Rehana Zaman Wins Film London Jarman Award 

Rehana Zaman has received the 2023 Film London Jarman Award during a special event at Barbican. Rehana Zaman receives £10,000 in prize money, and was chosen from a shortlist of respected artists including; Ayo Akingbade, Andrew Black, Julianknxx, Sophie Koko Gate and Karen Russo. 

Now in its 16th year, The Film London Jarman Award is inspired by visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman and is run in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery and Barbican. The award recognises and supports moving image artists and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of UK-based artist filmmakers. The Award has built an enviable reputation for spotting rising stars of the UK art world. Previously shortlisted artists include; Heather Phillipson, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Oreet Ashery, Duncan Campbell, Monster Chetwynd, Jamie Crewe, Luke Fowler, Imran Perretta, Charlotte Prodger,  Laure Prouvost, Elizabeth Price, James Richards, Alberta Whittle and Project Art Works, all of whom went on to be shortlisted for or to win the Turner Prize.

The 2023 Film London Jarman Award was presented by actor Russell Tovey, who recently starred in ‘Blue Now’, a live performance marking the 30th anniversary of Jarman’s seminal film ‘Blue’

EWIDWOP Collective, ‘Everything Worthwhile is Done With Other People’ (2023), video still. Courtesy of EWIDWOP Collective.

Rehana Zaman’s artistic practice is centred around humanity and community, and she makes powerful hypnotic films that navigate issues of social injustice through expressions of joy and community.  

Zaman won the acclade for her work ‘Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People’ (2018 – 2023), which draws on her five-year collaboration with a group of Black and Global Majority women affected by incarceration. Zaman embarked on a series of workshops with the women, and used improvisation, camera and sound recording, storytelling and testimony to create a collectively authored film inspired by their conversations, experiences and freedom dreams. The final, hybrid, film allows many voices to speak, offering a small glimpse into the group’s attempt to connect and form against punitive contexts that strive to diminish, reduce and disappear. The work continues to articulate how, in spite of these conditions, solidarity and love can, and does, prevail. 

In Rehana Zaman’s ‘Alternative Economies’ (2021) two very different networks of exchange are explored through parallel conversations with a botanist Rasheeqa Ahmad and financial regulator Rachel Bardinger. Zaman allows each voice to speak and be individual, exploring moments of connection and mutuality. The film shifts between macro and micro views, as we move from conversations that are rooted in close relationships into more abstract territory. ‘Alternative Economies’ reads the imperialist exploits of the Disney character Scrooge McDuck adjacent to the apparently radical yet deeply compromised promises of crypto­currency. Between these two strands, possibilities for an alternative network of exchange and subsistence are sought.

Michelle Williams Gamaker, on behalf of the Jury said:“Rehana Zaman’s filmmaking centres on alternative ways of storytelling through collaboration and material experimentation. The macro and micropolitical threads that emanate from this approach echo with the political fierceness of Derek Jarman’s filmmaking. Overall, the jury appreciated the humanity in Zaman’s work, whereby there is a sensitive navigation of issues of social justice, and space for the viewer to experience the resilience, joy and community to counter the hostile policies, which greatly impact the individuals in Zaman’s work. The jury also wanted to recognise Zaman’s significant body of work, which ties strongly to the legacy of this award.”

EWIDWOP Collective, ‘Everything Worthwhile is Done With Other People’ (2023), video still. Courtesy of EWIDWOP Collective.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission said: “We are thrilled to congratulate this year’s Film London Jarman Award winner, Rehana Zaman, an outstanding artist whose prolific body of work draws on themes of collaboration, social injustice and community. I would also like to congratulate all of the shortlisted artists and look forward to seeing what the future holds for them. Featuring works that are innovative and boundary pushing, the 2023 shortlist showcases the urgency, creativity, and humour of exciting new approaches to the moving image. The Film London Jarman Award is central to our support of artist filmmakers, celebrating their spirit of experimentation and imagination. We are delighted to be able to showcase the work in this way, bringing artists’ moving image to an ever-growing audience. A sincere thank you goes to our funders, Arts Council England, our returning partners Barbican and Whitechapel Gallery, and our Film London Jarman Award Patrons for all their ongoing support.”
The Jury who selected this year’s shortlist are: Matthew Barrington, Cinema Curator, Barbican; Shaminder Nahal, Head of Specialist Factual, Channel 4; Artist and 2020 Jarman Award joint-winner, Michelle Williams Gamaker and Lila Rawlings, Head of Creative: Film and Television for award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s London-based company Esperanto Filmoj and Film London Board Member.
Films by each of the six shortlisted artists will be screened continuously throughout 25th & 26th November at Whitechapel Gallery. Entry is free to this unique opportunity to experience these exceptional artists’ films.

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