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Research in Film Awards returns with two new categories

Date: 18/04/2018

Research in Film Awards

The Research in Film Awards are returning for its fourth year with two new categories focused on migration and social media. 

The Awards are designed to recognise the best short films that are either influenced or directly linked to arts and humanities research. With five categories - including four aimed at the research community and one open to the general public - the awards offer a unique opportunity to showcase emerging filmmaking talent while acknowledging the world-leading work of arts and humanities researchers and practitioners.

This year’s awards include two new categories: one that demonstrates the ongoing research on migration, while the other highlights the incredible engagement work being done using new interactive platforms.

The People on the Move Award: Stories of New Beginnings commemorates the 70 years since the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury carrying almost 500 passengers from the West Indies to the UK. It‘s open to films exploring the wider impact of migration around the globe, both past and present.

The Social Media Short Award, meanwhile, is designed for films made specifically with social media platforms in mind.

Both categories offer a timely glimpse into today’s society: social media is becoming ever more ingrained in daily life, and a key tool for sharing the powerful stories and impact of research, while migration continues to be one of the significant forces shaping the world today. 

The arrival of the Windrush was an iconic moment in migration history, and the People on the Move Award aims to showcase the untold stories of people who have moved from one place to another, as well as the impact and contribution of migration at a transnational, national and/or local community level. 

The full list of categories for 2018 are:

  • Best Research Film of the Year
  • Doctoral Award or Early Career Film
  • People on the Move Award: Stories of New Beginnings
  • Social Media Short Award
  • Inspiration Award (public category)

The films will be judged by a panel of academic and film industry experts, chaired by Jan Dalley, Arts Editor at the Financial Times. All nominees will be invited to an awards ceremony on Thursday 8 November at the home of BAFTA (195 Piccadilly, London), where the five winners will be announced. 

The winner of each category will also receive a trophy and £2,000 prize money to put towards their future filmmaking endeavours.

Dr Beth Singler from the University of Cambridge won the Best Research Film of the Year 2017 for her film Pain in the Machine, which explores whether robots could or should feel pain. It has led to a series of films and Beth has already finished the second film of four - titled Friend in the Machine which looks at the role of robots as companions - which was part-funded by her prize money.

Beth said: “Winning the [RIFA] award is fantastic and really exciting. It’s definitely a morale boost as we go into making the third and fourth film in the series, and the prize will contribute directly to them.

“We’re going to continue to ask the big and difficult questions about the future of AI and robotics and how they will relate to aspects that we’ve long thought to be uniquely human, like pain, but also friendship, ethics, and consciousness.” 

The Research in Film Awards present a fantastic opportunity for budding filmmakers to showcase their work to a wider audience, including those in the film industry, and are still the only film awards dedicated entirely to arts and humanities research.

Applications must be submitted through the online form. For further details please visit our Research in Film Awards 2018 call page.

For more information on the awards as well as details on previous winners please visit our Research in Film Awards homepage in the Innovation section of our website at ahrc.ukri.org/rifa2018.

About AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

Visit us at: www.ahrc.ac.uk, on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.

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