film projector on a black background with dramatic lighting and selective focus

The Arts Institute Film Commission takes place annually in celebration of the partnership with The Box, Plymouth. Now in its fourth iteration, the 2021 commission will once again showcase the very best from this open call to artists and filmmakers.

Reflecting upon our Storytelling season and responding to the Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, the commissioned film will explore one or more of the exhibition's themes which include:  
diversity of cultures and languages; oral and visual traditions of sharing knowledge; creation stories; systems of mapping landscapes; the relationship between people and the land; objects as repositories of meaning; meeting of ancient knowledge and new technologies; anthropology and ethnography; spirituality.
Through this annual film commission, The Box aims to build a body of work that reflects on Plymouth’s film heritage and looks towards its future.
Filmmakers and curators will be expected to create new work, which will – either wholly or in part – use archive material from The Box to reflect on the experience of living in the South West. The Film Commission is aimed at work which explores innovative ways of animating the film archive and increasing awareness of and accessibility to the film collection.

2021 Film Commission Winner

Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms by Mohini Chandra
Selected for The Arts Institute Film Commission 2021, filmmaker Mohini Chandra has created Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms – a beautifully crafted piece that delves into the tales and hidden histories of Plymouth’s waters and the city’s links to the wider world. 
Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms began with a curiosity about shipwrecks and the world of amateur sea divers, the stories they tell, the ‘treasures’ brought up from local wrecks and the collections that have been created.” - Mohini Chandra
Still from Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms by Mohini Chandra, winner of the 2021 Film Commission Prize
Still from 'Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms ' by Mohini Chandra, winner of the 2021 Film Commission Prize
Richard Broomhall, ‘Got You Mouse’ - Previous winner of The Arts Institute Film Commission
Richard Broomhall, ‘Got You Mouse’ – The Arts Institute Film Commission, 2018

Selection panel

Anna Navas I Film Programmer at The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth and Director of Plymouth Arts Cinema
Mary Costello I Exhibitions Coordinator for The Arts Institute and Associate Lecturer in Art History, University of Plymouth
Dr Kayla Parker I Artist film-maker, and Lecturer in Media Arts, University of Plymouth
Professor Michael Punt I Transtechnology Research, University of Plymouth
Stacey Anderson I Media Archivist, The Box

Supporting the presentation of film and cinema

The Arts Institute's Jill Craigie Cinema is named after British documentary film director, actor, writer and feminist Jill Craigie (1914-1999). Craigie directed The Way We Live (1946), which was filmed in war-damaged Plymouth and the first documentary film shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

Located in the Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, the cinema seats 127 and is equipped with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound as well as projectors enabling screenings of 35mm, 16mm formats and DVD/Blu-ray formats.

The Arts Institute is a passionate advocate for film, recognising its ability to entertain, explore and inspire, and regularly works in partnership with other independent cinemas and art organisations to promote the diversity of cinema. Past cinema programmes have supported popular cult classics and artist films, opening up the rich history of cinematography alongside the latest in contemporary cinema to a wide range of audiences.
Jill Craigie Cinema
Inside The Box's Media Lab. Photograph by Dom Moore.
Inside The Box's Media Lab. Photograph by Dom Moore.

The Box, Plymouth

The Box's moving image collections, formerly held by the South West Film and Television Archive, comprise more than 250,000 titles maintained in their original, digital and born digital formats. They form one of the largest regional film archives in the UK and are recognised nationally as a significant screen heritage collection.

Preserved in specialist cold and freezer stores within The Box alongside other media collections, they depict many changes in the city and region from the late 1890s to the present day.

Discover more about The Box

The House

Delivered by The Box and The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth partnership.