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Friday 22 January 2010

Aesthetica Short Film Competition: Encouraging and promoting artists’ film

A prominent element of our recently launched Short Film Competition is the promotion of inspirational and innovative work. We at Aesthetica want to drive the genre of short film forward, and as part of this objective we hope to encourage submissions from a range of genres by both experienced and aspiring filmmakers.

One category of film we are excited to encounter is artist’s film, which has gained heightened recognition in Britain over the last decade. The use of film and video by artists has made a significant impression in the world of expanded cinema, impacting upon experimental film and wider art practices.

Soho Shorts Film Festival, a partner of the Aesthetica Short Film Competition, has a history of exhibiting and supporting artist’s film. Sandra Hebron, member of the Soho Shorts judging panel, is the Head of Festivals at the British Film Institute and Artistic Director of the Times BFI London Film Festival. Sandra has worked in independent film exhibition for more than 15years and is currently the Chairperson of Lux, a London based organisation that specialises in the distribution of artists’ film and video:

“LUX exists to provide access to, and develop audiences for, artists' moving image work; to provide professional development support for artists working with the moving image; and to contribute to and develop discourse around practice.”

Lux was founded in 2002 and is currently the only organisation of its kind in the UK. The company represents the UK’s only significant collection of artists’ film and video and is also the largest distributor of such work in Europe, representing around 4500 works by artists from the 1920s to the present day. The key activities of the company are that of distribution, exhibition and publishing, alongside commissioning new art works and research support for curators and academics.

The organisation is particularly concerned with visual arts-based moving image, including experimental film, video art, installation art, performance art, personal documentary, essay films and animation. By visiting the Lux website, users can access the Screening Room, which houses an archive of artists’ film to view online for free.

In the US, British street artist Banksy will be premiering his first film at the Sundance Film Festival. It was announced yesterday that his work, Exit through the Gift Shop, will be screened for the first time on the 24th January. Over the last few days it has been reported that perplexing street art has appeared on buildings throughout Utah, home town of the Sundance Film Festival.

The film portrays a Los Angeles-based French filmmaker who documents the mysterious world of street art in Europe and the US. Referred to as a part personal journey and part expose of the art world, the film is an amalgamation of reality and fiction and includes footage of underground artists such as Shepard Fairey, with actor Rhys Ifans providing the narrative. Having never been officially photographed, the famously secretive artist remains anonymous, supposedly even to the agent who promoted the film at the festival.

To view a trailer of the film click here.

For those interested in street art a free downloadable pdf of Street Scene: urban art & graffiti artists from issue 15 can be downloaded by clicking here.

Through the Aesthetica Short Film Competition we would like to champion films from a variety of creators and look forward to those entries from artists and experimental film producers. We hope to have an example of visual artists’ film and video work in the semi-finals, so spread the word or get creating!

The competition offers the winner and runners-up a fantastic prize package, which will bring your films to a wider audience. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2010. All winners will be notified by 31 May 2010 and the DVD will be released 1 August 2010.

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