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Emerging Film Curators Lab

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Submit your proposal for public screening events at the Barbican in autumn 2020 for the opportunity to join the first Emerging Film Curators Lab.

As part of our commitment to presenting the widest possible range of perspectives across our cinema programme, we are delighted to launch a call-out for individuals or collectives to apply for the Barbican’s first ever Emerging Film Curators Lab. As the Barbican is temporarily closed due to UK Government advice on Coronavirus/COVID-19, this Lab is now taking place digitally.

This lab is to cultivate proposals for public screenings at the Barbican in autumn 2020. Ten projects are short-listed to take part in the digital Lab, which comprises a mix of group and 1:1 online sessions over a few days, after which four projects are selected for development.

We are looking for film curators (individuals, or collectives of up to three people) from a range of backgrounds and contexts, with limited programming experience, who are interested in developing socially engaged, inclusive film events, to form part of Inside Out: a year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.

Lab participants are introduced to the context of the Barbican and meet the film curatorial & marketing teams, who offer expertise and guidance. 

Submit your proposal

Applications must be submitted by Thursday 30 April 2020, 5pm. 

Describe how your proposal responds to the theme of ‘Inside Out’ in 600-1000 words. This must include a film screening in the cinema, as well as a panel/ discussion/ music other ‘live element’ within the cinema or as a spatial presentation. Potential film titles, live events and guests should be mentioned in the proposal. Please note that in case of a spatial presentation, the provided space will be at Barbican Cinema Beech Street foyer and/or café areas.

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Important information about the application process

Only projects submitted as part of the digital Emerging Film Curators Lab are eligible to be selected: taking part is essential.

Applicants must be willing and available able to take part in both the Emerging Film Curators Lab at the end of May 2020 and if selected, attend the Barbican for the screening event they develop at the Lab.

Applicants are expected to be involved at all stages of production for their event; the lab is to develop the applicant’s conceptual and practical skills alike. 

Public screenings are taking place in autumn 2020. Only four projects will be selected to become public screenings. 

All projects must include a film screening with an additional live element, and must last no longer than 2hrs 30 min. 

Each project receives a curatorial fee of £200, with £250 available to cover the cost of event production. 

This is an open call. Equal consideration is given to those without a degree or institutional affiliation who demonstrate a high level of creativity, critical thought and other potential in their respective fields. Neither a curriculum vitae nor letters of recommendation are required. 

Young Barbican Alumni are eligible for consideration if they apply as a collective (maximum three people).

We offer a limited number of childcare bursaries: please add your requirements to the application if relevant. 

All applicants must be UK residents. 

Selection committee 
The selection committee comprises Barbican Cinema programmers, 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 adherence to the aforementioned criteria.

Project proposals should be submitted no later than Thursday 30 April 2020, 5pm.

Interviews for shortlisted proposals take place over Skype in the week commencing Monday 11 May 2020.

We will endeavour to contact all applicants to let them know if they have been selected or not, but because of the high volume of applicants, this may not be possible. 


If you have any queries about the application process or the Lab, please contact us at [email protected]