Screening Days

PARALLEL - ICO Art + Cinema Weekend 2016

05/03/2016 - 06/03/2016

PARALLEL is a mini-festival of artists’ moving image at one of the UK’s best art spaces, the Arnolfini in Bristol.

Discover new and beautiful visions, learn how to push the limits of what’s allowed in your cinema and how to expose your audience to new and important voices.

Across the weekend you’ll see exclusive previews, artist Q&As, brand new programmes of archive material and seminars with top industry figures.

We’ll be discovering the cinema of touch, taking a trip inside an eight-year-old’s mind, watching the transformation of colonialism, seeing the evolution of selfie culture and discovering how film curation influences artists’ practices.

What do I need to do?

ICO are offering passes for people working in cinema exhibition. If you are a member of the public, head over to the Arnolfini to buy your ticket.

To book an exhibitor pass, please choose from the options below:

  • Weekend pass: £25
  • Training day + weekend pass: £35

If you have any queries or issues booking your pass(es) online please email telephone 0207 636 7120.

Parallel is presented as part of the ICO’s Artists’ Moving Image Network project, in partnership with artists’ film distributor LUX.

If you’re a cinema programmer new to artists’ film, we’re also hosting a training day ahead of the weekend to get you excited about the opportunity of showing extraordinary and unconventional artists’ work.



New Natural History + Q&A with Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon offers an exclusive presentation of scenes from her forthcoming feature film Eglantine, followed by a programme of archive shorts that have influenced her work and a selection of early natural history films selected from the BFI National Archive by Bryony Dixon, Curator of Silent Film, BFI. In Eglantine, the eponymous eight year-old heroine is lost in the woods and must navigate a range of real and imagined incidents and habitats on her journey back to her tent, before her mother discovers her absence. Shot on 35mm with a score by electronic composer Matthew Herbert, this is a love poem to the natural world and childhood.

Before and After Selfies – Curated by Herb Shellenberger

Before and After Selfies contextualises recent selfie-based, front camera, online moving image works alongside pre-Internet works sharing similar themes, forms and visual elements. Taking videos made in the past few years, which are usually exhibited freely on Vimeo and YouTube, alongside artist films made since the 1960s, the screening will investigate these new works by young artists who, through social media, are reaching audiences beyond the typical experimental film and gallery contexts.

Conversation – Curated by Ute Aurand & Peter Todd

Every year or so artists Ute Aurand and Peter Todd meet up to continue a filmic conversation, and with friends Robert Beavers and Renate Sami have a screening at home. For Aurand and Todd, both also active as curators, their dialogue reflects filmmaking as a way of living. Conversation gives us access into this process, underlining the symbiosis between making and watching films.

The Artist’s Cinema 2016 + Q&A with Corin Sworn & Margaret Salmon

A chance to see all five films commissioned by the ICO and LUX for The Artists Cinema 2016. This unique project brings leading visual artists’ work into cinemas in a subversive and playful way, to screen before a diverse and large-scale audience. With work by Gabriel Abrantes, Dora García, Naeem Mohaiemen, Margaret Salmon and Corin Sworn.

Preview: The Sky Trembles And The Earth Is Afraid And The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

A director abandons his film set and descends into a hallucinatory, perilous adventure of cruelty, madness and malevolence. A multi-layered excavation into the illusion of cinema itself, Ben Rivers’ (Two Years at Sea, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness) latest feature is a visually unsettling film that moves between documentary, fiction and fable taking us from the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, to the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains and the stark and surreal emptiness of the Sahara.


Soil is history: Film programme curated by Louis Henderson and Filipa César

The three films in this programme by artists Louis Henderson and Filipa César propose that colonialism didn’t vanish but simply went underground, in a bid to own mineral resources. However, as Henderson’s Lettres du Voyant shows, technology has empowered former colonial subjects to seek reparations for gold stolen in the first ‘rush for Africa’, on their own terms.

Bristol LUX Open Forum: First Person Plural

Join Bristol LUX Critical Forum and some of the weekend’s guests to discuss film, subjectivity and more in this special open forum. From lyrical essays to intimate diaries and self-portraits, artists have long set down their subjective experience on film, avoiding mainstream cinema’s third person focus. What is it about artists’ moving image which makes it particularly suited to first-person filmmaking? What does this make possible – and how can it articulate and help to influence a position beyond the self?

I See it Feelingly – film programme curated by Amy Budd

I See it Feelingly brings together a selection of films concerned with framing human life and experience through touch, each employing a sensual visual vocabulary featuring labouring hands, digital skins and liquid surfaces in relation to the body. Bringing the work of contemporary artists into a dialogue with historic pieces, in each instance, the films invoke labour, intimacy and sensory pleasure via human and synthetic agents in an attempt to see the world feelingly.

