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Piercing Brightness: a new science fiction film by international artist Shezad Dawood commissioned by In Certain Places

Date uploaded: August 3, 2011

'Piercing Brightness': New Science Fiction Film Set In Preston
Aliens are amongst us this July as filming for new sci-fi feature film, Piercing Brightness takes place across Preston City Centre.

The film has been written and directed by internationally acclaimed artist and director, Shezad Dawood. Commissioned by In Certain Places, a unique public art programme run jointly by the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and the University of Central Lancashire, Piercing Brightness is the product of a two and a half year relationship between Dawood, the city of Preston and its inhabitants.

Preston was the source of inspiration for the film, and the ideal film set, as Lancashire is the UK hotspot for UFO sightings. Using familiar landmarks and locations across the city, the film tells the story of Shin and Jiang, a young Chinese man and woman, sent from another planet to retrieve the ‘Glorious 100’ - members of an alien race who, countless generations ago, were sent to Earth to study and observe. Living through many lives without any scope for return, some have become corrupted, forgetting their original purpose and slowly becoming influenced by, and in turn influencing, their adopted home.

The gripping story takes place on the streets of Preston, stopping off at the Covered Market, Market Square, Avenham and Miller Parks, New York New York and Lava & Ignite nightclubs, Booze Express on Corporation Street, Hair and Beauty on Friargate and Crown News on Lancaster Road. The film comes to a dramatic close with a car chase sequence, ending up on the controversial Brutalist structure of Preston Bus Station roof. Click here for a peek behind the scenes, on a blog created about the project by Preston College student, Mark Aston.

The Preston-flavour of the film is further enhanced by the involvement of local people, who feature alongside familiar faces including Tracy Brabin (Coronation Street) and Bhasker Patel (Only Fools and Horses). Preston actress Samantha Edwards stars as one of the central characters, Nikki, and over seventy people from Preston will feature as extras in key scenes, which will be filmed in Avenham Park and the city’s Flag Market.

The large cast of extras includes people from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and abilities who attended a public casting session for the film.  For most this will be their first experience of acting and appearing on camera, and the shoot promises to be a memorable experience for the city as a whole.

Dawood describes the concept of Piercing Brightness as a creative hybrid of 'My Beautiful Laundrette' & 'Roswell', and following its release in autumn 2011, it will be distributed to cinemas across the UK and internationally, bringing Preston to the world. The film will be shown at international film festivals and will then return to Preston during 2012 to be shown at a large-scale public screening as part of the Preston Guild celebrations.

The film will be accompanied by a major exhibition of new work by Dawood, which will be premiered at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery from 17 September to 26 November 2011, before touring to art galleries in Oxford, Penzance and Norway. Click here for more information about the film, including a teaser-trailer.

For more information about Piercing Brightness or In Certain Places, please e-mail [email protected]

Visit incertainplaces.org/featured/new-film-by-shezad-dawood-being-filmed-in-preston

Shooting on Preston Bus Station roof (image by Rebecca Chesney)

Shooting on Preston Bus Station roof (image by Rebecca Chesney)