GSSF Symposium 2015: Short Film (and) Criticism

Spent Saturday at the Glasgow Short Film Festival Symposium at the CCA. Excellent contributions from Isla Leaver-Yap (on curation as criticism) and Catherine Grant & Kevin B Lee (on the video essay). Here’s the full programme:

Transformers: The Premake, Kevin B Lee
Transformers: The Premake, Kevin B Lee

Glasgow Short Film Festival and University of Glasgow School of Culture & Creative Arts in association with University of Edinburgh: MSc Film, Exhibition & Curation and Scottish Media and Communications Association present a one day symposium:

Short Film (and) Criticism
Saturday 14 March 2015
CCA Theatre

Each year, Glasgow Short Film Festival stages a one day inclusive cross-disciplinary event, intended to bring together academics, critics, curators, filmmakers and a wider general audience to explore a specific aspect of short film in more detail. The symposia typically follow a structure of two or three panel discussions, a workshop or extended presentation, and a screening.

The 2015 symposium is devoted to film criticism in the context of short film: critical writing on short film, short film curation as a form of criticism, and short filmmaking as criticism.

The symposium will examine how short film’s distribution in the digital sphere both invites different approaches to criticism and presents challenges to more traditional forms of criticism. With the exception of writing on avant-garde and artists’ moving image work, there is currently limited long-form criticism of short film. However there are plenty of examples of short critical responses existing alongside films online. The very nature of short film allows a critic to easily compile, compare and contrast films online, just as a curator can quickly demonstrate an argument in putting together a programme of short films.

The symposium will also examine the growing trend amongst critics and academics for video essays – short filmmaking itself as a new form of criticism – analysing visual style, editing, sound or other aspects of a single film or body of work in ways that the written word cannot. We are delighted that two pioneers in this field, Kevin B Lee and Dr Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), will attend the symposium.


10.30-10.45 Welcome

10.45-12.15 Criticism on Short Film
Chair: Dr David Archibald, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Suzanne van der Lingen; MarBelle, Directors Notes; Professor Richard Raskin, Aarhus University; Jorge Rivero, Cortosfera

12.30-14.00 Short Film Curation as Criticism
Chair: Susan Kemp, University of Edinburgh
Speakers: Lizelle Bisschoff, Africa in Motion Film Festival; Isla Leaver-Yap, LUX Scotland; Christoffer Olofsson, Uppsala International Short Film Festival; Laura Walde, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur
Discussion will draw on the programme curated and presented by University of Edinburgh MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation students, Anatomy of a Film Programme (Friday 13 March)

14.00-15.00 Lunch

15.00-15.15 Screening: Joining Up: Scotland, Cinema and the First World War
Introduced by Dr David Archibald and Dr Maria Velez-Serna, University of Glasgow

15.15-16.45 Short Film as Criticism
Chair: Dr Ian Garwood, University of Glasgow
Speakers: Dr Catherine Grant, University of Sussex; Kevin B Lee

17.00-17.45 Screening: Transformers: The Premake
Introduced by Kevin B Lee, followed by Q&A chaired by Dr Pasquale Iannone, University of Edinburgh

18.00-19.30 Drinks