The BFI Young Curators Lab

The BFI Young Curators Lab is a pioneering initiative launched as part of the UK Asian Film Festival 2019. Envisioned to equip upcoming film curators with specific skills, knowledge and analytical acumen indispensable to film programming and curation, the YCL scheme selected nine Young Curators for an intensive workshop followed by a screening and evaluation day held at Queen Mary University of London.

The Lab activities in London were directed by Dr Ashvin Devasundaram (Queen Mary University), and the workshop imparted information about curatorial roles and responsibilities, best practices and how to develop a discerning eye to pick out and curate the best films for film festivals. Curators brainstormed to come up with their own 5 evaluation and selection criteria to assess films.

The film screening and evaluation day enabled the Curators to put the information gained during the workshop into practice. The Curators watched 3 films shortlisted for UKAFF 2019, applying their self-defined parameters to assess the films and select a ‘Young Curators Choice’ film, which will be screened as part of the official programme at UKAFF 2019.

The Young Curators expressed their enthusiasm about this opportunity to gain curatorial skills, networking opportunities and open up career pathways in the creative industries. Some comments include:

– YCL provided me with the opportunity to learn so many practical aspects of film curation and film critique

– Very insightful and highly useful for my future career goals of working in the Indian film industry.

– I definitely feel enriched by the experience.

– I learned about the inner workings of film curation and how to collaborate throughout the process. This experience will undoubtedly add to my career pathway in the sense that it diversified and deeply enriched my own personal path.

– It gave me an insight on South Asian culture and issues, and showed me life in a ‘different’ world. I learned how to critically watch a film and reflect on it rather than jump to conclusions right away.

– I am really grateful to attend the workshop and gain such crucial curatorial experience

– It made me think about working around film festival issues.