Preview: Cadenza – film programme curated by Beatrice Gibson

Curated by artist Beatrice Gibson, this programme explores abstraction as subject and form, looking at music, money, numbers and narrative through the frame of experimental cinema. Showcasing works by Tony Conrad, Laida Lertxundi, Mary Helena Clark and also Gibson’s two most recent works F For Fibonacci and Crippled Symmetries.

The Host film screening + director Miranda Pennell Q&A

While investigating her late parents’ involvement with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (BP), filmmaker Miranda Pennell came across the letters of a petroleum geologist in Iran in the 1930s who would later embark on a search for the origins of civilisation. The Host interweaves stories drawn from both personal memory and from the records of an imperial history in the BP archive.

Pennell’s compelling film is about the stories we tell, the facts and fictions we live by and their consequences.

Preview: Arabian Nights Volume 1 – The Restless One

A magnificent, ambitious and timely undertaking, Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights is a freewheeling baroque masterpiece. Loosely structured around the story of the same name, in which beautiful young Scheherazade embarks on a storytelling marathon to keep her husband from killing her, Gomes’ Arabian Nights moves from outright – often outlandish – fiction to the present of neoliberal austerity politics, building real satire on its wayward course. (NB This screening at the Watershed is not included in the Parallel ticket price but a concessionary rate will be charged to attendees who present their pass at Watershed).


Arnolfini is located in the city centre on Bristol’s historic harbourside.

16 Narrow Quay

Tel: 0117 917 2300

For a map please visit

By road

Arnolfini is situated on the waterfront, off of Prince Street.

Nearby car parks are:

  • Long stay car park on The Grove, off Prince Street. Good evening rates.
  • NCP multi-storey car park next door to Jury’s Hotel on Prince Street, close to Arnolfini, but expensive.
  • Short stay car park at the old Industrial Museum on the other side of the swingbridge. From The Grove, turn left at lights and take first right after the bridge.
  • Metered street parking is available on Wapping Wharf and at Queens Square. We have two parking spaces outside Arnolfini for disabled drivers or passengers only.

For a map of other local car parks please visit

By rail

There are two mainline railway stations in Bristol; Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway.  Bristol Temple Meads station is the closest to Arnolfini.

Temple Meads

Temple Meads station is about 1 mile from Arnolfini.  Taxis are available outside the station. Alternatively it is about a 15 minute walk from Temple Meads station to Arnolfini.

  • Head out of the train station, down Station Approach.  At the end of the road, cross the road at the pelican crossing and turn right onto Temple Gate.
  • Follow the road round to the left towards St Mary Redcliffe Church and Arnolfini onto Redcliffe Way.
  • Follow Redcliffe Way past the St Mary Redcliffe church on your left.
  • At the roundabout head straight across towards Arnolfini and Youth Hostel.  Once over the roundabout continue on Redcliffe Way (you will cross the river).
  • At the mini-roundabout head left on to The Grove. Continue until you reach Prince Street.
  • Turn left on to Prince Street and keep walking, then turn right just before you reach the water. The main entrace of Arnolfini faces the water.

Parkway station

Parkway station is about 6 miles from Arnolfini.  Taxis are available outside the station.

By coach

National Express has direct coaches to Bristol from 116 destinations.  Coaches arrive at Bristol Coach Station, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NU.  The coach station is about a 20 minute walk to Arnolfini.

To walk to Arnolfini from the coach station, come out of the station and turn right onto Marlborough Street.  Turn right onto Canon Street, continue until you reach St James’ Park.  Cross St James’ Park (its a small park), when you get to the other side of the park, turn right onto Haymarket which then leads quickly onto Lewins Mead.  Continue on Lewins Mead for nearly 0.5 miles, the road bears round to the left and then to the right.  Lewins Mead turns into Anchor Road.  Stay on the left-hand side of Anchor Road, you should see the waterfront directly ahead of you. When you reach the waterfront bear round to the left; Arnolfini is at the end of this stretch of the waterfront on the left-hand side (on Narrow Quay).

By air

From London Heathrow

There is a direct National Express coach service between Heathrow and Bristol.  Alternatively you can take the Heathrow Airport Express to London Paddington and a First Great Western train from London Paddington to Bristol.  There is also a RailAir link coach service which runs between Heathrow and Reading.  Most Paddington to Bristol trains stop at Reading.

From Bristol Airport

The airport is about 8 miles to the south of Bristol centre.  Taxis are available at the airport or there is a frequent bus service to Temple Meads station and the City Centre called Airport Flyer Express Link.

