Symposium 2015: Short Film (and) Criticism

TFpremake.jpgGlasgow 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.

Schedule (more speakers to be added)

10.30-10.45 Welcome

10.45-12.15 Criticism on Short Film
Chair: Dr David Archibald, University of Glasgow
Speakers to include Professor Richard Raskin, Aarhus University

12.30-14.00 Short Film Curation as Criticism
Chair: Susan Kemp, University of Edinburgh
Speakers to include Isla Leaver-Yap, LUX Scotland
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

15.10-16.45 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

18.00-19.30 Drinks

The symposium is free to attend. To register for a place please email

‘The Eye Hears, the Ear Sees’: Music, Animation and Experimental Film Symposium


Tuesday 3 June 2014, 10am –Norman McLaren 5.30pm

Playfair Library, Old College, University of Edinburgh

Booking available through Eventbrite, places are free but limited

2014 marks the centenary of Norman McLaren’s birth. This anniversary is being celebrated in Scotland with McLaren2014, a programme of events taking place in Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh between April and June. As a supplement to this programme, the University of Edinburgh is running a series of workshops, roundtables and symposia, of which this is the first.

McLaren is now recognized as a pioneer in the fields of animation, experimental and abstract cinema, and visual sound. Taking his innovations as a starting point – and borrowing our title from a 1970 BBC documentary about McLaren – this symposium will explore and interrogate McLaren’s legacy for practitioners and theorists. Four guest speakers will discuss the relationships between music, animation, and experimental film. They will consider McLaren’s work and influence from disparate perspectives, and identify new avenues of enquiry that it suggests. How can we think and theorise the relations between sound and the moving image in fresh and novel ways? Although filmmakers regularly collaborate with musicians and sound designers, how can working habits be reimagined, new strategies and creative possibilities explored?

This event is being collaboratively organized with the Talbot Rice gallery in Edinburgh, which is staging a six week exhibition of McLaren materials as part of McLaren2014. The symposium will close with a reception held in the gallery.

We have now finalised our schedule for the event below. The event is free, but ticketed, with a few places left:

10am Opening Remarks

10.30am Dr Karen Beckman, University of Pennsylvania

11.30am Dr Aimee Mollaghan, NUI Galway

12.30 – 2pm Lunch break (not provided)

2pm Dr Holly Rogers, University of Liverpool

3pm -3.30pm Coffee Break (provided)

3.30pm Dr Richard Stamp, Bath Spa University

4.30pm Roundtable discussion

5.30 – 7pm Wine reception – Talbot Rice Gallery

LLC Colloquy 2014: 26 May

The LLC Colloquy 2014 will see graduate students from The University of Edinburgh’s School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures present their current research. We welcome both ten and twenty minute papers from students of all subjects within the school. The conference is an opportunity to share research, to practice and develop presentation skills, and to experiment with new methods of presentation. There will also be a chance for conference participants to submit their papers to a special issue of FORUM, Edinburgh’s arts and culture post-graduate journal.

We have three papers being presented by Film Studies research students.

For full details of the programme and to register please visit: