Flying High, Longlist - Short Film

In the BLK, Rejoice Resist

Elisha Smith-Leverock


Rejoice Resist is a film that celebrates and shows Black Joy and Black pleasure as the ultimate form of resistance. It highlights the importance of allowing yourself to feel joy especially in the face of adversity. The idea for the film was conceived while being isolated at home, with an onslaught of bad news and worse news ever-present in my social media feed. I looked to how we comfort each other, what we share and how we connect. Rejoice Resist is also a commentary on current meme culture which members of the Black community have been sharing to uplift each other in these emotionally fraught times. This content is far more than a frivolous distraction - it is a survival tool. The mission of IN THE BLK is to uplift and support and I am proud to have been able to be a part of this endeavour with my film and very grateful to the ITB designers who have entrusted me to uplift their art in this way.

Growing up with one parent serving in the military, frequent relocation became the norm for director Elisha Smith-Leverock. Now based in Berlin, after a decade in London’s Hackney Elisha’s childhood saw her enjoying the perks of experiencing life in several different countries. For Elisha, being on the move has helped to develop her understanding of culture and taught her how to read people. Being able to intuitively grasp new trends also contributed to her filmmaking process and bolsters her ability to make the ordinary cinematically extraordinary across branded and unbranded film work. Having initially started out as a photographer, Elisha has gone on to build an award-winning portfolio, redefining her filmic style with every job she takes on. Her passion for art direction and cinematography is evident as each project is considered yet highly stylised. She has worked with a range of clients, such as AirBnB, Selfridges, Fila, Sony, Boohoo and Nowness. With a German mother and an African-American father, it’s no surprise that identity features as a prominent theme in most of her creative work. It’s something Elisha is constantly exploring through her own mixed heritage.