The Jarman Award shortlist is currently touring the UK before the winner is announced in December. It is named after film artist, Derek Jarman who died in 1994. This is the 7th year of the award which is given to the best contemporary film artist of the year.
The screening of the nominees was accompanied by a short Q&A with film artist Redmond Entwistle whose film Walk-Through about the California Institute of the Arts was shown. He explained during the Q&A that the film was about the comodification of education and was semi-autobiographical having attended the university himself in the past. Overall there were 10 films shown, 2 of which were only excerpts including the widely talked about 20,000 Days on Earth the fictitious documentary about Nick Cave by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.
My favourite of the films screened was Peripeteia by John Akomfrah. The film took two drawings by an artist called Albrecht Durer which are among the earliest western representations of black people. The film imagines these people in a ghostly way explaining how they are now “lost to the winds of history”.
Whilst a few of the films were not to my taste, everything was interesting, original and experimental. It was a great example of contemporary artist filmmaking and I am looking forward to see which film wins.