EXPECTATIONS - GABI AQUILINA by Emma Barnaby

"Playing with the concept of what it means to be expecting, this films aims to address the unexpected nature of life. We will all be challenged by facing what we couldn’t plan for, and yet we never imagine it could happen to us. 

Perhaps the time one needs to have the most confidence in themselves is when they're 'expecting'. Yet the representation of mothers pulling out their hair out amid diaper changes and spit up, or the airbrushed 'mummy blogs', hardly inspires this. Young parents as well as unplanned pregnancy has especially attracted negative press in mainstream media. This flawed representation of a large demographic of societies worldwide has crippled the confidence of new parents. It's a demographic that deserves a voice, but is ever silenced by stereotypical representations that serve only to idealise or demonise what is a complex, universal experience no one can really 'expect' or 'plan' for.

Whilst we spend hours planning for tomorrow, we rarely factor in that the only given is that the future is unknown, and often so unexpected. Presenting a very personal account of the unexpected, I hope to shed light on how universal this confrontation with the unknown really is."

Gabi Aquilina, 21

WHY CAN'T WE? - VANESSA VOX by Emma Barnaby

"A special encounter on a garden wall. An ant seems to be paralysed. But then something surprising and heart touching happens: another ant comes to help her. The first one seems to wake up and continues her way like all the others. Are we able to see that empathy is a nature's law? Mindfulness is a social issue. Without it, we would be more and more separated and isolated. If we keep our eyes open, we can discover love and caring for each other everywhere. But our mind has to be open."

Vanessa Vox

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I AM A WOMAN - ADELE CLIFFORD by Emma Barnaby

"A collection of short clips I shot of my friend and feminist Millie, reading out section of a poem named I am a Woman. In this project I focused on the images and used my friend Millie to represent an average teenage girl, as well as using a poem she chose to represent her feelings of being a woman."

Adele Clifford, 17

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SHADES OF DIFFERENCE - AISHA PEGLEY by Emma Barnaby

"Shades of Difference is a long overdue response to a series of 'heated discussions' - and serious misunderstandings - about race and racism, between myself and my boyfriend at the time... Whilst this project is deeply personal to me, I do hope this poem will encourage further frank discussions about race. I am acutely aware of the strange prickly feeling one experiences when getting called out on something, but I encourage everyone to override this temporary discomfort and listen to the voices of the other side... Whatever the context."

Aisha Pegley, 22

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LIMINALITY - ARAZOO KADIR & SARA AMIN by Emma Barnaby

"In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold") is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold" between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

Just what does it mean to be part what we call the Liminal Generation? This movie explores just one personal exploration of cultural, societal and personal reflections on identity - and how identifying with the threshold can be a fulfilling act."

Arazoo Kadir & Sara Amin, 22

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XY - DENIS SKACHIDUB by Emma Barnaby

"This video essay is created by encoding video blocks and characterised as experimental and self-reflective. His works are rooted in a young man’s urban background and experiences. The adventures in context of Generation Y in context of World Politics."

Denis Skachidub, 25

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GAZE - ELIZAVETA KOROLEVA by Emma Barnaby

"This video follows the eye movement and the breath of a person. The mission of this film is to investigate what is it that communicates our emotions and how far the reduction of the visual identity of a person can go in order to unify the feeling and simplify their translation to the others."

Elizaveta Koroleva - 20

A NEGLECTED PERSPECTIVE - ELLE RASPIN by Emma Barnaby

"Looking into how the increased reported sexual assaults and offences in the last few years have affected female students at the University of Manchester. What they think should be done and how they feel about sexual harassment. The aim of this film is to increase awareness and create a dialogue about sexual violence."

Elle Raspin, 21

FROM THIS DARKNESS - ELSA STANYER by Emma Barnaby

"Initially this film was documenting how London is drastically changing and my personal response to this. A lot of the footage I shot was when I was travelling to and from school, shooting familiar scenes and things that I saw everyday. I wanted to document how my part of London is constantly changing and how London is becoming more of an elitist city for the wealthy. A couple of the buildings I have filmed have since been knocked down, and I wanted to document these buildings and bring out their beauty. I used a camcorder effect to document the dates, and the pace of change, which I feel is an important element to this film. I found that not only was I documenting changes to my physical environment but also that the film turned out to reflect personal changes. So for me, this film has a number of meanings, about how London is changing, which is the more obvious reading of the film, but also reflecting my own changes and recovering from my problems.

Partly for me, with my film, From This Darkness I wanted to go against the notion that to make a film you need expensive equipment as well as a cast and crew, which is why it appealed to me to enter this competition. I wanted to show the potential in just picking up your phone and filming what you see. As someone who is dyslexic, filmmaking and photography is an important and accessible way for me to communicate my ideas. In the future I hope to be making more documentaries about people and their personal stories. My aim with my films is to tell stories, and to show other young filmmakers that our point of view can be refreshing and interesting."

