The AHRC Research in Film Awards 2016


Following on from the successful 2015 Research in Film Awards the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is launching its 2016 Awards in a bid to find new and emerging talent that straddle the worlds of both film making and arts and humanities research.


The AHRC’s Research in Film Awards is designed to showcase, reward and recognise the best of the growing number of high-quality short films (defined as no longer than 30 minutes) linked to arts and humanities research. There is also the “Inspiration Award”, which is open to members of the public, looking for films that have been inspired by research in the arts and humanities.


Films are produced in a great many ways through and as a result of research. They may be primary outputs, by-products, records of research undertaken, dissemination tools or practice-based research itself. They may include reconstructions and enactments, animations, installations and gallery pieces, games, interactive storytelling or co-produced work including collaborations with community groups, and may take the form of documentaries, visual essays or broadcast programmes. They may entail any of these, and much more besides.


These awards are designed to encourage, stimulate and recognise the considerable body of work created at the interface between research and film and to recognise the world-leading work of researchers, practitioners and film-makers in the arts and humanities research community.


Awards will be made in five categories (see below) and the winner in each category will win £2,000 to be invested in their future film-making activities. All applicants must accompany their film submissions with supporting text, which invites all entrants to make explicit their films’ links with arts and humanities research.



  1. Best Research Film of the Year
  2. Doctoral Award
  3. Utopia Award: Imagining our Future
  4. Innovation Award
  5. Inspiration Award (public category)


Closing Dates

The call for applications closes at 5pm on 1 July 2016


How to make an application

Entrant for all categories must complete and submit the Smart Survey form by 5pm on 01 July 2016.

This form requires entrants to provide a link to the film on the free video channel Vimeo and if necessary a password to enable judges to access the film being submitted. (The link to the film must also be made available by the deadline indicated above.)

In addition, all submitted films must conform to the following requirements:


  • All films submitted or nominated should last no longer than 30 minutes including titles and credits – films longer than 30 mins will be discounted
  • ‘Film’ is defined broadly as a series of moving images, but the nature of the images is open and unspecified
  • All films submitted to categories 3.1, 3.3 3.4 and 3.5 must have been created, completed or made public since 1st April 2015. It is not expected that films would be created especially for these awards but rather is intended to recognise already-produced films. However, specially-created works would of course be welcome
  • All submitted films should, where possible, be in a format that can be uploaded to Vimeo and accessed and played on a standard Web browser. In cases where this may not be possible (particularly, for example, for the Innovation Award), some form of visual representation or documentation is required and should be made available in the specified way
  • It is understood that films involve collaboration with broadcasters, community groups, cultural bodies, etc.; awards can therefore be made to teams as well as individuals, including production and other staff, but for categories 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4, there must be an identified research lead who must be eligible according to the criteria above. Category 3.5 – the Inspiration Award – which is open to the general public, is also open to both individuals and teams. Where a team is involved, a statement indicating the members of the team responsible for creating the film should be included in the 300-word summary accompanying all entries
  • Excerpts from all shortlisted films will be shown at the awards ceremony in November while all winning films will, where possible, be made publicly available on the AHRC website or the AHRC’s Vimeo channel soon after the awards ceremony
  • Films in languages other than English are eligible provided they have English subtitles
  • The AHRC reserves the right to reject any entries which it deems to be offensive or unsuitable.


Further Information

Full application information can be found in the Research In Film Awards Call document (PDF, 86KB)


For further information about this competition, please contact or 01793 416060.