Exploring the Role of Film Curators: Bookings Now Open for NFTS Student Programmed Seasons!

What is a film curator? Put simply, they are the people who choose what films are shown, in what order and when. A key project students complete during their second year on the National Film and Television School’s Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA is to put these skills into practice and programme their own film seasons.

The students must conceptualise, research and organise a series of screenings, talks and Q&As along a theme of their choice. This year’s seasons, hosted by cinemas and independent arts centres including The Horse Hospital, Rich Mix and Prince Charles Cinema, explore a range of themes including home, consumerism and space through a programme of screenings running from this September to early 2024.

To find out more about the upcoming seasons and book your tickets, take a look at the list below, which will be updated throughout the coming months as more seasons are published!

The Sound of Space by Jack Williams - Booking closed

A film season celebrating the noise, silence, and songs of space.

the sound of space artwork in the style of CD

Solaris | Sunday 3 September | 2:30pm
Andrei Tarkovsky’s seminal psychological space drama.
This screening will include an introduction from season curator, Jack Williams, and a unique performance by renowned theremin virtuosa Lydia Kavina.

High Life + Spheres (VR) | Monday 11 September | 8:15pm
A darkly stimulating, genre-defying turn from Claire Denis.
Take part in a free VR experience themed around the film season before this screening.

Ikarie XB-1 + Spheres (VR) | Monday 25 September | 8:15pm
Before 2001: A Space Odyssey, there was Ikarie XB-1.
Take part in a free VR experience themed around the film season before this screening.

Booking closed.


Over the Counter Culture by Joseph Wallace - Booking closed

An exploration of consumerism through the prism of abandoned shopping malls.

graphic showing receipt with film titles on it

Zabriskie Point | Wednesday 18 October | 8pm

Widely hated upon its initial release in 1970, European auteur Michelangelo Antonioni’s only film set in the United States angered its MGM studio heads so much they destroyed parts of it. Released just one year after counterculture-discontent went mainstream with Easy Rider, this pushed the disillusionment even further with a vacuous story of two youthful students who escape a billboarded Los Angeles to find meaning, only this time no stars or rock ’n’ roll help feed the American dream.

Followed by the Oscar-winning short animated film Logorama (2009).

Chopping Mall | Thursday 19 October | 7:30pm

Welcome to the Park Plaza Mall, where a group of teenage employees stay in the complex for a party after hours, patrolled by robotic security guards – what could go wrong? From electrocuted cleaners to exploding heads, this low-budget b-movie horror not only stocks the shelves full of ‘80s-brand entertainment, but offers a wholesale discount on parables of capitalism.

Preceded by the avant-garde short film Necrology (1970), and followed by a virtual talk with cultural historian Kyle Riismandel.

The Bling Ring | Wednesday 25 October | 7:30pm

Based on actual events following a group of fame-obsessed teenagers as they break into the Hollywood homes of their idols, in search of their own status. Sofia Coppola’s trademark privileged boredom is displayed with a mesmerising voyeurism, set to an overly digitised soundtrack designed for euphoric highs. But when we slow down that excess on the dancefloor, it creates the gem stones of emptiness, as we watch the last traces of autonomy fade away.

Followed with a culturally kaleidoscopic, sample-based music video by artist duo Soda Jerk (2016).

Nocturama | Thursday 26 October | 8pm

Unreleased in Britain, this provocative thriller by Bertrand Bonello explores the chilling aftermath of a meticulously planned series of bombings across Paris, carried out by a young group of disenfranchised students. As they seek refuge in a high-end department store at night, the psychological complexities and moral justifications of their actions begin to coordinate with the allure of fashionable mannequins, revealing a gripping process of reassimilation.

Followed by Salvatore Amadeo’s dead mall vlog: ExLog 54 (2020)

Silk and Bullets by Chun Chun Wong - Booking closed

Silk and Bullets: The Sisterhoods of Revenge brings together four female revenge tales spanning the decades from the 60s to the 90s. Cinematic boundaries blur as the French New Wave merges with Hitchcock-esque suspense, alongside a Japanese pinky violence extravaganza, an audacious Hong Kong psychological thriller gem, and a standout US cult classic. Going beyond the complexities of sex exploitation, the films vividly portray the transformation of female protagonists, resonating with the strength of resilience and empowerment.

silk and bullets text with illustration of three women

The Bride Wore Black | Thursday 28 September | 6.20pm | Booking closed
After newly widowed Julie Kohler's (Jeanne Moreau) mother stops her from committing suicide, she hatches a different plan to deal with her grief.

Female Prisoner #701 | Thursday 5 October | 6.35pm | Booking closed
After being cruelly set up and deceived by Sugimi, a detective in cohorts with the mob with whom she was whole-heartedly in love, Matsushima’s desire for revenge knows no bounds.

Three Days of a Blind Girl | Thursday 19 October | 6.15pm | Booking closed
Mrs. Ng is left temporarily blind after an operation. On the second day, her husband takes off to Macau for a few days. Soon afterwards, Sam, a former patient shows up, with sinister motives.

Ms.45 | Wednesday 1 November | 6.30pm | Booking closed
Abel Ferrara's 1981 revenge thriller classic Ms. 45 follows a mute garment-district seamstress (Zoë Lund) who, after falling victim to multiple unspeakable assaults, ignites her one-woman homicidal rampage against New York City's entire male population.


Tracing Lives by Imogen Burt - Booking closed

A season of diary films, bringing avant-garde filmmaking together with YouTube vlogs to explore the human desire to document and watch their own lives.

The State of Just Being - Diaries of Displaced Peoples | Monday 13 November | 7pm
+ Intro by filmmaker DaryanaFromUkraine
How do you root yourself when your life is being upended? The State of Just Being explores how displaced people can use diaries to assert their existence, encasing memories in a fixed form.

Vlog compilation DaryanaFromUkraine, Germany & Ukraine 2022-23.
When war officially broke out in 2022, DaryanaFromUkraine vlogged her experience of having to leave Ukraine and settle somewhere new. Flowing between her original songs and vlogs, this compilation of videos reflects the grief of having to leave your home whilst also finding beauty & happiness in the smallest of moments.

Daryana’s YouTube Channel: DaryanaFromUkraine
CW - Depictions of being displaced due to war, Discussions of war.

  • A Letter From Greenpoint - Jonas Mekas., (USA 2005. 80mins.)

“This video is about what it feels like to leave a place in which one has spent more time than any other point”

Tuesday 14 November | 7pm

Finding/Leaving Home + Intro by curator Immie Burt 137mins

Diaries act as time capsules, asserting our presence in a certain place at a certain time - even if there is no physical trace left. In this screening, both filmmakers use film as a diary to claim a location as home - either as they first meet it, or as they say goodbye.

Please note there will be a 10 minute break in between films.

Place of Work - Margaret Tait, (Scotland 1976. 32mins)

A goodbye to the home Margaret Tait had known since she was 7 years old. From how the sunlight falls into her office, to the postman dropping off mail - Place of Work documents not just a house, but the feeling of being at home.

News From Home -Chantal Akerman, USA 1976. 85mins.

News From Home visually documents Chantal Akerman’s first year living in New York. Long shots of the city are overlayed with letters from Akerman’s mother, detailing life back in Brussels. The distance between visuals and voice over reflect the loneliness, guilt and confusion caused by moving away from home.

Wednesday 15 November

Queer Diaries + Event tbc! (100mins (subject to change)

As LGBTQ+ people are rarely written about in formal history, diaries are an important way of learning about Queer existence. Showing Queer bodies, Queer love and BUCKETS of Queer joy, the final night of Tracing Lives will act as a celebration of LGBTQ+ lives.

Reciprocal IVF Success Story and Two Embryo Transfers (FET), Jaewynn & Tragik., (USA 2021. 13mins)

A queer couple’s journey to pregnancy through IVF. Jaewynn & Tragik documented this process to show “how multifaceted, emotional, and beautiful family building can be, especially within the queer community.”
Find their YouTube: @JaewynnTragik

CW- Depictions of pregnancy & failed pregnancy., Needles., Blood.

Transition Diaries Vol. 1 - Yasha Lelonek., USA 2021. 13 mins.

Filmmaker Yasha Lelonek created the Transition Diaries Vol.1 to preserve, visually, how it felt to question her gender identity. Describing the experience as ephemeral, she released it onto YouTube “in hope that other trans people will watch and be inspired”
Yasha’s YouTube: YashaLelonek

CW - Needles., Surgery.

Queer Diaries, Santiago Giralt, (Argentina 2021. 65mins)

A UK premiere! Starting as a re-edit of an unfinished film, Santiago Giralt blends his home videos, films and poetry to contemplate his art and life. The tone of the film reflects the process of “discovering” one’s queerness - encapsulating confusion, joy, sex, love, and finally - unfaltering pride.

CW - Homophobia, Nudity.

Booking closed: thehorsehospital.com/events/tracinglives


Present Silence by Matthew Smolenski - Booking closed

A season of contemporary documentary films that provide a quiet space for contemplation and focus, reframing silence not as the uncomfortable absence of noise but its own enriching presence.


still from two years at sea showing man on boat in distance

Double Tide | Sunday 22 October | 6pm
At dawn, Jen Casad digs for clams on a coastal mudflat in Maine. At dusk, on that same mudflat, with the same low tide, she digs for clams again. In just two static shots, multimedia artist and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart captures not just the hard work of clam digging, but also everything about the environment surrounding it that words could not express.

Two Years At Sea | Sunday 12 November | 4pm
Ben Rivers’ feature-length documentary debut follows Jake Williams, who lives a life of solitude in the forest of the Scottish Cairngorms after two years working as a merchant at sea. Sleeping, walking, climbing, showering and floating with a feeling of liberation rather than routine, Jake’s daily activities merge together with the changing seasons, finding continuity through an environment which feels completely vacant save for its lone hermit.

Man With No Name | Sunday 26 November | 4pm
A tactile and visceral study of hermetic life in China by artist Wang Bing.

Into Great Silence | Sunday 10 December | 4pm
Philip Gröning’s documentary, over twenty years in the making, provides unprecedented access to the lives of Carthusian monks in the French Alps.

Booking closed ICA

(@present.silence) (presentsilences)

The Art of Returning by Emma Carleschi - Booking closed

A season of films focusing on the narrative theme of returning home and its role as a catalyst for a journey of identity and self-discovery.

the art of returning written in red on black and white photographs

No Home Movie | 20 November | 8:15pm
+ excerpt from My Mother Laughs

No Home Movie is a deeply intimate portrait of mother and daughter, as well as an exploration of home, belonging and the human experience. Filmed in the months before her mother Natalia’s death, the film unfolds as a series of intimate conversations and observations visually travelling between Natalia’s apartment in Brussels and deserted landscapes, serving as a meditation on memory, loss, and the passage of time.

This film is in French with English subtitles. Content warnings: grief, death, antisemitism, mentions of Holocaust.

North By Current | 27 November | 8:15pm
+ Intro and discussion

After the inconclusive death of his young niece and arrest of his brother-in-law, Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his hometown – intent on making a film addressing America’s broken justice system.

Content warnings: addiction, abuse, death, grief, violence.

The Fabulous Ones | 4 December | 8:15pm
+ Pre-recorded Q&A

What is home when you’ve had to carve it out of nothing for yourself?

Almost 30 years after their friend Antonia’s death, a group of trans women return to the abandoned home they used to live in in the outskirts of Milan. Through recollections of moments shared and the women’s own stories, they try to give Antonia back the identity that was stolen from her.

The group’s vitality not only makes space for important discussions about trans rights and identity, but also gives deeply insightful depictions on the life of trans women in 1980s Italy.

This screening will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Roberta Torre.

This film is in Italian with English subtitles. Content warnings: transphobia, addiction, death, grief.

Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania | 11 December | 8:15pm
+ Poetry reading

Throughout his career, questions of home, belonging, and nostalgia consistently reoccurred for filmmaker Jonas Mekas, who was displaced from Lithuania during WW2.

This screening begins with a poetry reading by Cephalopress, an independent publishing house formed of writers based in Brighton and established in 2018. Borders and Belonging is their first anthology, put together as a way to respond to one of the key questions in our current moment: who are we, and how are we shaped by the spaces we inhabit?

The readings will feature three anthology contributors sharing their pieces from the anthology: Maria Cohut, Hannah Weber, and Tamiko Dooley. Following readings we will have a Q&A where we can further discuss these extremely topical and important themes.

Please note: this work contains flashing images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy. Content warnings: recollections of acts of violence.

Booking closed RichMix


Painted Skies by Bruno Savill De Jong - Booking closed

A season of films celebrating artificial backgrounds.

painted skies text overlaying still landscape with film characters

Dick Tracy | Sunday 19 November | 7.30pm
Including introduction by critic Kambole Campbell and Q&A wit Matte Painter David Mattingly
Ace policeman Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) takes on mob boss Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) while resisting femme fatale Breathless Mahoney (Madonna).

Perceval le Gallois| Friday 24 November | 7pm
Including introduction and panel discussion with Medieval Scholar Sarah Salih, Director of Sarner Ed Cookson and 'Role-Playing Expert' Jon Gracey.
As naïve Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) seeks to become a knight, he roams around a hermetically-sealed set with painted castles and minimalist trees.

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen | Wednesday 29 November | 7.30pm
After astronaut Tony (Rudolf Jelínek) encounters the boastful Baron Munchausen (Miloš Kopecký) on the moon, they quickly fall into a breath-taking adventure involving an imprisoned Princess and a raging sea monster.

You The Living | Friday 8 December | 7.30pm
Including introduction and Q&A with Production Manager Johan Carlsson

Booking closed brunosavilldejong.wixsite.com/paintedskies/screenings


Undone: Women of the Erotic Thriller by Abigail Spira - Booking closed

A season of films focussing on the films directed by women in the erotic thriller genre.

Bound | Thursday 9 November | 8:30pm
In this breakout film from the Wachowski sisters, Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and Corky's (Gina Gershon) worlds collide with electric intensity after they cross paths in an elevator

Poison Ivy | Wednesday 15 November | 8:50pm
Feeling rejected, lonely, and depressed the upper-class Sylvie Cooper (Sara Gilbert) befriends the fiery and free Ivy (Drew Barrymore). As the two become closer, Ivy finds a way to seduce Sylvie’s father (Tom Skerritt) and become a permanent fixture of the family.

Impulse | Tuesday 28 November | 6:15pm
Working undercover as a sex worker Lottie (Theresa Russell) finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation after an impulse decision that gets her mixed up with mob.

In the Cut | Thursday 7 December | 8:30pm
Following the discovery of a young woman's body in her New York neighborhood, Frannie (Meg Ryan), a literature professor, becomes involved in an erotic affair with the police detective spearheading the investigation.

Booking closed Prince Charles Cinema

Stage Projections by Samuel Smith - Book now!

Stage Projections presents three films about the creation of theatre, celebrating the art of performance (on stage and screen) and communal creative practices. Each screening will focus on a different aspect of theatre creation, and will be accompanied by introductions, essays and a workshop.

Still from opening night showing three people stood talking

Opening Night | Friday 1 December | 8:30pm
+ Introduction
A death and a play. In the days leading up to opening night, an alcoholic actress is confronted with the realities of ageing while processing the death of an unknown young fan.

Intimacies | Saturday 9 December | 12:30pm
+ Introduction
Presented in a three-parts combining elements of fiction and documentary, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s first exploration of long duration centres upon students at a theatre school in Japan.

Madeline's Madeline | Sunday 17 December | 2:30pm

Workshop | Sunday 17 December | 4:30pm

Book now at ICA


Stay tuned for more!

Find out more about this ground-breaking MA delivered in partnership with the BFI and learn how you could build a successful career in film exhibition, programming, criticism or archival work.

Apply now to start January 2024
Visit nfts.co.uk/film-studies-programming-and-curation

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