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Preview: Film London’s Jarman Award UK Tour

Friday 29 September 2017
Words Alice Bell

The Jarman Award returns for its 10th year this autumn to deliver a curated programme of innovative and affecting moving image artistry to audiences around the UK.

Named for legendary experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994), an artist reknowned for his vibrant and painterly avant-garde art films that pushed the boundaries of cinema, the Jarman Award tour brings the six contemporary filmmakers on its shortlist to venues across the UK for screenings of their works.

Jarman was an antagonist, certainly a poet, maybe a prophet. We keep faith with his inclusive and vibrant spirit by naming a film award in his name.
Tilda Swinton

The events will be held in major arts venues from Manchester and Margate to Newcastle, Belfast, and Cardiff, culminating in a weekend of screenings, discussions, and performances at Whitechapel Gallery in London on 18th and 19th November. The winner of the Award, who will be the recipient of a £10,000 prize, will be announced on 20th November.

To say that the Award is prestigious would be an understatement. The Jury who select the shortlist and the eventual winner of the prize includes Iwona Blazwick OBE, director of the Whitechapel Gallery and Catherine Bray, editor of Channel 4’s Random Acts, among other big names. Many artists previously shortlisted for the Award have gone on to be shortlisted for, or to win, the Tate Gallery’s world-reknowned Turner Prize, and as if all that weren’t enough, Channel 4 will also be supporting the Award, by commissioning a number of the artists to produce new films for their Random Acts arts strand.

All of this has meant that the Jarman Award carries a reputation for identifying the stars on the rise in the UK art scene, and the 2017 shortlist looks to be no different. From Marianna Simnett’s darkly gothic fairytale piece to the human rights activism of Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Rubber Coated Steel, this year’s lineup offers a huge amount to the imagination – it’s definitely not to be missed.

Find out more about Derek Jarman and his namesake award in the video below. To see this year’s shortlist and keep up to date with info on the tour, check out Film London’s website here.

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