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Piercing Brightness

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'Piercing Brightness' is a science fiction film directed by internationally acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood and set in Preston, Lancashire. The film looks to play on the border between mainstream narrative cinema and experimental film making and utilises science fiction as a backdrop from which to contest fixed notions of race, migration and identity. The film combines digital and analogue processes, high production values and low-fi aesthetics to tell a story through both its narrative and distortions of time brought about by experiments with the various formats used. It incorporates local institutions and people as extended cast, in a process whereby there is a slippage between fiction and document.

Jiang and Shin, agents who have been dispatched from the home planets, land in a spaceship outside Preston, in the North of England. In the guise of a young Chinese boy and girl they are to re-establish contact and effect the retrieval of the 'Glorious 100', agents who were sent to this planet millennia ago to study and observe. Living through countless lives without any scope for return, many have become corrupted, forgetting their original purpose and slowly becoming influenced by and in turn influencing their adopted home.


Type of film
Running Time
75 mins
Red digital / Super 16mm / 'archive' material transferred to HD
Shezad Dawood 1st Feature
Kate Parker
Executive Producer
In Certain Places / Modern Art Oxford
Katherine Lee
Kirk Lake
Director of Photography
Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz
Production Designer
Simon Godfrey - Set to Set Ltd
Tom Drew
Acid Mothers Temple, Alexander Tucker & Decomposed Orchestra with DCW Briggs and Mark Wagner
Principal Cast
Chen Ko, Jennifer Lim, Houda Echouafni, Samantha Edwards, Tracy Brabin, Derek Siow, Will Matthews, Ron Webster, Bhasker Patel, Paul Leonard, Alexander Tucker & Decomposed Orchestra with DCW Briggs and Mark Wagner
Associate Producers
Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston Guild 2012, In association with the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad using funds from the National Lottery
Casting Director
Rose Wicksteed
Production Consultant
Michael Kelk

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Last updated 22nd May 2012

Production Company

UBIK Productions Ltd