On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and her thrash metal bandmates, Shery, Maya, Alma and Tatyana (Slave to Sirens), have big dreams but few opportunities. When the band’s appearance at a UK music festival isn’t the life-changer they had hoped for, Lilas comes home to Lebanon on the brink of collapse. At the same time, the complicated friendship between Lilas and her fellow guitarist Shery starts to fracture. The future of her band, her country and her dreams now all at stake, Lilas faces a crossroads. She must decide what kind of leader she will be, not only for her band, but also as a young woman struggling to define herself in Lebanon, a region of the Middle East as complex as each of the Sirens themselves.
Blind as a Beat: Short Film
Liz Jackson was a documentary filmmaker highly praised for her visual creativity. As many female directors do, she gave up her career to look after her two daughters. Fast forward to 2021 and her treasured sight has now faded – due to a complex diagnosis of macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
In BLIND AS A BEAT Liz sets out with her daughter and co-director Jessi to tell the story of that loss. However as colour, definition, and light grow dimmer, sound becomes her portal to interpreting the world. The film is Liz’s first as a partially sighted director, but also a celebration of listening and finding new ways to imagine. As part of this, the filmmakers have experimented with scripting that can also operate as elevated audio description for visually impaired audiences.
The Screening is followed by an Q&A with director Jessi Gutch