Film and Video Umbrella commissions, curates, produces and presents film, video and other moving-image works by artists that are staged in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners across the UK. The organisation usually commissions 5-6 projects every year.
Film and Video Umbrella began as a programming initiative supported by the Arts Council and with subsequent partner funding from the British Film Institute. The first Film and Video Umbrella touring programmes actually date from 1985. These early programmes were crucial in establishing Film and Video Umbrella's identity and paved the way for it becoming an independent organisation in 1988.
Since then, Film and Video Umbrella has been at the forefront of this vibrant and expanding area of practice, promoting innovation through its support of some of the most exciting figures on the contemporary scene. During this time, the organisation has commissioned and produced nearly 200 different artists’ projects, ranging from ambitious multi-screen installations to shorter film and video pieces, as well as numerous online commissions.
Film and Video Umbrella is a not-for-profit organisation.
Film and Video Umbrella’s commissions are designed to give the fullest possible expression to the creative voice of the artist. While each project follows its own unique, individual course, what they all have in common is a central emphasis on high-quality production and presentation. Benefitting from a supportive, creative environment (and from the extensive technical and curatorial expertise that the organisation has to offer) the commissioning opportunities that Film and Video Umbrella is able to develop, in conjunction with a diverse range of partner venues, are notable for the close collaborations that are forged: with artists, and also with venues.
Exploring contemporary themes and emerging aesthetic trends, Film and Video Umbrella projects seek to capture something of the spirit of the moment while also reflecting on a wider sense of place. As well as bringing internationally acclaimed artists' work to all parts of the UK, many of these commissions actively engage with the particular nature of the individual locations in which they are either made or staged, and often help to illuminate their larger social, cultural and art-historical context.