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Emerging Film Curators Lab 2022

The Midnight Traveller ScreenTalk at Barbican Cinema 1

Are you an emerging film curator looking to take the next step, who has a great idea for a public screening event?

We are looking for film curators (individuals, or collectives of up to three people) aged over 18, from a range of backgrounds and contexts, with limited cinema programming experience, who are interested in developing socially engaged, inclusive film events focusing on the theme of ‘Community’.

This year, we're looking for film events that explore the notion of ‘Community’ through film. This might include:

-             Marginalised and underrepresented communities  

-             Local and global communities

-             Collective art and filmmaking

-             Community action and activism

-             Community living

This lab experience is an opportunity to pick the brains of experienced film curators and learn more about working with and programming for an arts organisation. You’ll get knowledge and insight from the press and marketing teams too. Altogether, this training gives insight and practical information on how to imagine, plan, produce and sell a cinema screening. A small number of projects are selected for a public screening in our cinema. 

This is an open call. You don’t need to have a degree or be attached to an institution already – we are looking for you to demonstrate originality and practicality. We will not request a CV or letter of recommendation.

Ten projects in total are selected to take part in the Lab. You must be a UK resident to take part.

From the 2020 Emerging Film Curators Lab

“The Emerging Curators Lab was such a great experience. The Barbican team were diligent in creating a lab that was intensive and informative without ever being too draining. It was such a great way to understand how the Barbican programming process works, and it really felt like we were supported by the team to develop our projects.”

Grace Barber-Plentie
Film Programmer, BFI Festivals


“The Barbican's Emerging Film Curator Lab has been a formative stepping stone in my programming career so far. Thanks to the expert advice of the Barbican’s curators, marketing and communications teams the Lab gave me the necessary confidence and tools to step up my game and keep pursuing roles within the industry.”
Ren Scateni
Head of Programming, Encounters Film Festival


Submit your proposal

Emerging Film Curators Lab Submission Form

Please submit your proposal by Tuesday 6 June, 5PM.



Propose a cinema event that responds to the theme of 'Change’. This needs to include a film screening in the cinema, as well as a live element, such as a guest speaker, panel discussion, poetry reading etc. You should mention potential film titles and guests. Explain your idea in a straightforward and engaging way.



In less then 100 words, please let us know if you have any experience in the following areas (although it’s absolutely fine if you don’t, just write 'N/A' in the boxes below):



If you have any trouble submitting your proposal in this format or have any access requirements, please contact us to see how we can help. Please email: [email protected].

No one receiving this email will be part of the group shortlisting the applications.

Important information about the application process

  • Ten projects in total are selected to take part in the Lab, after the interviews have taken place.
  • Only projects submitted as part of the Emerging Film Curators Lab are eligible to be selected for the Barbican cinema programme: taking part is essential.
  • You must be willing and available to take part in both the Emerging Film Curators Lab in June and if selected, attend your event at the Barbican for the screening event you develop at the Lab. This would be on a date in late 2022 / early 2023, agreed with the Barbican and the emerging curator.
  • You are expected to be involved at all stages of production for your event; the lab is to develop your conceptual and practical skills alike.
  • All projects need to include a film screening with an additional live element, and last no longer than 2hrs 30 min total.
  • Each project selected for Barbican Cinema programme receives a curatorial fee of £250, with an additional £250 available to cover the cost of event production, not including the screening fee.
  • We offer a limited number of travel bursaries and childcare bursaries. If you progress to the interview stage, this can be discussed at that time.
  • All applicants must be UK residents.
  • All applicants (including all members of any collective) must be over 18 years of age.
  • The selection committee is made up of Barbican Cinema curators, members of the Creative Learning team and a number of the Barbican Young Programmers alumni. All proposals are evaluated on the merit of the project, originality, and how well it meets the criteria listed above.
  • Proposals received after the deadline won't be considered. 
  • You’ll be notified if your project is successful in the week starting Monday 30 May.
  • We’ll contact all applicants to let you know if you have been selected for interview or not, but because of the high volume of applicants, we can't offer feedback for unsuccessful applications. 
  • If you have any queries about the application process or the Lab, please get in touch at [email protected]