In recent times, research is being increasingly communicated using multimedia formats, film being a popular medium. To recognize the growing use of film to cover themes central to the arts and humanities and to start conversations on global challanges, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which is based in the UK, has announced the 2017 Research in Film Awards. These awards seek to “showcase, reward and recognise the best of the growing number of high-quality short films (defined as no longer than 30 minutes) that are linked to arts and humanities research.”
Launched in 2015, the AHRC Research in Film Awards attempt to identify filmmaking as a means of knowledge dissemination and public engagement. According to the AHRC website, the films may be “primary outputs, by-products, records of research undertaken, dissemination tools or practice-based research itself.” Moreover, they may include animation or interactive elements.
The awards recognize five categories:
- Best Research Film of the Year
- Best Doctoral or Early Career Film
- International Development Award
- Mobilising Global Voices, Innovation Award
- Inspiration Award (public category)
Of the hundreds of entries for the 2017 Research in Film Awards, 25 films were shortlisted by a panel of judges that included cinema experts and academics. According to the site, these films are rooted in arts and humanities, and cover “some of the key themes in arts and humanities as well as the major international challenges of our time from climate change to migration and human trafficking.” One of the judges for the award Joanna Callaghan, from the University of Sussex, commended the quality of entries this year, and said: “Many of these show how effective film as a medium can be, to explore research questions, communicate findings and elaborate research processes in unexpected and unique ways."
The judges will choose the winners of the 2017 Research in Film Awards for each of the five categories. These winners will be honored at a special ceremony on 9 November at the prestigious 195 Piccadilly in London, and will each receive prize money of £2,000 and a trophy.