Friday, November 8, 2013
John Smith awarded Jarman prize
John Smith (b. 1952, Walthamstow, England) has been announced as this year's winner of the The Jarman Award, an annual prize named for British filmmaker Derek Jarman. Jarman's output includes Caravaggio, Edward II, Wittgenstein, Blue and a few music videos for the Smiths. Blue, from 1993, was released a few months before the filmmaker died of AIDS related complications. He was partially blind when producing the 79 minute film, whose only image is a rich saturated blue.
The Jarman Award recognizes "individual artist film-makers whose risk-taking work resists boundaries and conventional definition - work that encompasses innovation, excellence and vision."
The winner receives a £10,000 cash prize, and a broadcast commission to produce a series of filmworks for Channel 4.
Check out Smith's brilliant 1976 short The Girl Chewing Gum on Youtube, here. It's available on DVD as part of a compilation of British shorts, here.