Call for applications for the Essay Film Studio at the vnLab of Łódź Film School
(all seminars will take place online and will be held in English, so we encourage applications from all around the world)
Established in 2019, The Essay Film Studio (part of the vnLab of Łódź Film School) is opening its doors to all the makers and artistic researchers interested in exploring the essayistic forms and methods in their own artistic/research practices.
Rather than focusing on historical inquiries, the Studio aims to research how the free-floating, radically subjective, heterogeneous and non-conclusive form of the essay can aid our practices as filmmakers, artists or practice-based researchers. Employing the hands-on approach we aim to rethink the conditions of production, execution and distribution of film, by exploring ‘the essayistic’ as a method of engagement with the cinematic material. We use the term ‘essayistic’ as a flexible, customisable frame of thinking through making, which allows for defamiliarization of your point-of-view, objects of inquiry and methods through experimentation.
Over the calendar year 2021 (starting from the late February), in the series of bi-weekly seminars, hosted by the most inspiring figures working with the essay form nowadays internationally (such as Eyal Sivan, Mark Cousins, Johan Grimonprez, Catherine Grant, Kevin B. Lee, Matthias Müller or Christoph Girardet), we will explore various essayistic devices and registers and work towards translating those principles into participants’ practices and prospective projects.
Participants of the seminar will gain access to the vast and unique archive of Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych (Educational Film Studio. Officially established in December 1949. Its output includes ca. 5,000 films on various subjects, made by several generations of Polish filmmakers, including Wojciech Jerzy Has, Janusz Nasfeter, Krzysztof Zanussi, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Jacek Bławut, Jan Jakub Kolski, Marek Koterski, Bogdan Dziworski or Maciej Drygas). In addition, all participants will be encouraged to apply for a limited number of seed grants (2-3) from the Essay Film Studio that will allow them to work on their own audiovisual essays.
Teaser showreel of the archive:
PARTICIPATION IN THE LAB IS FREE OF CHARGE. THE ONLY THING REQUIRED IS YOUR FULL COMMITMENT.
Every 2021 seminar will consist of two parts – a public masterclass with the invited guest and a hands-on workshop for the core group of Essay Film Studio participants. Therefore, we issue this call offering interested filmmakers/artists/practice-based researchers two modes of participation, each coming with a different set of prerogatives, responsibilities, and requirements:
1. Free Listener
Free Listeners will be offered an active spot in every masterclass organised by the Studio. They will be invited to the Zoom calls, will be able to ask questions, participate in the discussions, and all closed-off events where our guests will be analysing their works-in-progress and other sensitive materials. Free Listeners will have to commit to attending most of the seminars offered by the Studio. Free Listeners will not have access to the workshop parts of the seminars and will not have to execute and deliver practical assignments.
Number of places: 50
– Brief description of your practice/area of work/interest
– One paragraph on why you want to participate in the activities of the Lab
Together with the Studio coordinators, members will constitute a practice-based research group on the essay form. Members will be active participants of all the seminars. They will be granted access to all the workshops and an opportunity to present experiments and garner feedback from all the invited guests. Members will be expected to attend every seminar (with an exception of the occasional work-related engagements, i.e. work on sets) and execute experiments assigned by our guests.
Number of places: 10-12
– A motivational letter describing your practice/area of work/study and your interest in investigating the essay form (short samples of previous works are welcome)
– A one-page description of the essayistic project that you’d like to develop in the Studio.
THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 26 FEBRUARY 2021 RESULTS OF THE RECRUITMENT WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 1 MARCH 2021
CONTACT – firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: After the recruitment results have been announced, the Essay Film Studio will open another call for mid-length and feature-length essay films, offering between 2-3 seed grants to execute the projects. All participants invited to the seminar will be eligible to apply for those grants.
We will notify all the applicants directly through an email. Applicants applying for the members’ spot will automatically be considered for Free Listeners slots if they don’t qualify as members.
The coordinators of the Essay Film Studio are:
Kuba Mikurda – a documentary filmmaker, with a background in philosophy and psychoanalysis, heading the theory department of The Łódź Film School in Poland
Stanisław Liguziński – a film scholar and a teacher at the Master Programme on Research in and Through Cinema at the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam