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Preview: Stephen (15*) + ScreenTalk

A man in a dark room stares directly forward.

We are thrilled to welcome director Melanie Manchot, actor Michelle Collins and subject of the film Ste Giddings in conversation with film critic Ben Nicholson, after this exclusive preview screening.

Visual artist Melanie Manchot works with a recovery group in Liverpool, who take up roles in a semi-fictional film-within-a-film that explores addiction and mental health from multiple perspectives. It is centred around Stephen, a character who has lived experience of addictions in himself and in his family. References to the first police crime reconstruction, filmed in Liverpool in 1901, are a reminder that addiction has long existed within the fabric of our culture.

It’s a tough process and emotionally charged scenes reveal inner truths, which gain additional power when the people playing the roles are, in some sense, playing themselves. Visually striking, STEPHEN is a startling record of the power of collective creativity and a reminder of how dextrous the documentary form can be.

2023 UK dir Melanie Manchot 78min

Films can contain elements which some may find upsetting; from references to self-harm or suicide, to sexual violence or domestic abuse. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) provides guidance to audiences, to help them choose what’s right for them and avoid what’s not. For guidance, please click here and type the film title into the search bar.

*Please note this title has not yet been officially classified.

‘… an astonishingly powerful depiction of the stuck groove of addiction.‘
Sight & Sound
‘The blend of factual and fictionalised footage works on an intellectual level demonstrating the compulsive and self-destructive nature of gambling.‘
Sheffield Doc Fest

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