focuses on the artist’s relationship with anxiety, the many forms it takes and their challenge in maintaining control during these moments. What is control, and how can it be encapsulated in under two minutes? What if it can’t be? What if we just had to accept what is?

Birds or Borders by Parham Ghalamdar (2020, 3 mins 42)
Birds or Borders explores the individuals’ concurrent experiences of urgency and delay at the border. Inspired by Scheherazade the storyteller, the muse of One Thousand And One Nights, this film attempts to create an anti-narrative structure of storytelling where there are no punch lines to any of the sequences. The result is ongoing suspense which ends in a frustrating sense of only being able to watch and wait.

Image credit: BANKSIE: Isolated Canvas (2020)

73 minutes

Year of production: