‘Amateur Practices and Technologies of Vision’ Conference, Milano, May 23-24, 2019

The Department of Communication, Arts and Media at the Università IULM is hosting the ‘Amateur Practices and Technologies of Vision’ Conference on May 23-24, in Milano.

For additional information see  Amateur Practices_Program


‘British Women Amateur Filmmakers. National Memories and Global Identities’ – new book

New book: ‘British Women Amateur Filmmakers. National Memories and Global Identities’ by Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes and Heather Norris Nicholson (Edinburgh University Press, 2018. ISBN:9781474420730. Also available in eBook)

This is the first book to address the topic of British women amateur filmmakers. The study of amateur filmmaking and media history is a rapidly-growing specialist field, and this ground-breaking book is the first to address the subject in the context of British women’s amateur practice. Using an interdisciplinary framework that draws upon social and visual anthropology, imperial and postcolonial studies, and British and Commonwealth history, the book explores how women used the evolving technologies of the moving image to write visual narratives about their lives and times. Locating women’s recreational visual practice within a century of profound societal, technological and ideological change, ‘British Women Amateur Filmmakers’ discloses how women negotiated aspects of their changing lifestyles, attitudes and opportunities through first-person visual narratives about themselves and the world around them.

Key Features
· Brings expertise in interpreting relevant archive visual material specific to an under-researched film genre: amateur cinematic practice
· Combines newly uncovered findings on women’s amateur film and video-related practice with relevant primary and secondary literature
·  Explores key issues of gender and amateur film practice across various social, cultural and racial contexts

“Packed with keenly researched historical detail and splendidly illustrated, ‘British Women Amateur Filmmakers’ brings to light the fascinating and hitherto hidden history of women’s contribution to amateur film practice.”
Annette Kuhn, Emeritus Professor in Film Studies, Queen Mary University of London

· Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes is an affiliated Lecturer in digital and new media anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Fellow and Tutor, Clare Hall.
· Heather Norris Nicholson holds honorary research positions at the University of Huddersfield and also at Manchester Metropolitan University.

A 30% discount is available for purchases directly from publisher with the following promotional code: NEW30. Please feel welcome to recommend it to your librarian. Flyer available here British Women Amateur Filmmakers[1]


Family Tales. Small Gauge Stories and Narrations

“Family Tales. Small Gauge Stories and Narrations
Home Movies – Parri, via Sant’Isaia 18-20

Saturday, November 17 – 5.30 pm | Talk / Screening

Last chapter of Family Tales workshop. Started the last June, the course has allowed participants to plunge themselves in the stories hidden in Home Movies Archive films. Sometimes unseizable stories, recalling oral memory of protagonists and witnesses, which have been recovered and brought to light with the aim of making them publicly available. We’ll present a varied landscape: from a Friulian family emigrated to Belgian Congo in the early century, to the families of dock workers from Ravenna, intertwining 9.5mm lyric and elegant images as well as rough super8 which document innovative school experiences from ‘70s.

Curated by Ilaria Ferretti and Chiara Petrucci with the collaboration of workshop participants.”

For further information see Archivio Aperto XI edition

Learning Home Movies. Educational Uses of Amateur and Private Film

“Learning Home Movies. Educational Uses of Amateur and Private Film
Home Movies – Parri, via Sant’Isaia 18-20

Friday, November 16 – 4 pm | Talk

Home Movies, in collaboration with Istituto per la Storia e le Memorie del Novecento Parri, offers a training course designed for teachers working with high school students and focused on research and educational use of unseen and private material preserved at the Archive, of which this talk constitutes the methodological introduction. The urgency of proposing courses that bring the youngsters closer to the history of 20th Century, which, at their eyes, is distant and with no apparent links to the present, is increasingly evident.”

For further information see Archivio Aperto XI edition

Archivio Aperto XI Edition, 26 October – 3 December 2018

For further details see Archivio Aperto, XI Edition, organised by L’Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia (Bologna, Italy) 26 October – 3 December 2018.

‘Re-framing home movies: L’eredità ritrovata’

A five-part workshop dedicated to the study of amateur filmmaking practice and bringing together a group of archivists, filmmakers, historians and curators. 24 September 2018 – February 2019. The project is curated and coordinated by Karianne Fiorini and Gianmarco Torri, and organised and promoted by Lab80 / Archivio Cinescatti (Bergamo), Associazione Museo Nazionale del Cinema / Superottimisti (Torino) and Società Umanitaria / CIneteca Sarda (Cagliari). Funded by Sillumina /SIAE and by the MIBACT (Ministry of Culture).
For more information see L’eredità ritrovata


International Kino Club Histories, Alternative Film/Video Research Forum, Belgrade, 12-16 December 2018

Alternative Film/Video Research Forum 2018
International Kino Club Histories
12-16 December 2018, Belgrade

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Academic Kino Club, founded in Belgrade (then Socialist Yugoslavia, now Republic of Serbia) in 1958, the Alternative Film/Video Research Forum 2018 will be dedicated to the international histories of kino clubs in Europe and beyond.

