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Emerging Film Curators Series

Tue 30 Jan 2024 – Sun 24 Mar 2024 

Barbican Cinema is delighted to announce the Emerging Film Curators Series, developed by up-and-coming curators, who took part in the Barbican’s Emerging Film Curators Lab in  2023, designed to widen the range of voices on screen. This four-part series, which explores the notion of change in the social and political landscape, begins in January and continues to March 2024.

The series starts with Visions from the Wake: Grief and its Afterlives in Global Cinema, curated by Cici Peng, which explores the subject of death and grieving in cinema and looks at alternative ways of mourning. This event also includes a live reading from former gal-dem editor-in-chief Suyin Haynes and a guided meditation from Rieko Whitfield.

The second event in the series, Stims: Towards a Neurodiverse Cinema and Filmmaker ScreenTalk, is curated by Lillian Crawford. This collection of eight short films, spanning animation to documentary, by five neurodiverse directors, will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on what a neurodiverse cinema looks like.

Further programmes taking place between February and March 2024 are: Unseen Avant-Gardes: Women Experimental Filmmakers in Yugoslavia, 1960-90 and ScreenTalk curated by Teodora Kosanović, a collection of rebellious and poetic experimental short films made by women filmmakers during a culturally significant period in Yugoslavia; and Changing with the Tides, an immersive journey across coastal communities in the UK, with short films that document the dramatic changes in fishing industries and communities over the last seven decades. Curated by Aryan Tauqeer Khawaja, Sophiya Sian, Tony Yang, this programme will be accompanied by live poetry readings and guest speakers.

Gali Gold, Head of Barbican Cinema,

The Emerging Film Curators Lab is an integral part of the Barbican’s talent development programme aiming to widen the pull of creatives who impact our artistic and cultural spheres, by offering professional opportunities to the next generation of cinema curators. I am delighted to share this rich programme with our audiences - a testament to the creativity, originality and imagination of new curatorial voices who invite us to go on exciting and powerful cinematic journeys.”

The Emerging Film Curators Lab is a free career development programme designed to give young people a chance to establish themselves in the UK cinema exhibition sector. The successful individuals and teams, who are now presenting their funded programmes at the Barbican, have received training from experienced film curators to give insight and practical information on how to programme, produce and market their own cinema screening events.


Visions from the Wake: Grief and its Afterlives in Global Cinema (12A)
Tue 30 Jan, 6.30pm
Cinema 3

Loss is a part of life, yet people can often feel isolated in their grief. Curated by  journalist and programmer Cici Peng, these short films give form to these difficult emotions, exploring alternative modes of mourning from filmmakers of the diaspora.

The programme looks at the afterlives of grief and how it returns, moving from a beachside in Dakar, to a Google Maps view of Palestine; each film reveals how profound grief is a symptom of our love and dependence on one another.

The event will be accompanied by an introductory reading by Cici Peng, a 10-minute guided meditation led by the musician and artist Rieko Whitfield, and a reading by writer and former gal-dem editor-in-chief Suyin Haynes. Postcards will be handed out at the end as an optional exercise for reflection and personal writing.


Senegal 2009, Dir Mati Diop, 15 min

A group of young men gather around a fire to share the stories of their harrowing journeys on pirogues, trying to get to Europe.

Further and Further Away
Cambodia 2022. Dir Polen Ly, 23 min

Before their impending departure for the capital city, two siblings must first bid farewell to the place they called home and the resting place of their family, each in their own way.

now I close my eyes, the world I see is so beautiful

UK 2020, Dir April Lin 林森, 3 mins

A music video for experimental rapper OHYUNG samples lines from Taiwanese New Wave film Yi Yi, in which a young girl speaks to the ghost of her grandmother.
Arpil Lin responds with an imaginary encounter between them and their grandfather across space, time and digital dimensions.


USA 2019, Dir Keisha Ray Witherspoon, 14 min
A film crew follows three grieving participants in Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model RIP T-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honour of their dead.

A Fortress​/Une forteresse

Canada/Haiti 2018, Dir Miryam Charles, 6 min

Miryam Charles' poetic short A Fortress explores the landscapes of Haiti, as a mourning couple seek out a DNA specialist rumoured to be able to resurrect their recently deceased adoptive daughter.

Your Father was Born 100 Years Old, and So was the Nakba

Canada/Palestine 2017, Dir Razan AlSalah, 7 min

This doc-fiction is a (re)construction, a (re)collection of the memory of returning to Haifa. Razan AlSalah is imagining her grandmother was able to return to Haifa when she was still alive, through Google Streetview, which today is the only way she could see Palestine.

Blessed Land

Vietnam 2019, Dir Pham Ngoc Lan, 18 min
In the dune landscape of a cemetery, or is it golf course? Past and present converge in the search for a grave

Stims: Towards a Neurodiverse Cinema (15*) + Filmmaker ScreenTalk

Relaxed Screening

Sat 10 Feb 4.15pm, Cinema 3

Stimming is a term used by neurodivergent people to describe the noises and movements they sometimes make to feel calmer.

Stims is a collection of eight films by neurodiverse filmmakers who refuse to bow to the norm, celebrating neurodivergent ways of seeing in front of and behind the camera, through comedy, experimenta and animation.

Their films all explore movement and changing environments from an array of neurodivergent perspectives. The event considers what a neurodiverse cinema looks like, and how it can be achieved.

This screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk with directors Georgia Kumari Bradburn, Sophie Broadgate and Edward Smyth, hosted by event curator Lillian Crawford, an autistic writer and co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast.

