SWEDENBORG FILM FESTIVAL 2018

November 24 (competition screening) | full programme tba | Swedenborg House

Susan Hiller, Channels, 2013. Multi-channel video installation, 106 television sets, 9 media players, 7 dvd players, signal splitters. Commissioned by Matt’s Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist.

SWEDENBORG FILM FESTIVAL 2018

November 24 (competition screening) | full programme tba | Swedenborg House

SUBMIT HERE

2018 Theme: CORRESPONDENCES 
Guest Judge: SUSAN HILLER

Featuring new films of 20 minutes or less and co-curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze), the Swedenborg Film Festival invites entries from the latest emerging and established talent of experimental and artist film, exploring the theme of 'Correspondences' – symbols, metaphor, hidden meanings. 

Selected films will be screened on Saturday 24 November 2018 at Swedenborg Hall, ‘one of London’s most atmospheric venues’ (The Guardian). 

The artist Susan Hiller will choose and announce the winner at the close of the festival, as well as present a curated programme exploring the theme of 'Correspondences'. Artists and writers including Ali Smith, Bridget Smith, Andrew Kötting, Jeremy Millar and Lech Majewski have judged and shown work at SFF.

Filmmakers are invited to explore the concept of 'Correspondences' – a theme encountered in the work of scientist, philosopher, theologian and visionary, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) as well as those he influenced, from William Blake to Jorge Luis Borges. A foundation of the Romantic, Symbolist and Surrealist artistic traditions, Swedenborg was a seminal influence on generations of radical thinkers.

Inspired by the work of a single philosopher, the SFF has received a huge response from thousands of filmmakers around the world since its launch in 2010. The annual festival was re-launched in July 2015 with an expanded framework, a new competition and a fresh commitment to showing the work of international filmmakers who are engaging with themes similar to those that energized Swedenborg. 

The 2017 Festival explored the theme of 'dreams', with a season of iconic features and visionary shorts chosen by the writer Ali Smith. An award-winning writer and cultural critic, Smith curated a season of films – from Fellini's classic Nights of Cabiria to iconic short films by Jean Vigo – all questioning boundaries between imagination and reality, performance and identity. The festival concluded with the screening of the 2017 shortlist and Smith's announcement of the 2017 winner: Fenglin Chen, alongside special mentions: Michelle Brand, Atobe Hiroshi and Chay Milne.

The 2015/16 programme celebrated the award-winning Triptych of the great Polish filmmaker Lech Majewski alongside remarkable shorts by Richard Ashrowan; followed by a dynmaic programme of short films on 24 March, judged by the artist Bridget Smith. In November 2016, a second round of shortlisted films were screened alongside features by John Rogers and guest judge Andrew Kötting. The 2016 winners were Harold Charre, Toby Tatum and Daphne Rosenthal.

Filmmakers worldwide are invited to submit films of 20 minutes or less, which have been made between 1 June 2017 and 30 June 2018. Please submit via Film Freeway here.

about the 2018 guest judge Susan Hiller

With a multimedia practice extending over 40 years, Susan Hiller is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Since first making innovative use of audio and visual technology in the early 1980s, her groundbreaking installations, multi-screen videos and audio works have achieved international recognition. Each of Hiller’s works is based on specific cultural artefacts from our society, which she uses as basic materials. Many pieces explore the liminality of certain phenomena including the practice of automatic writing (Sisters of Menon, 1972/79), near death experiences (Channels, 2013), and collective experiences of unconscious, subconscious and paranormal activity (Belshazzar’s Feast, 1983-4; Psi Girls, 1999; Witness, 2000). Hiller’s powerful and resonant films range from the J Street Project (2002-05), a chillingly extensive search for every street sign in Germany bearing the word Juden (Jew), to The Last Silent Movie (2007), which also documents disappearance and absence, although this time through speech recordings of dying or extinct languages. Her psychologically charged and thematically varied practice amounts to an impassioned plea for the joys and mysteries associated with irrationality.

Susan Hiller was born in 1940 in Tallahasse, Florida, and has been based mainly in London since the early 1960s. After studying film and photography at The Cooper Union and archaeology and linguistics at Hunter College in New York, Hiller went on to a National Science Foundation fellowship in anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her work features in numerous international private and public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London and the Centro de Arte Contemporanea Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil. Her career has been recognized by survey exhibitions at the ICA, London (1986); ICA, Philadelphia (1998); Museu Serralves, Porto (2004); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007) and, most recently by, a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain (2011).

For more see Susan's website here.

THE SWEDENBORG SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze). Inspired by the work of a single philosopher, the SFF has received a huge response from thousands of filmmakers around the world since its launch in 2010. For the 2017 edition, filmmakers were invited to explore the concept of 'dreams' – a theme encountered in the work of scientist, philosopher, theologian and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), as well as those he influenced, from William Blake to Jorge Luis Borges. Artists including Ali Smith, Bridget Smith, Andrew Kötting, Jeremy Millar and Lech Majewski have shown work at or judged the SFF.