Format Festival

Picture: Policeman sat in a field

FORMAT is an International Photography Festival that takes place in the city of Derby, UK, which celebrates the diversity of photographic practice from darkroom to digital. Established international practitioners exhibit alongside the best emerging talent from the UK and beyond.

The next edition of the festival curated by Louise Clements (Senior Curator, QUAD), is organised around the theme PHOTOCINEMA.

Photography traditionally known as the 'still image' is understood by its ability to freeze and hold a moment in time. The invention of cinema - the projection of time through the movement of still images - has changed the ways in which we think about photography as a visual language. Cinema and Photography also have their own identities and histories which provide material for artists to draw from, play with and refer to, in particular around ideas about the conceptions of time and extension of narrative. Cinema provides artists with a wealth of inspiration and photography gives filmmakers endless material to reference, represent and plunder. Through the look of Film Noir, independent, Hollywood or separate genres like the spaghetti western, action films, and so on there is no limit to the opportunity for artists to parody or play out the cinematic in their work. Photography is also employed in cinema, directors are influenced by particular photographs for locations, wide shots, and even an entire film can be based on the story told by a single photograph.

From film still to still film the theme for FORMAT 2009 basks in the half-light between these two narrative and technical elements, colliding - fact with fiction, history with fantasy. The festival will contain the work of artists who extend the 'still' image in time through the use of single images, photo-narrative sequencing, directed or documentary photography and moving image. From single still to feature film, in essence works included in the festival will make reference to what has become known as cinematic.

The festival programme will be released later this year and will contain a programme of activity and events to engage audiences and participants in high profile international and grass roots photography.

The FORMAT09 programme will include:

10 Exhibitions, new commissioned works, exhibitions by significant national and international artists
30 Non Gallery Exhibitions throughout the city, showing the best emerging international talent
Conference debating the relationship between photography and cinema
centre and guided tours
Education and continued professional development activity
Professional practice events, portfolio reviews
Artists talks
Photography workshops
Schools activity
Practical workshops and master classes
Performances and events
Mass participation exhibition and events; including international artist residencies and web based work

Format aims to promote production and participation alongside the appreciation and understanding of photography across the widest possible audience.

The third FORMAT festival will take place throughout Derby from the 6th March - 5th April 2009.

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