Artist-Director John Smith Wins Film London Jarman Award

The U.K. award celebrates artists working with film and images and carries a $16,000 cash prize and a Channel 4 TV show commission.

LONDON – Artist-filmmaker John Smith has won the 2013 Film London Jarman Award, which comes with a $16,000 (£10,000) cash purse and a film commission for Channel 4’s short-form arts strand, Random Acts. 

His win was announced on Nov. 6 at a ceremony held at the Whitechapel Gallery in the British capital.

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The London-based artist and filmmaker saw off the challenge from the shortlist of Ed Atkins, Emma Hart and Rachel Maclean.

Those three will also be commissioned for Random Acts episodes this year.

Smith's catalog consists of experimental film and video work, which has made an important contribution to artists’ moving image practice both nationally and internationally.

This edition of the award is billed as especially important, as it immediately precedes Jarman 2014, a celebration of the artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman, 20 years since his in 1994.

The man and his work, cited by Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton as an important influence on her career, will be celebrated in 2014 with exhibitions and screening programs, from partners including the British Film Institute, which is planning a major retrospective, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and and King’s College London.

Film London’s involvement in Jarman 2014 includes making the Jarman Award Random Acts films freely available on the BFI Player.

The government-backed agency is also working to continue the partnership between Film London and BBC Radio 4 with the development of a new audio-visual work about Jarman for both radio transmission and screening platforms.