Special events

The Essay Film Festival will also be running several additional events throughout 2023 to supplement the main programme, which explore the Arts on Film.. To browse the free BFI archive of films within this subject, please click here.

Art we Deserve? + intro + Marketing the Arts: Foundations for Success

Date: 13 March 2023

Time: 6:15pm

Venue: BFI


This session of two screenings reflects on the way art is disseminated and who is best served through these processes. In Art We Deserve?, art critic Richard Cook explores the gap between the artist and their public. By contrast, Marketing the Arts is a training video aimed at developing arts institutions’ ability to market themselves.


Art We Deserve?, dir. Jeremy Marre, UK 1979, 46min., English

Marketing the Arts. Foundation for success, dir. Bob Carson, UK 1988, 55min., English

Noel Burch Retrospective + Intro with Ian Christie

Date: 3 April 2023

Time: 6:20pm

Venue: BFI


This session explores Noel Burch’s contributions to the essay form using the Arts Council archive with an introduction by film historian Ian Christie.

Films: Correction Please; Or, How We Got Into Pictures, dir. Noel Burch, UK 1979, 50 min., English 

Impersonation. Apropos the disappearance of Reginald Pepper, dir. Ahmed Noel Burch, UK 1984, 55 min., English

The first film, Correction Please; Or, How We Got Into Pictures is an experimental essay in film history, associating very early archive material (circa 1909) and studio shot footage in an attempt to provide insights into the way in which “film language” developed during the silent era, with emphasis on the process by which spectators came to be increasingly “contained” with the space time of narrative.

The second film, Impersonation. Apropos the disappearance of Reginald Pepper, follows the activities of Swindon School of Art students attempting to collate material for a documentary about local folk artist Reginald Pepper, who has seemingly disappeared.