Mancunia 2020  32 min

(with Michael Symmons Roberts)

Mancunia is a haunting 30 minute film based around Michael Symmons Roberts’s acclaimed published poetry cycle about the myths of Manchester, with images by artist Steve Hawley, drawn from a century of film of the city from the North West Film Archive. Mancunia as a mythical city - a contemporary reimagining of the city symphony films of the 1920s. Trailer here

HOME Manchester 2020, 

9th International Video Poetry Festival Athens 2021

Not to Scale Not to Scale 2009  Not to Scale 2009  Scale 2009 
Not to Not to Not to Scale 2009 2009  Not to Scale 2009  Not to Scale 2009  Scale 2009 
War Memorial  2017  27 min

War Memorial is part of an ongoing documentary project about the Calling Blighty films, unique filmed messages home from Burma in WW2. Here the messages recede into the background leaving only doubt and uncertainty.

Nominated best short doc Sheffield DocFest 2017

Not to Scale 2009 10 min

Not to Scale uses images shot in model villages around Britain. These are not just models of buildings but of ideas, shrunk to fit comprehension. There are no obvious clues that the scale is awry - this perfect England of the imagination has an air of menace.

Copenhagen International Documentary Festival New Visions. 2010

Broken English; Brexit Vanitas 2021 6 min 

Photos from long-lost 1960s cookery books are formed into a narrative by a found English language learning record. A long-forgotten dinner party as if scripted by Samuel Beckett. The English showed with Brexit that they don't want to confront the past, but prefer to stay with their cosy illusions about class, history, and their place in the world. Broken English gently undermines these, and shows them to be both funny and tragic.

Amen ICA Cinema 2002 10 min

Amen ICA Cinema is a palindromic  video, completed on a palindromic date -the 20th February 2002. These palindromes are magic spells, things absurd yet logical and symmetrical. In the film a man and a woman are condemned to go over incidents in their relationship, backwards and forwards, endlessly. Even their very speech is reversed. Award- most innovative video, Vancouver Videpoem Festival 2002

Food matters Carlton University Canada virtual gallery 2021

Sonar Festival Barcelona 2003

South Home Town 2015 (with Tony Steyger) 9 min

The Southampton of the imagination is known more for those who have left the city than those who remain. Using ultra slow motion video, the work addresses the question, what is home? It is in these spaces of borderline and uncertainty, of shorelines and pavements, that we begin to make out the myth of our own place.

New York Independent Film Festival Oct 2015

Language Lessons 1994 (with Tony Steyger) 35 min

Experimental documentary on artificial anguages commissioned by Channel 4 and the Arts Council. "Language Lessons mock-documents the scholars and enthusiasts for avant-languages such as Volapuk, Esperanto, and Sol Re Sol (a musically-based language). These invented languages reference concrete or sound poetry and the beauty of sonics unintended for literal communication" (Andrew James Paterson)

In the permanent collection of Fundacio La Caixa , Barcelona

We Have Fun Drawing Conclusions 1982 7 min

"Steve Hawley sets words and images more pointedly against each other, so each questions the status and veracity of the other. His early works, mostly shot on video, included the nicely subversive We Have Fun Drawing Conclusions (1982), based on the then-standard Ladybird children's books, that undermined their unrealistically optimistic and stereotype-reinforcing images and texts with a subtly rewritten story in voice-over." (David Curtis) 

Second Link touring video exhibition, MoMA New York, 1984

A Proposition is a Picture 1992 23 min

'A Proposition is ...'is about the dislocation between words and images, filtered through an intense family history in which a son looks for clues to the whereabouts of his absent language-obsessed father, thereby creating new resonances for himself and the audience from fragments of Esperanto and the selection of chintzy touristic views. Ed Mayer's droll narration brings out the idiosyncratic intelligence of the piece...'. (Trevor Johnston)

London Film Festival 1992.National Film Theatre 1995




Steve Hawley is an artist who has been working with film and video since 1981, and his work has been shown at video festivals and broadcast worldwide since then. His video (with Tony Stegyer) The Science Mix was shown at the Stedelijk and MoMA NY in 1983, the first international touring show of video art. His original preoccupation was with language and image, and in 1995 his experimental documentary made with Tony Steyger on artificial languages was broadcast on Channel 4 TV.

His work on the city and myth includes Ghost made in Hong Kong, which was screened at the 2000 Cannes Director's Fortnight, and Manchester Time Machine 2012. This was made with the North West Film Archive is the first ever iPhone app to combine archive film footage and GPS. Other works looking at the nature of the city include Not to Scale 2009 (filmed in a series of deserted model villages).

He has explored issues around the impact of new technologies on narrative. Yarn 2011, uses the DVD medium to create a never ending story, and Actor 2013 makes film without a camera by putting the performer in a motion capture suit. 


His work with the Archive has also included War Memorial 2017 which was nominated for best short documentary at the Sheffield DocFest, and Mancunia with poet Michael Symmons Roberts premiered at HOME Manchester in 2020, and screened in 2021 at the Athens Poetry Film Festival.

His forthcoming book, Men, War and Film, about the unique Calling Blighty message films of WWII will be published by Intellect in 2022.