Wonderland film shortlisted for prestigious national Award!

Our film has been shortlisted for an award –


A film made by Dr Amanda Ravetz from the Manchester Metropolitan University has made the shortlist for the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s prestigious 2016 Research in Film Awards.

The film called ‘Wonderland: the art of becoming human’ has been shortlisted in the Utopia Award: Imagining Our Futures category

Hundreds of films were submitted for the Awards this year and the overall winner for each category, who will receive £2,000 towards their film-making, will be announced at a special ceremony at BAFTA in London on the 10 November.

Set up in 2015 the Research in Film Awards celebrate short films, up to 30 minutes long, that have been made about the arts and humanities and their influence on our lives.

There are five categories in total with four of them aimed at the research community and one open to the public.

Film-maker Amanda Ravetz, said: ‘We feel very honoured to be included in the RiF 2016 shortlist. Our aim is to end the stigma that still surrounds addiction as well as those in recovery. The film explores the ambition of ‘recoverists’ to ‘feel and be felt by other feeling people’ (Will Self, Introduction, The ‘Recoverist Manifesto). It’s the result of several research partnerships, including with Mark Prest of Portraits of Recovery, and artist Cristina Nunez. As someone in the film says “We’ve survivied it and come out better, and to me that’s quite Utopian.”

Mike Collins, Head of Communications at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: “The standard of film-making in this year’s Research in Film Awards has been exceptionally high and the range of themes covered span the whole breadth of arts and humanities subjects.

“While watching the films I was impressed by the careful attention to detail and rich story telling that the film-makers had used to engage their audiences. The quality of the shortlisted films further demonstrates the endless potential of using film as way to communicate and engage people with academic research. Above all, the shortlist showcases the art of film-making as a way of helping us to understand the world that we live in today.”

A team of judges watched the longlisted films in each of the categories to select the shortlist and ultimately the winner; key criteria included looking at how the film makers had come up with creative ways, either factual or fictional, of storytelling on camera, that capture the importance of arts and humanities research to all of our lives.

Judges for the 2016 Research in Film Awards include, Professor Tom Inns, Director of the Glasgow School of Art; and writer, broadcaster and film critic, Danny Leigh.

The winning films will be shared on the Arts and Humanities Research Council website and You Tube channel. On the 10 November you’ll be able to follow the fortunes of the shortlisted films on twitter via the hashtag #RIFA2016.


utopian festival

Participatory process

The AHRC Connected Communities Festival takes place from March 2016 until the end of June 2016 at locations across the UK, with some follow-up events later in the year.

The festival website is here www.Utopia500.org.uk

The festival aims to mobilise the potential for increasingly inter-connected communities to enhance self-reliance, prosperity, sustainability, health & well-being by better connecting research, stakeholders and communities.

The Programme is led by the AHRC in partnership with other Research Councils and a range of other organisations.

Taking inspiration from the 500th anniversary of the publication in 1516 in Latin of Thomas More’s Utopia, the 2016 Connected Communities Research Festival has the theme of Community Futures and Utopias. From March to June 2016 the Festival is supporting activities across the UK bringing together researchers and communities to creatively explore diverse perspectives on community futures and what ‘utopia’ means for communities in the 21st Century.

The Festival is being undertaken in partnership with The Somerset House Trust as a part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility.

Utopia 2016 is four seasons of activity celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Published in Leuven in December 1516, More’s Utopia presented an imaginative and playful vision of the world as it could be at a time of great change. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous: both “no place” and “good place”, he is clear that many other visions for society are possible. Through a series of exhibitions, events, new commissions, talks and workshops, Utopia 2016 will explore the broad cultural history of the idea of utopia and its relevance to 21st-Century cultural, ecological, and social challenges and opportunities. The year celebrates the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating spaces where utopian dreams are possible. Throughout Utopia 2016 people from all walks of life will be invited to experiment with new ways we might live, make, work, play and dream.

Utopia 2016 is a collaboration between three neighbours: Somerset House, King’s College London and the Courtauld Institute and Gallery, in partnership with the British Library, the AHRC, and the British Council, and will also engage many of the 300 plus creative organisations, artists and makers resident at Somerset House.

Creative outcomes from over 20 projects supported as a part of the Connected Communities Festival will be showcased at a major public event, the Utopia Fair, which will take place in the Edmond J Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, London, from the evening of 24th June 2016 until 26th June 2016.

Further details on Utopia 2016 and the Utopia Fair can be found at: http://utopia2016.com/