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Piercing Brightness, 2013

Super 16mm transferred to HD video, 77'00"

Still from Piercing Brightness, 2013.

The Arrival - Jiang and Shin played by Chen Ko and Jennifer Lim.
Image features 'Halo', an artwork by John Kennedy, commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts.

Still from Piercing Brightness, 2013.

MASK played by Houda Echouafni.

Still from Piercing Brightness, 2013.

Jiang channels the MASK played by Chen Ko and Houda Echouafni.

Piercing Brightness is a science fiction feature film directed by internationally acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood. The film utilises science fiction as a backdrop from which to contest fixed notions of race, migration and identity. It addresses issues of time, memory and belonging through a careful interplay of mainstream science fiction and its ongoing relationship to more experimental modes of film making.

Two youths land in a spaceship outside Preston. Their mission: to re-establish contact and affect the retrieval of the ‘Glorious 100’ sent to earth millennia ago in human form to study and observe the development of another race. After making contact with one of the 100, now a Pakistani shopkeeper (Bhasker Patel), they discover that many of their kind have become corrupted, forgetting their original purpose and slowly becoming influenced by and in turn influencing their adopted home…

Click here to view a trailer.

Inspired by Lancashire having the highest rate of UFO sightings in the UK, as well as hosting one of the earliest splinter Mormon communities in the world, Piercing Brightness uses Preston and its inhabitants as a springboard to investigate religious, racial and class based social hierarchies. Eerily beautiful, the film employs different formats and archival footage of UFO sightings to create a film that is as experimental as it is entertaining.

Piercing Brightness is the debut feature film directed by visual artist Shezad Dawood, scripted by cult novelist Kirk Lake with an original score by Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple (Japan) and featuring music by Alexander Tucker. Piercing Brightness has been commissioned by In Certain Places as part of their programme, which examines the role of artists in the city.

Directed by: Shezad Dawood

Produced by: Kate Parker

Commissioned / Supported by: Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Picturehouse Cinemas, Modern Art Oxford, Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Arts Council of England, Preston City Council. Courtesy of the artist and UBIK Productions.