Useful links


Nearby hotels (by distance)

Bristol YHA
Approximate rate per night: £22 – £54
Distance to Arnolfini: 0 miles

Radisson Blu
Approximate rate per night: £85 – £115
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.2 miles

ibis Bristol Centre
Approximate rate per night: £75 – £84
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.2 miles

Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £99 – £120
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.3 miles

Premier Inn Bristol City Centre (King Street)
Approximate rate per night: £60 – £82
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.3 miles

Travelodge Bristol Central Hotel 
Approximate rate per night: £56 – £70
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.4 miles

Thistle Bristol City Centre, The Grand
Approximate rate per night: £95 – £132
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.4 miles

Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £101 – £124
Distance to Arnolfini: 0.4 miles

NB. The ICO does not endorse any of the above hotels.


How do I register on the day?

Registration will be held from 9.30am each morning, at which you will be issued with a badge. This will be your entry pass into all screenings and sessions. The registration area will be staffed by the ICO throughout the event.

When do the screenings/sessions happen?

Registration is from 9.30am, with the first screenings/sessions starting around 10.00am.  A copy of the programme with details of the running order will be available closer to the event.

Is there somewhere to get drinks and food onsite?

Arnolfini has a café bar which serves local cheeses and cured meats, home-baked pizzas, salads and breakfasts as well as homemade cakes and breads.  The café bar is open 10am – 8pm (food is served between 10am – 7.30pm).

How accessible is Arnolfini?

The Arnolfini was redeveloped to ensure that physical access within the building was improved for everyone.  All four floors are accessible by lift, with disabled toilets on every floor of the building.

There are parking spaces for disabled visitors outside the main entrance, accessed via Farr’s Lane.  Please phone ahead on 0117 917 2300 to arrange for the barrier to be opened. The Arnolfini have a wheelchair available inside the building.

If you require any more information, please call the Arnolfini on 0117 917 2300.

How do you select films for the programme?

The aim of the event is to showcase films that a variety of venues could programme to broaden their repertoire and take some risks.  At the same time, the event itself will give an insight into the mechanics of curating artists’ moving image, and how it differs from mainstream programming.

Alongside new artists’ feature-length films and special events – including a preview of The Artist’s Cinema commissions, discussion sessions and more – the weekend will focus on shorts programmes selected from an open call for curators.

As opposed to regular Screening Days events, we expect to host several of the filmmakers themselves, alongside curators and critics.  The programmes will be selected on the basis of their quality and originality, and the extent to which they respond to the cinema in particular, as distinct from the gallery space.

We expect to show a reasonable cross-section of films, focusing primarily on contemporary work.

Due to the enormous breadth and diversity of artists’ practice, we cannot create a programme which is representative of artists’ moving image as a whole, but hope to provide a starting point for discussion and – most importantly – inspiration for your own programming.

Who is the event for?

The purpose of the ICO Art + Cinema Weekend is to encourage and enable cinemas, festivals, mixed arts venues and film clubs to show a wider range of films and, where they haven’t already, take a first step into programming artists’ moving image alongside their existing programme.

However, the weekend will also be open to the general public, and tickets will be available for sale from the Arnolfini, directly in the new year.  We hope to encourage artists, students, academics and a wider public to the event, so if you are ineligible for industry accreditation, please consult the Arnolfini websitefor information from late January.

Who is eligible for industry accreditation?

Industry accreditation is available for cinema and festival programmers, film clubs, curators, and film or gallery marketing professionals. If you’re not eligible for accreditation, contact the Arnolfini for information about public tickets.

Why attend?

It’s a Screening Days, but so much more too. The ICO Art + Cinema Weekend is like a regular Screening Days event, but with added fun. Not only will you get to see new films, meet filmmakers and curators, but get an insight into the process of programming artists’ moving image – and watch it with a public audience. That’s to say nothing of the networking opportunities and special events we have lined up. Here’s five reasons why the ICO Art + Cinema Weekend could be invaluable for you…

The ICO Art + Cinema Weekend will open up the world of artists’ moving image for your programme : getting a chance to see films in context – both shorts and new features – will show you how easy it can be to programme artists’ films in a way that will enrich your programme and reach out to new audiences.

The weekend makes it easy: the chances are that you rarely, if ever, get to see artists’ work – much less in a cinema. We’ve brought together unique guest-curated shorts programmes, previews of new features, discussion events and more to give you not only an insight into the breadth of work being made, but the context that surrounds it.

The weekend will feature a live audience: Rather than a closed preview-only event, ICO delegates will attend alongside a real public audience! There is no substitute for learning about audience development by becoming part of that audience. From within, you will get a clear idea of why and how artists make the work that they do, and why an ever-growing number of people enjoy programming it.

The weekend gives you access to key contacts: artists, independent curators and key visual arts organisations will be at the weekend. It’s your chance to hear about some of the debates – artistic and pragmatic – that shape that can mean just as much as what you put on the screen itself.

Supported by Arts Council England

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