Elsa Stanyer, 18

BALTIC SIGNS - EMILY GODDEN by Emma Barnaby

"Constructed as part of a residency at Nida Art Colony, Lithuania in a collaboration with students from Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania, filmed on the 27th September, 2015 at Nida Art Colony, Baltic Signs explores the layering and expansion of the screen.

Combining pre-recorded footage of Nida, Lithuania, Baltic Signs explores Baltic signs including fire, land, wind, sky, moon, star and sun, with a live performance element which was recorded and projected back through a live stream and broadcast live online at the time of recording) to expand the depth of the screen and explore the placement and negotiation of the self within the screen."

Emily Godden, 21

Q IS FOR QUEER - EMILY JEAN BENINGTON by Emma Barnaby

"Q is for Queer is a five minute documentary short filmed entirely on iPhone and webcam exploring the rise of queer identity through firsthand accounts from individuals who identify as queer rather than bisexual, lesbian or gay. The film consists of a number of video and audio clips in which young people explain why they identify as queer, and what queer means to them.

My aim is to draw attention to queer as an identity in and of itself. I identify as queer and I am lucky to have many queer friends and acquaintances who were happy to speak about their identities and send me a submission. Constructing the film around submissions - in which the contributors filmed themselves on their phones or webcams at home - helped to bring out intimate reflections on identity politics and sometimes humorous moments. I hope those watching the film will gain an idea of how, despite the struggles we still face, being queer can be a greatly positive thing for a young person today, especially in the way it builds community, political and social awareness and solidarity."

Emily Jean Benington, 20

A MOMENT ON MEMORY - EMILY WRIGHT by Emma Barnaby

"This short documentary explores issues surrounding memory, drawing off an interview with Mónica Álvarez, from the Centre for Peace, Memory and Reconciliation in Bogotá, Colombia. Colombia's 50-year internal conflict has killed 220,000 people and displaced six million."

Emily Wright, 25

SELFIE-CARE - GEORGIE LO-RICHES by Emma Barnaby

"This is a radical 'Self-Care' manual manifesting in the form of selfie/narcissistic culture but encouraging people not to possess or become attached to the image they create of themselves and to let go of all the things which weigh us down in our paternalistic and neo-liberal society. I wanted to create something for non-binary people as well because I feel like a lot of spiritualism is too feminised, but the video also plays on this. I touch on the meaning of emotional labour as it lies at the heart of feminist practice. Engaging with healthy and progressive emotional labour over draining and vampiric labour asked of us by society is a form of self-care in itself. Creating art and films that address vulnerability and raw emotional force and not feeling guilty or like one's 'feminine' feelings are gushing out into the public sphere, again is a radical act of self-care. This is a call for women/queer/trans and non-binary people to be allowed to be in public through whichever form they desire. Self-care through selfies. 

I also want this film to be therapeutic and hypnotic to the watcher, to calm them, to create ambiguous tensions in their thoughts but also to just get lost in the colours and the bird song. We have merged into the fluid of selfie culture and this is our method of self care. We can take selfies and be proud. Selfies are the new way to see yourself, to know yourself, intimately in public."

Georgie Lo-Riches, 22

FOUR LETTERS - HENRY TEE by Emma Barnaby

"We interviewed four young people about their identities and own LGBT experiences, touching on the social issues and challenges surrounding the LGBT community as well as talking about the positives they have experienced in their lives too. We show these positive experiences to involve the audience in the LGBT community even if they do not have any links or experiences with it - showing and educate almost how inclusive and normal this community is. On the whole we believe that there are many stereotypes and stigmas surrounding this community and believe there should be a break down of these to allow for others to understand our lives.

The aim of this film is to show people outside of the LGBT community the challenges faced but also into the normal lives of the individuals, also showing individuals as their own persons instead of just a face in the crowd, everyone is different."

Henry Tee, 18

WHY HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED PREJUDICE? - JULIA BROWN by Emma Barnaby

"This project investigates how I can approach conversations about prejudice of all forms more effectively. It provokes ideas surrounding an extensive amount of issues including race, gender and class as these issues of identity are all inter relatable and extremely complex. The discussion of this topic highlights the different and similar experiences of those who belong to particular groups within society. Bringing these conversations into existence may encourage viewers to assess experiences of prejudice in a more analytical way. Discouraging people from talking about issues of prejudice only re-forces an institutionalised framework that makes those of different backgrounds appear different or threatening. This I why I feel these conversations are so important."

Julia Brown, 22

GAGG - KATIA GANFIELD & LYNDSEY LUPE by Emma Barnaby

"Four minutes of sound and visuals set at conveying an urgency to harness and utilise our freedom of expression. The aim of the soundtrack is to evoke feelings of frustration when passionate voices are replaced with ambiguous, uncomfortable noises to convey the increasingly overwhelming power of a dystopian society over the individual. The imagery aims to convey the possibility of being silenced if we are unable to overcome our collective confusion and complacency at the present time. The aim is to inspire bold expression in the face of current and future censorship, to challenge authority and its increasing grip. Scene lengths to be synchronised in accordance with the fibonacci sequence, with the soundtrack tuned to 432 hertz."

Katia Ganfield & Lyndsey Lupe, 21