The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

HOME’s Playback exhibition showcases new film talent

Up and coming young filmmakers screen short-film masterpieces as part of a project to encourage youth access to the most exclusive field in modern media


HOME cinema is currently staging a new exhibition to highlight vast swathes of potential in the UK’s young filmmakers’ scene.

Located on the second floor of HOME, you would be forgiven for mistaking the exhibition for none other than an interactive information point. With a simple two-screen two-chair set up, the staging of this event was tasteful and simplistic- letting the sparkling creativity of the youth-produced short films take centre stage.

The exhibition ‘Playback’ screened over 200 short films created by students and young actors, directors and script writers aged 16-24. With each film being unique from another, it screened a variety of genres from comedy to sci-fi, allowing every film enthusiast’s palette to be well and truly satisfied.

Every film excellently portrayed a central and significant theme in life — from the necessity and comfort of love in All That Is, to the perils of individualism and technology in the dystopian Benefits. Highlights from the exhibition also included Battle, an insightful watch from start to finish, depicting the debilitating effects of depression on young mens’ work and relationships. In fact, one of the most exciting and unique aspects of Playback is that it provides the opportunity to looks inside the struggles that young people are facing across the UK — whether that be presented in the form of face-value reality or in a mythical setting.

As the truth of teen-life is far from the fast-paced dramatized portrayals of Skins or Riverdale, HOME’s latest pursuit gets to grips with real-life, hard-hitting issues that young people are increasingly coming up against.

Furthermore, a number of the films were produced in and around Manchester, providing an excellent opportunity for young film-makers who (outside of London) are so often overlooked. The project, however, is not exclusive to Manchester, with the short films being screened at locations around the country including Leicester, Bristol and Sheffield.

Sophie, a second-year Film Studies student at the University of Manchester told The Mancunion why she thinks events like this are so important: “It’s hard for young people to break into any creative industry, but film and TV is particularly tricky. An exhibition like Playback take very little effort for large theatres, such as HOME, to organise but means the world to the young people who might be having their work shown for the first time.”

Indeed, as each masterpiece is no longer than a few minutes and free to attend, Playback was immediately successful in its ability to provide access to great film for any member of the general public.

Playback comes as part of HOME’s ‘This is Human’ Autumn/Winter season aiming to take “inspiration from the brain and the four main areas controlling emotion, movement, biological rhythm and sense, this innovative project will combine sensory installations, live performances, interactive experiences and celebrations.”

The Playback exhibition has now finished running in Manchester, but the This is Human season continues with several more exciting endeavours scheduled for the next few months. Check out HOME’s website for further details.