Drawing on Autism

UK 2021, Dir: Alex Widdowson, 10 min

An animated exploration into the ethical issues that arise when a non-autistic filmmaker attempts to represent an autistic documentary participant.

Mahon Chorizo Avocado

UK 2020, Dir: Edward Smyth, 7 min

An experimental comedy about custom-made sandwiches, deformed pigeon feet, temperatures, the best cookies in London, bamboo mustard, equipage, Cece, autism, ADHD, and Edward Smyth’s life at 21.

Wave 3

UK 2022, Dir: Edward Smyth, 5 min

A film which explores neurodiversity, celebrating alternative ways of being, and finding joy through distinctive special interests.

In Motion
UK 2022, Dir: Sophie Broadgate, 2 min

An exploration of the emotional experience of autism, normalising and celebrating different forms of stimming.

We’ve created these invisible systems and structures

UK 2021, Dir: Sophie Broadgate, 6 min
A documentary exploring the thoughts, words, and visual ideas of over 30 autistic and neurodivergent women, non-binary, and trans people.


Danse Russe

Australia 2021, Dir Sophia Rose O’Rourke, 8 min

A silent film inspired by a William Carlos Williams poem in which a mother takes out one of her old ballet costumes and starts to dance again.

Out of Water

UK 2022, Dir Georgia Kumari Bradburn, 15 min

An alien returns to Earth with a charismatic scientist; however, her security lies in the balance when she suspects that he is hiding something from her.

A Brief History of Circles

UK 2023, Dir Georgia Kumari Bradburn, 8 min
An experimental video essay which uses circles and waves to explore neurodivergent experience.

Unseen Avant-Gardes: Women Experimental Filmmakers in Yugoslavia, 1960-90 (18*) + ScreenTalk
Thu 29 Feb 8.45pm, Cinema 3
An evening of rarely screened shorts from various archives and collections from the former-Yugoslav region, featuring films that frame politics and nationhood as inextricably linked to gender, intimacy, and the urban spaces around us.

Ranging from snapshots of everyday life in Vukica DjilasHome Movies and obsessions with 1960s pop music in Tatijana Ivanišević’s Zemsko, to the seminal portrait of Socialist Yugoslavia in Sanja Iveković’s Personal Cuts - these films take audiences on a journey through a cultural, political and personal history via the lens of trailblazing women artists.

Curator Teodora Kosanović will be joined by writer Owen Hatherley for a discussion following the screening.

Yugoslavia, 1963, Dir Erna Banovac, 2 min, B&W, Sound

Grad u Izlogu (City in a Shop Window)
Yugoslavia, 1970, Dir Tatijana Ivančić, 5 min, Colour, Sound

Zemsko (Gal)
Yugoslavia, 1968, Dir Tatijana Ivanišević, 6 min, Colour, Sound

Svakog Dana Se Šetam Po Pola Sata (Everyday I Walk For Half An Hour)
Yugoslavia, 1968, Dir. Bojana Vujanović, 2 min, Colour, Sound

Srce (Heart)
Yugoslavia, 1970, Dir Bogdanka Poznanović, 3 min, B&W, Silent

With thanks to the Museum of Modern Art Vojvodina, and the Poznanović family archive

Tiha Voda Breg Roni (Still Waters Run Deep)
Yugoslavia, 1972, Dir Bojana Vujanović, 4 min, B&W and Colour, Silent

Excerpt from Home Movies
Yugoslavia, 1970, Dir Vukica Djilas, 20 min, Colour, Sound

Preobražaj (Transformation)
Yugoslavia, 1973, Dir Divna Jovanović, 2 min, Colour, Sound

Penelopa (Penelope)
Yugoslavia, 1977, Dir Biljana Belić, 7 min, Colour, Sound

Excerpt from Lićna Disciplina (Personal Discipline)
Yugoslavia, 1982, Juliana Terek & Miroslav Petrović, 11 min, Colour, Sound

Osobni Rezovi (Personal Cuts)
Yugoslavia, 1982, Dir Sanja Iveković, 3 min, B&W and Colour, Sound)

With thanks to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art collection in Rijeka, Croatia

Changing with the Tides (12A*) + live poetry

Sun 24 Mar 3.30pm, Cinema 2

Head out to sea with this selection of shorts documenting the dramatic shifts in fishing industries and communities across seven decades.

Changing with the Tides is an immersive journey across coastal communities in the UK and beyond, traces technological, social and economic changes in the fishing industry and how it has affected the workers that partake in it. Beginning with the poetic rhythms of traditional swordfish-hunting in Vittorio De Seta’s The Age of Swordfish (1954), the programme traces how cinematic portrayals of the lives of fishermen have been affected by the globalisation of the industry across three key time periods.

Beginning on the coasts of 1950s Sicily and ending on the Northeast shores of Scotland in 2021, these powerful short films are accompanied by live poetry readings and guest speakers. Curated by Aryan Tauqeer Khawaja, Sophiya Sian, Tony Yang

The Age of Swordfish

Italy, 1954, Dir Vittorio De Seta, 11 min

In this exhilarating and evocative documentary, fishermen hunt swordfish from the shores of Sicily.

The Bayview

UK, 2021, Dir Daniel Cook, 18 min
On the Northeast Coast of Scotland, an extraordinary family have turned a previously derelict hotel into a place of respite for international fishermen when they come to land.


More titles to be confirmed