On The Cusp, Longlist - Short Film - Fiction


James Arden

The Trash Factory

I wanted to tell a story that not only confronts uncomfortable notions of commonplace sexual harassment and the darker side of male behaviour, but goes deeper to explore how such cumulative social and sexual pressure might push a young girl to her limits. Alongside this, I want to tell a simple story of youthful infatuation - Sasha, the girl Rocky meets in the laundrette, is in many ways her opposite; confident, carefree and able to hold her own. Their relationship begins at a time of uncertainty and self-discovery in Rocky’s life. Leopard is an intentionally composed and claustrophobic film - we don’t stray from Rocky’s closed-off world as we follow her journey to better understand and find her place, and a glimmer of hope, in a frequently unforgiving world - no matter how small.

James Arden is an award-winning director based in London, bringing his self-taught perspective to short films, commercials and music videos. His work combines realist, emotionally-driven storytelling with a darkly surreal touch and an intoxicating style. He is interested in exploring what drives people - both good and bad - through cinematic, impactful and often uncomfortable narratives.