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Essay films from the Arts Council archive: a programme of screenings and discussions

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

Between 1953 and 1998, the Arts Council produced 450 films exploring an impressively wide variety of subjects and approaches to filmmaking. At its core, the project sought to use film to increase knowledge and understanding of art history, art institutions and individual artists’ practices. Spanning over four decades, the archive has become a fascinating reflection of Britain’s notion of the role of art, and of the UK’s shifting approaches to publicly funded film production. The films move between the educational, the experimental, and the radically socially engaged, as trends, tastes and politics change over time.

Reflecting some of the variety of films supported by the Arts Council, this session will present a number of rarely screened works from this collection, and invite a series of experts and researchers to contextualise and explore this fascinating body of work.

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