Northern Exposure - October 2023 Selections
Our young programmers pick out the short films that speak to them

Ranjit sits in her car crying in a scene from F.O.G.Ranjit sits in her car crying in a scene from F.O.G.

Northern Exposure touring programme showcases the local filmmakers to get excited about.

Throughout October 2023, we’re touring our Northern Exposure short film night to venues across the region - with stops planned at Storyhouse (11 Oct), Sunderland Shorts Film Festival (20 Oct) and Hyde Park Picture House (26 Oct).

This special screening programme has been put together by our BFI Film Academy Young Programmers - a group of emerging film curators who have scoured hundreds of submissions from Northern filmmakers, looking for new, exciting voices and stories that often go unheard.

The result is an ecclectic programme that spans documentary, fiction, spoken word and animation - and which takes in stories of political dissatisfaction, migration, cultural heritage and the search for personal liberation.

We’re looking forward to sharing the programming team’s work with audiences across the North in the coming weeks. You can find out more about the selected films and the filmmakers behind them below. Visit our Northern Exposure event listing to book tickets to your local screening.

Northern Exposure - October 2023 selections

Short Change

A short documentary about young people and political disillusionment, blending BBC archive footage from 1978 with contemporary footage of spoken word, interviews and candid observation. Short Change explores how attitudes towards politics have persisted through the generations, despite the things that have changed - and perhaps because of the things that haven't.

Sam Bond is a Yorkshire and Manchester-based filmmaker whose work primarily focuses on youth culture in modern Britain. Sam created Short Change as part of Make Film History - a filmmaker development programme that gave him access to the BBC’s film archive for the purposes of creative reuse.


A young Lithuanian immigrant searches for her own identity while fighting for recognition in a male-dominated classroom. Everything changes for Viktorija when she discovers the forgotten world of the Teddy Girls - Britain’s bold, independent female sub-culture of the 1950s.

Milda Baginskaitė is a Lithuanian director and screenwriter based in Manchester. Milda’s films focus on themes of identity, culture and coming-of-age narratives. Teddy combines many of Milda’s creative interests and was made with the support of the Dr Marten x Girls In Film grant.

The Ode to Partition

The Ode to Partition asks four British Asians to confront the reality of their existence as Britons, and to try to come to terms with their split heritage. Through a series of spoken word performances, the film considers Empire, Partition and South Asian migration to the UK.

Tajpal Rathore is Artistic Director and Executive Producer at Tribe Arts - a theatre and production company based in Leeds and Bradford. The Ode to Partition was made as part of Partition @ 75, Tribe Arts’ flagship programme exploring the legacy of the Partition of India 75 years on.

Dirty Wanker

Katy is a “dirty wanker” - or at least that’s what her older brother Billy keeps calling her after their Mother catches her masturbating. Shamed in front of her whole family, Katy escapes into an imaginary world where she fights to regain control of her sexuality.

Jen Gallagher is a filmmaker from Middlesbrough. Having previously created work with support from Tees Valley Screen and Channel 4, Jen developed Dirty Wanker through Film Hub North’s Script Lab programme in 2021. The film was made with support from the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund.


F.O.G. is a story of fear, obligation and guilt. Ranjit and her mother Chanda are driving through Bradford, making a regular journey on a regular day. But Ranjit is hiding a truth that will challenge her mother’s expectations of a dutiful daughter.

Malinda Kaur is a British Sikh filmmaker from Yorkshire with a passion for female-led stories. F.O.G. is her third short film and has been funded by the BBC. It explores the experience of a South Asian woman in modern Britain attempting to merge the two worlds she lives in.


On an isolated island, a boy is haunted by his recurring nightmares of the sea, which now start to bleed into his waking hours. The more he ignores his visions, the more aggressively they plague him, until ultimately, he must face his fear head on.

Eleanor Szydlowska is a freelance illustrator based in Merseyside. Eleanor enjoys creating characters and making vibrant narrative illustrations, juxtaposing them with natural elements and bold colours. HAV takes inspiration from the coastal environment of the Wirral.

Mama Justine Hair of Beauty

In her salon in Sheffield, hairdresser Justine takes time to wash and braid her daughter Moklaman’s hair. An intimate portrait of a mother and child that weaves together the maternal, the political and the personal, Mama Justine Hair of Beauty is a celebration of Afro hair and the act of raising strong girls.

Dhivya Kate Chetty is a Liverpool-based filmmaker. Primarily working in documentary, Dhivya directed the 2018 non-fiction feature Glasgow, Love & Apartheid. Her first foray into writing and directing narrative fiction was The Barber - a short film developed through Film Hub North’s Script Lab programme, and funded by BFI NETWORK and Film4.

Midnight Whispers

In a world where poetry is an illegal substance, a dealer roams around an estate receiving cash in exchange for whispering lines of illicit verse into her customers' ears. But when she runs out of material, she must find some fresh lines for her favourite customer - or risk losing him forever.

Baldwin Li is an Oscar and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker from Manchester, who is currently moving from producing to directing film. Baldwin produced the award-winning short The Voorman Problem and the feature film England is Mine, a biopic based on the early life of pop icon Morrissey. Midnight Whispers is his debut short film as a writer-director.