Film portraying life in Northern towns to premiere at festival


A documentary providing an intimate portrait of life in Northern towns post-Brexit is to have its premiere at the Leeds International Film Festival.

“From where We Stand” tells the stories of residents in diverse communities across Wakefield, Halifax and Middlesbrough and was made in collaboration with the University of Leeds as part of a large-scale research project examining community relations, economic deprivation and political disaffection.

The documentary, which is being billed as “a thoughtfully observed… authentic portrait of Northern England post-Brexit”, was created and directed by the award-winning, independent filmmaker Lucy Kaye and will premiere at the 37th Leeds International Film Festival between 10-19 November. 

Both challenging and emotional, it captures the lives of people affected by the aftermath of Brexit.”

Professor Adrian Favell, School of Sociology and Social Policy

Life post-Brexit is a constant theme throughout the 60-minute film, along with social and economic deprivation, community divisions and the ways in which people find a sense of belonging. 

Lucy said: “I want the film to bring these themes alive through encounters between myself and the people who live in these towns, to hear from those whose stories aren’t part of the mainstream narrative.”

Both the film and the University of Leeds’ Northern Exposure project were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of a programme of research into the UK’s changing relationship with the European Union.

The research team from the School of Social Policy focused in on neighbourhoods in Halifax, Wakefield, Preston and Middlesbrough. They talked to residents about personal and family life histories, economic and social change, relations with newcomers from different ethnic and racial groups, and their political feelings during a momentous period in British history.

Northern Exposure’s lead researcher, Professor Adrian Favell, said: “Uniquely, our research captures the voices of different ethnic and minority groups, with one of the largest qualitative studies ever of Asian British people in the North, of the much less numerous Northern Black British people in the wake of Windrush scandal, as well as the views of said-to-be "left behind" White British people in deprived neighbourhoods and more affluent suburban locations.”

He added: “Lucy’s film resonates fully with our research. Both challenging and emotional, it captures the lives of people affected by the aftermath of Brexit, against the backdrop of three key Northern locations.”

From Where We Stand will be shown at the Howard Assembly Room, at Leeds Opera House, at 6pm on Friday 10 November, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and participants of the film in the audience. Further screenings will take place at the The Old Fire Station, Leeds (11 November, 1.30pm) and Stockroom Cinema at Keighley Creative (15 November, 7pm).

Click here to watch the trailer on Vimeo

All screenings are free. Register here for tickets.

Further information

Top photo of Wakefield: Adobe stock


For media enquiries or interview requests with Professor Favell, Lucy Kaye or some of the people featured in the film, please contact Kersti Mitchell via