Call for Proposals: Margaret Tait 100 film commissions

Part of Margaret Tait 100

A black and white image shows a 16mm Bolex camera set up on a tripod facing towards the side of a van with a piece of paper tacked to the side. The paper reads ‘A Portrait of Ga’, the title card for Margaret Tait’s film of the same name. In the background a hilly rural landscape and bright sky.
Image courtesy of Orkney Library and Archive.

The kind of cinema I care about is at the level of poetry — in fact — it has been in a way my life’s work making film poems – Margaret Tait

We are delighted to announce details of the open call for film commissions celebrating the influence and legacy of Scotland’s pioneering filmmaker and poet, Margaret Tait. As part of the Margaret Tait 100 programme ten new works will be commissioned, five of which will be drawn from this open call process. These will be presented alongside new commissions by curator and filmmaker Ute Aurand; director and writer Mark Cousins; artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler; writer Ali Smith with artist and filmmaker Sarah Wood; and curator and filmmaker Peter Todd.

We are now inviting proposals from Scotland-based artists and filmmakers for new short moving image works that respond to the life, work, approach or attitude of Tait. Envisioned as one-minute for Margaret,’ the proposals should aim to respond to an explicit aspect of Tait’s legacy but should also be creatively innovative in their own right.

Finished works will be non-commercial artists’ moving image pieces, produced using any medium, but delivered as single-channel high-quality digital (.mov) files. There is no restriction on genre; works may be fiction or non-fiction, essayistic, poetic, diaristic or documentary, as long as they are deemed feasible within the budget and time-frame (outlined below). Finished works will not exceed 5 minutes in length.

The copyright for the completed works will remain at all times with the artists. The agreements between the successful applicants and LUX Scotland will licence the work for use on the Margaret Tait 100 website and in connection with the official Margaret Tait 100 public programme. The films may also be subject to a separate agreement for distribution through LUX.

Submission Guidelines

The deadline for proposals is Tuesday 23 April 2019, 10am, with selections made and communicated by Thursday 25 April 2019. Production is anticipated to take place between May 2019 and the beginning of July 2019. The deadline for project delivery is Monday 15 July.

Each successful proposal will receive an award of £1,000, which should cover both production costs and an artists’ fee, and is VAT inclusive. In your application please provide a simple budget outlining a breakdown of expected costs. Successful proposals will be subject to a further commissioning contract outlining the terms and conditions of the award.

We welcome proposals from artists and filmmakers of all backgrounds and are particularly interested in hearing from minority ethnic (BAME) groups, those who consider themselves to be disabled and those who are currently underrepresented in media and the visual arts. We regret that we cannot accept applications from individuals in full-time education.

To apply please complete the online form here. A preview of the application questions can be downloaded here.

Due to limited resources, we are unable to give feedback on individual applications which have not been shortlisted.

If you would like to apply, but have particular access needs or submitting a written application is difficult for you, please get in touch with Annie Crabtree at LUX Scotland on email hidden; JavaScript is required or 0141 319 8377

Margaret Tait 100 is a year-long centenary celebration of the work of Scotland’s pioneering filmmaker and poet, Margaret Tait (1918 – 1999). The programme officially launched in November 2018 on the occasion of Tait’s birthday, and includes screenings, exhibitions, workshops, readings, new publishing, and commissioning opportunities for artists working with film. The Margaret Tait 100 programme is run in partnership with LUX Scotland, University of Stirling, Pier Arts Centre and a number of event partners. Supported by Creative Scotland.

Further information on MT100 is available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at margarettait100​.com.

Margaret Tait was born in Kirkwall on Orkney, Scotland. Tait qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University in 1941. From 1950 to 1952 she studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Photographia in Rome. Returning to Scotland she established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose Street. In the 1960s Tait moved back to Orkney where over the following decades she made a series of films inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture. All but three of her thirty-two films were self-financed. She wrote poetry and stories and produced several books including three books of poetry.

Screenings include National Film Theatre (London), Berlin Film Festival, Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Arsenal Kino (Berlin), Pacific Film Archives (San Francisco), Knokke le Zoute, Delhi and Riga. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival and has been the subject of profiles on BBC and Channel Four. The feature-length Blue Black Permanent (1992) opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Her final film Garden Pieces was completed in 1998.

Part of Margaret Tait 100

Margaret Tait 100 was a year-long centenary celebration of the work of Scotland’s pioneering filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait that ran from November 2018 to November 2019.

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