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The award categories and ceremony

The award categories

There are five categories in the Research in Film Awards:

  • Best Research Film of the Year
  • Best Doctoral Award or Early Career Film of the Year
  • Best Climate Emergency Film (public category)
  • Best Animated Film of the Year
  • Inspiration Award (public category)

With the exception of the Inspiration Award and the Best Climate Emergency Film, entries must be an output or by-product of research made by someone employed by an AHRC-recognised research organisation. The Inspiration Award and Best Climate Emergency Film, however, are open to everyone in the UK.

Best Research Film of the Year

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.

Best Doctoral Award or Early Career Film of the Year

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 interesting, technically impressive, bring new research to wider attention, and highlight the value and importance of arts and humanities research.

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.

Best Animated Film of the Year

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

Inspiration Award (public category)

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.

The awards ceremony

The Research in Film Awards 2020 will be presented at a special ceremony at the BFI Southbank on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

The ceremony is a prestigious affair and is attended by members of the press, academics, film industry professionals, and the cast and crew behind the 25 films that are shortlisted. 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 are presented with an award and received £5,000 prize money to put towards their future filmmaking endeavours.

Last year’s award winners were announced on Thursday 11 November 2019. View photos from the evening online or watch the highlights video of the evening with reactions from the winning teams, hosted by writer and broadcaster Danny Leigh.