Call For Filmmakers: Archive Residency, Deadline: 5 February 2010

Call For Filmmakers: Archive Residency, Deadline: 5 February 2010

Abandon Normal Devices has hooked up with the North West Film Archive to present a new project, Gleaners. We are offering two filmmakers an opportunity to spend a month each within the archive, exploring the collection and creating a new work.

Each filmmaker will be matched with a band/musician who will create the film’s soundtrack. The two resulting films will be showcased in a series of live events across the Northwest, starting with Abandon Normal Devices in Manchester in October 2010, with the musicians accompanying the screenings with a live soundtrack.

This project has been enabled by Northwest Vision and Media and the UK Film Council's Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.

To find out more, read on for application details, or download as a pdf. A Large Print version of this brief can be downloaded here. The deadline for application is 6pm on Friday 5th February 2010.


Some of the most engaging contemporary filmmaking uses archival material as its basis, with artists increasingly adept at remixing and re-appropriating existing footage for poetic effect. A broad spectrum of approaches include the personal city portrait of Terence Davies’ Of Time And The City, the pop culture collages of People Like Us and Sarah Wood, the re-examined histories of Luke Fowler and the political essays of Adam Curtis. The thoughtful selection and editing of archive material can express a filmmaker’s vision of the world in a particularly spellbinding way.

Gleaners will consist of two filmmaker residencies in the North West Film Archive, focusing on the wealth of material with no associated third party copyright costs. These filmmakers will be paired with emerging musicians to collaborate in the creative process. The resulting films (20 minutes in duration) will be screened at a series of exciting screening events across the North West as part of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival, with a live soundtrack performance from the artist/DJ/band.

A picture-locked soundtrack will also be created so the resulting films will be able to have future screenings and be showcased on AND’s channel on FACT TV, the HD online platform. The resulting films will also be acquired by the Archive itself.

Who We Are

The North West Film Archive (NWFA), based at Manchester Metropolitan University is Britain's largest public collection outside London. The Archive was set up in 1977 and is the professionally recognised home for moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cumbria and Cheshire. The Archive cares for over 34,000 items from the pioneer days of film in the mid 1890s to video production of the present day. The work of both the professional and the amateur is collected, and there is a wealth of material with no associated third-party costs. Previous artists residencies have included Louise K Wilson and Jordan Baseman. All public areas of the NWFA are fully accessible.

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is a new festival that welcomes audiences to experience the best in new cinema and media art in a celebration that spills from screens and galleries into the streets and imaginations of the North West. AND exists to create a space where artists and filmmakers can offer striking new perspectives, and visitors can enjoy, discuss and interact with ideas, in a festival that questions the normal and champions a different approach. The festival is created through a unique partnership between FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Cornerhouse and folly.

What We Are Offering

• A fee of £2,500 each to two filmmakers to each create a 20-minute film.
• A further £2,000 per film will be allocated to the NWFA to support all costs associated with the research, viewing, digital transfers, supply and use of footage (with the exception of 3rd party copyright fees).
• Access to the Archive during working hours, to research and view material.
• Advice from Archive staff, and curatorial support from AND.
• We will work with the filmmakers to suggest locally based musicians, who will collaborate to create a soundtrack to the film.
• The first residency period will be in April 2010, and the second in May 2010.
• The films will debut at an event as part of Abandon Normal Devices in Manchester, October 2010, followed by a tour of four dates in Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside.

What We Are Looking For

• Filmmakers who are excited by the idea of spending time in an archive and interested in the process of researching material.
• Filmmakers who demonstrate an awareness of the nature of archives and sensitivity to the preservation environment.
• Filmmakers who can display a connection to the region and whose work will maximise the moving image material for local audiences.
• Filmmakers who are willing to speak in public about their process, and write a blog during their residency.
• Filmmakers willing to experiment and work collaboratively with a musician.

How To Apply

E-mail the following documents to andfestivalgleaners@gmail.com and a send a sample of your work, no later than 6pm on Friday 5th February 2010.

Proposal (one side of A4)
Tell us why you are interested in the project, and what you’d like to do. You do not have to have a concrete idea on the final film you want to make, but should demonstrate how the residency relates to your current filmmaking practice and how you propose to approach research at the North West Film Archive.

Filmmaker Biography (one side of A4)
Tell us the recent moving image projects you’ve worked on, the role you played and any screenings they have had.

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form
Download here in Word format and help us monitor our communication.

Sample of Moving Image work
Please post us a DVD or send us a link to a place where your work can be viewed online. This sample or showreel should be no more than 10 minutes in length, and demonstrate recent work that you think shows why you’d be a good candidate for the residency. Mailed DVDs should be postmarked no later than 5th February, and please make sure to label them with your name and e-mail address. Send to: Gleaners AND Project, Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH, UK

Deadline: Friday 5 February 2010
Interviews: Week commencing 22 February 2010
First Residency: April 2010
Second Residency: May 2010
Film Screening Premiere: October 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be based in the Northwest?

No. Filmmakers must be based in the UK, but do not have to live in the Northwest. However, the North West Film Archive is based in Manchester and there is no extra budget for travel and accommodation, so filmmakers should consider this before applying.

Do I have to turn up to the archive everyday?

We will be seeking proposals that engage with the unique collection within the archive. Access will be available during office hours, which are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. While we expect filmmakers to make the most of the residency, it is up to the filmmaker to negotiate their own schedule that best serves their filmmaking.

Does the film have to be entirely composed of footage from the NWFA?

No. With the stipulation that the film should be 20 minutes in length, you are welcome to supplement archive footage with additional material. This can be sourced from other sources, including newly created footage that you shoot yourself. All material used must be licensed with all copyright cleared for the intended uses.

Does the film have to be about the Northwest?

No. There is not a restriction on the subject matter of the film. However filmmakers are invited to consider the unique nature of the North West Film Archive in relation to their interests. We will be looking for artists who can display a connection to the region and whose work will maximise the moving image material for local audiences. We also recommend having a look at the Abandon Normal Devices website to see the kind of work that has been shown in the past.

I’m a full-time student, can I apply?

No. Those in full time education are not eligible.

I’m a musician / record label / promoter in the Northwest, and I’m interested in getting involved. How do I get in touch?

Great, we are not directly looking for musicians at the moment, but you are welcome to get in touch with us via andfestivalgleaners@gmail.com and send us some links to your music and we’ll keep you in mind when we get to that stage.

Further Reading/Viewing

If you are interested in finding out more

Wikipedia: Found Footage
The Wikipedia page on Found Footage is a good introduction to the practice and flags up some artists who have pioneered techniques and styles.

Luxonline: Found Footage
An introduction with links to some key works.

Found Film Footage by George Clark
This page on Engine, presents seven full films or clips, representing different facets of found footage work, from pop art collages to political essays to promo music videos and subversive documentaries, these films explore the aesthetics, politics and ethics of appropriation in our mediated society.

Archive Remixed at Abandon Normal Devices blog
A short blog post that includes some of the archive and live soundtrack work that showed at the AND festival in Liverpool in September 2009.

A few interesting contemporary filmmakers working with archive material that we recommend checking out:
Craig Baldwin, Sarah Wood, Adam Curtis, Terrence Davies, People Like Us / Vicki Bennett, Deimantas Narkevicius, Hito Steyerl, Black Audio Film Collective, Luke Fowler, Jonathan Caouette, Jeff Feuerzeig, George Barber

If you have any questions please e-mail us at andfestivalgleaners@gmail.com

north west vision and media large
uk film council large main
MMU Logo
Abandon Normal Devices Ltd, registered in England, No 6054549