The home of British film
London has long been a draw for the biggest names in the film industry. Home to leading film institutions such as the BFI, the city also plays host to blockbuster events such as the London Film Festival. However, what truly sets the capital apart as a centre for the moving image is its role in promoting film that blurs the lines between art, music and photography. This is epitomised by the Film London Jarman Award, a celebration of breakthrough British artist filmmakers. Founded in 2007 and named after the experimental 20th-century artist filmmaker Derek Jarman, the prize seeks to promote innovation and experimentation amongst up-and-coming talent.
The award is highly regarded in the field, with previous winners including Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Elizabeth Price and Duncan Campbell, all of whom have gone on to be shortlisted for – or win – the Turner Prize, the UK’s foremost accolade for contemporary artists. This year’s prize will be awarded on 28 November in a ceremony at Whitechapel Gallery. The winning artist will be presented with £10,000 and the opportunity to produce a film for Channel 4’s Random Acts programme.
The nominees for 2016 provide a tableau of some of the nation’s most groundbreaking individuals working in film, and this year has seen a particular surge in women contenders. Watch interviews with this year’s nominees below, and scroll down to read more about each artist and their Jarman Award 2016 entry.
About the artists
Rachel Maclean is a Glasgow-based artist whose work explores contemporary popular culture through fantastical, highly-saturated and occasionally unsettling imagery. An excerpt from her Jarman Award entry Feed Me can be found via the link below, and features an unhappy, singing beast that lives underground.
London-based Belgian-American artist Cecile B. Evans has a keen interest in digital information and its relationship to broader society. Her nominated work, Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen, stars a computer-generated version of Philip Seymour Hoffman interspersed with archival footage. Take a look at the preview trailer via the link below.
Multimedia artist Heather Phillipson investigates the lines between categories such as high and low culture, the metaphorical and the literal, and banality and ecstasy through video installations that often include a flurry of cultural references on subjects ranging from supermarkets to pop music videos. The excerpt linked below, taken from her chosen work for this year’s Jarman Award, 100% OTHER FIBRES, is characteristically colourful.
Sophia Al Maria is a writer, artist and filmmaker whose work investigates the complex interplay between technology and religion, consumerism and history. Watch an interview and an extract from her nominated film, The Future was Desert Part II, by clicking on the link at the end of this article.
Greek-British artist Mikhail Karikis uses a diverse range of media to explore the interplay between audio, sculpture and film, with a thematic interest in alternative social groups and lifestyles within society. Below is a link to an introductory segment from his entry for the 2016 Jarman Award, Ain’t Got No Fear. The work features a mysterious band of masked youths playing percussion in a forest.
Shona Illingworth is an artist whose multifaceted work delves into the relationships between memory and landscape, combining interdisciplinary research with publicly engaged practice. A link to an excerpt from Lesions in the Landscape, Illingworth’s multi-panelled film selected for this year’s Jarman award, is available below.
As the dynamic films in contention for the 2016 edition attest, the Jarman Award emphasises the importance of promoting creative and imaginative filmmaking and is an integral addition to the London film calendar.