We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

The Research in Film Awards 2020 winners and shortlist

The Arts and Humanities Research Council is delighted to announce the winners of the Research in Film Awards 2020, which remains the only film awards dedicated to celebrating and recognising arts and humanities research through film.

We received hundreds of entries this year, and our prestigious judging panel whittled them down to just a few. The winning films below represent the best films made during the course of, as result of, or that are inspired by arts and humanities research. Many of them are available to watch in full online right now, including short clips and trailers – we hope you enjoy them.

Best Research Film

This award is for the very best film made as an output or by-product of arts and humanities research. It will be interesting, technically impressive, bring new research to wider attention, and highlight the value and importance of arts and humanities research.

Shelter without Shelter, also nominated for the Best Doctoral or Early Career Film category and created by Dr Tom Scott-Smith (University of Oxford) and Mark Breeze, tells the story of what it was like for the refugees and humanitarian workers who lived and worked inside Berlin’s large-scale emer-gency shelters following the 2015 ‘summer of migration’.

Best Doctoral or Early Career Film

This award is for the best film made by doctoral students and early career researchers who are funded by the AHRC. Just like the Best Research Film of the Year award, it will be inter-esting, technically impressive, bring new research to wider attention, and highlight the value and importance of arts and humanities research.

Three Lithuanians reflect on the time when they first began to hear voices, and relive life-changing incidents they've experienced since. Torment or blessing? Each has a unique take on the condition. Voices Apart is a documentary about living with the voices that set you apart.

The film was created by David Heinemann (Goldsmiths College) and Elvina Nevardauskaite, their third collaboration with their production company Broken Island Films.

Best Climate Emergency Film

This award is for the best film that explores how arts and humanities research relates to the climate emergency. The winning film will show how arts and humanities research gives us the tools, as individuals and as society at large, to understand environmental change, to adapt and be resilient in the face of it, and to communicate the threats to our planet.

A Short Film About Ice, by Adam Laity (University of the West of England) is a visually dramatic film-poem that documents the journey of a cinematographer through the changing landscapes of the Arctic, exploring and re-conceptualising notions of the sublime in light of ecological crises and climate breakdown. This film is also nominated for the Best Research Film, Best Doctoral or Early Career Film and Inspiration Award categories.

Best Animated Film

This new category for 2020 recognises films that have creatively used animation to tell sto-ries or explore ideas in arts and humanities research.

Bathroom Privileges by Ellie Land (University of Northumbria), Rupert Williams, Emma Parsons, Zoe Llewellyn is an animated documentary that explores the difficulties people face in accessing public bathrooms and presents this space as a place of negotiation of power. 

Inspiration Award

This award is for the best film that is inspired by arts and humanities research. Unlike the other categories, this award is open to everyone in the UK: you might have made a film after visiting an arts festival, a museum exhibition, or though enjoying books, plays, performances, or something else that has fired your imagination. The winning entry will share the importance of arts and humanities research to our lives.

To Be A Marma, also nominated for the Best Climate Emergency Film category and created by Ed Owles in collaboration with Farhana Hoque and Alison Rooper, paints an evocative picture of the Marma people, a minority indigenous people living in the Bangladesh/Myanmar border who are facing mass migration into their ancestral lands as a result of climate change.

Watch the full Awards ceremony livestream online

The Research in Film Awards 2020 were presented at a special online livestream event on Wednesday 11 November 2020. You can watch the entire ceremony online.

The ceremony is a prestigious affair and was be attended by members of the press, aca-demics, film industry professionals, and the cast and crew behind the 25 films that are shortlisted, as well as anyone who is interested in arts and humanities research and film. The event offers a chance for talented and emerging filmmakers to step into the limelight and get their work noticed by a wider audience. The winners of each category were presented with an award and received £5,000 prize money to put towards their future filmmaking endeav-ours.