Rocky begins to question the strict routine set by her father – as well as deeper feelings about her own identity – after meeting a girl in a local launderette

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For Rocky the 16-year-old girl at the centre of James Arden’s debut narrative short Leopard, every day in south London is a struggle. Caring for her invalid father, her trips to the launderette are fraught with male violence. On one trip she meets the confident Sasha, who is everything she is not. Feeling the stirring of lesbian desire while battling off unwanted male attention, Rocky’s story is laced with danger but also a smartly rendered resilience. As actor Elisha Applebaum tells DN: “I feel this is a familiar story for a lot of women; a female questioning her identity surrounding social and sexual pressures in the face of everyday misogyny.” As part of Leopard’s DN premiere we talk to writer/director Arden about being inspired by conversations with female friends, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere through a boxy aspect ratio, finding the right launderette and ending the film on just the right note.
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OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:
– BooooooomTV
– London Short Film Festival 2021 (BAFTA/BIFA Qualifying)
– Kinsale Shark Short Film Awards 2020 (Nominee: Best Director)
– Lift Off Season Awards 2020 (WINNER: BEST FIRST-TIME FILM)
– London Lift Off Film Festival 2020 (WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM)
– Kerry International Film Festival 2020 (WINNER: BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT)
– Birmingham Film Festival 2020 (Nominee: Best Short Film, Best First Film, Best Actress)
– South London Film Festival 2020 (Nominee: Best Narrative Short)
– Norwich Film Festival 2020 (BAFTA/BIFA Qualifying)
– Bolton International Film Festival 2020 (BAFTA Qualifying)
– BSC Short Film Competition 2020 (Finalist – Top 5 UK)

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