Logline: ALIEN, by Suden Lakshmanan, Kate Powis

A CHILD’S LEFT-HAND scribbles a visually impressive abstract drawing which is interrupted by an ELDERLY hand moving the crayon into the child’s right hand. As the right hand moves straight up and down adding symmetrical windows to a house, the left hand jitters and begins to impatiently tap.

In a meticulous art studio, an ADULT’S left hand twitches as the right hand adds finishing touches to a monumental geometric painting with symmetry and precision. The artist at work is REECE. As he reaches for a paint palette, without his knowledge, some yellow paint gets onto his left hand’s fingers. Reece is about to sign off his work when he’s interrupted by his Art Co-ordinator girlfriend MIA. Upon turning back to his work, a yellow smudge has randomly appeared. Mia’s ecstatic for a house-warming gift received from her colleague, a somewhat wannabe art concierge STEVE. It happens to be a masterpiece by SINISTRA, an anonymous contemporary abstract painter. Mia decides to invite Sinistra for her upcoming Art Deco themed exhibition, against Reece’s advice, who’s looking for inspiration to submit a piece for the same exhibition.

The next morning Reece is woken by his left hand which autonomously draws on the bedhead, a vibrant marigold, using the nearest paint-like substance … lube. This soon-to-be masterpiece is quickly wiped clean, and Reece dashes out of the room, masking his twitching left hand from Mia. Reece sleepily waits in his studio as an active, eccentric left hand dips itself into different paint tubs and paints another marigold. Reece photographs the finished painting and sends it to his agent, titled, “from Sinistra”. He notices that his own conscious work is not getting paid as much as Sinistra’s secret auction. During Vinepaint, an event where artists can paint and socialise, Reece is disturbed by the chatter from Mia and Steve about the famous Sinistra’s possible Art Deco submission. Still, he manages to impress the ART INSTRUCTOR with intricate patterns inspired from a Māori Tiki carving. As Reece focuses on the Tiki’s face, his left hand gets stimulated and automatically jumps into a glass of Merlot. Reece excuses himself to clean up, but after an unfortunate encounter with another artist noting his left hand twitching in his pant pockets, Reece retreats to a parking lot. He allows his left hand to create a muddy handprinted mural, an angry face of a Tiki. Next day, the mural gets popular, remarking that it is the work of Sinistra, and Mia realises that Sinistra is local.

To allow him to work on his own Art Deco piece without interruption, Reece begins to control his left hand by cuffing it to a stripper pole with pink fluffy handcuffs. A bunch of ART STUDENTS tours Reece’s art studio and he becomes increasingly jealous when Sinistra’s muddy mural and the hanging house-warming gift becomes the main topic of conversation. Reece continues to look for inspiration to finish his own painting, which is when he stumbles across a childhood painting, signed by a left handprint. After a moment of guilt, Reece heads to Tennyson Street for Art Deco inspiration and is captivated as buildings strikingly reflect off puddles. As Reece’s left hand has begun to act up, he’s forced to make Mia think he is sick and to take him home, but not before Mia informs Reece that she believes that Sinistra is Steve.

With a twitching left hand, cuffed to the pole, Reece is able to finish his Art Deco masterpiece. He makes sure he’s cleared the way before he unlocks the motionless left hand. Reece signs his work proudly and stands back to admire it, not realising that his right hand is getting handcuffed to the pole by his left hand, which then proceeds to ‘ruin’ his work. As Reece fights back, he results in knocking himself out on the pole. On coming back to his senses, Reece is heartbroken to see his fresh masterpiece being painted on. On a closer look though, it’s apparent that the left hand is making an abstract reflection of Reece’s own Art Deco work. The top half of his painting is untouched. With tears in his eyes, Mia finds Reece tied to the pole along with a completed Sinistra/Reece masterpiece painting. The painting hangs in the Art Deco exhibition, two styles side by side; symmetrical clean brush stroke on the right, and messy abstract finger painting on the left; Reece’s signature unreadable through splatters of paint. He’s not in the exhibition receiving all the attention. With a mossy wet rock next to a waterfall as the focal point, Reece paints with both his left and his right hands. A YOUNG GIRL approaches and admires his work. Signed off are Reece’s and Sinistra’s signatures obscured within each other. With one last stroke from his left hand, Reece smiles and content with his unique gift, gives the painting to the young girl.

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