There is a particular postwar history of kino clubs in Socialist Yugoslavia that is rooted in an official state movement to disperse technical cultures into the hands of non-professionals. These technical cultures included photography, radio, and cinema, among others. It was in the kino clubs where new aesthetics were born, also a new politics of amateurism. A new type of cineaste was forged in these clubs, and they quickly exerted their influence over professional production from the 1950s through the 1970s – widely considered the golden age of many European national cinemas, and not for coincidental reasons. The clubs operated mostly as free spaces, where ideological interference from without was at a minimum. Filmmaking was practiced, but also theory was produced, as well as exhibitions, publications, and more. Some of these clubs are still active, with histories stretching back to the interwar period, but with geo-political contexts and technological means that continue to shift regularly. A complete and proper international history of cinema cannot be written without these clubs, though they have not often been at the forefront of research or curatorial portfolios.

In Socialist Poland the kino clubs were often attached to factories, and existed for the edification of workers. In Socialist Hungary they sometimes functioned like studios. In Western Europe they commonly engaged in distribution and exhibition. In North America they often situated themselves on the front lines of socio-political struggles. These varied histories demand further complication and exploration, and to be placed into the context of their counterparts across the globe. This intersectionality will be the work of the 2018 Research Forum – for a different genealogy of kino-enthusiasm, and for a different international kino culture.
This one-day event running concurrently with the festival Alternative Film/Video in Belgrade will assemble a group of curators, critics, artists, and researchers for an intimate encounter where presentations will be delivered and discussions held on the topic as outlined. We are accepting abstracts of 300 words along with short biographies of 150 words for consideration. Selected participants will be given support toward their accommodation in Belgrade but are asked to cover travel expenses on their own. Please forward inquiries and submissions to Greg de Cuir Jr, selector for Alternative Film/Video, no later than 15 September 2018 at


The Alternative Film/Video Research Forum was established in 2012. Participants have included artists such as Marina Gržinić, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, and Dirk de Bruyn, researchers such as Miriam de Rosa and Terri Francis, curators such as Shama Khanna and Bruce Posner, and others. The founding curator of the Research Forum is Greg de Cuir Jr.

Alternative Film/Video (Belgrade, Serbia) is an international festival for new film and video tendencies and one of the oldest manifestations of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1982 as an antidote to commercial film and video-making and to support unconventional practices while celebrating moving image cultures. Alternative Film/Video is organised by and hosted at AFC Belgrade, which was established in 1958 as Academic kino club and where many iconic filmmakers worked, including Tomislav Gotovac, Živojin Pavlović, Radoslav Vladić, and others. Visit the website at

La ville et les cinéastes amateurs Conference

La ville et les cinéastes amateurs‘ conference, 16 May 2018, Chapelle Saint-Sulpice, Chemin de Tivoli, étang de l’Olivier – 13800 Istres. Organised by Cinémémoire. Keynote speaker:Professor Roger Odin.

British women amateur filmmakers: innovative visual narratives and early colour films

BAFTSS Amateur Cinema SIG panel, 13 April 2018, BAFTTS Conference, University of Kent, UK.

Rescheduled British Women Amateur Filmmakers & Colour Films, BAFTSS Symposium

British Women Amateur Filmmakers and Colour Films – BAFTSS Amateur Cinema SIG Symposium, organised with the generous support of the BAFTSS, ACSN, and  East Anglian Film Archive, and is organised in collaboration with the Amateur Cinema Studies Network and ‘The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-1985’

27 April 2018
East Anglian Film Archive, The Chittock Room, The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DQ


11.00 – 13.00 Presentations
Dr Heather Norris Nicholson (University of Huddersfield) – ‘Yorkshire women’s mid-century amateur filmmaking: colour and context’
Jane Fish (Imperial War Museum) – ‘“Because I thought it was far more natural….” the early colour films of Rosie Newman’
Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (University of Cambridge) –’Ludic domesticity and Royal family matters in colour
Dr Paul Frith  (University of East Anglia) – ‘Women, Amateur Film, and Colour Processes’
14.00 Panel discussion & Q&A
15.00 Screening – British Women Amateur Filmmakers and colour films

Additional information:
1.’Yorkshire women’s mid-century amateur filmmaking: colour and context’
With reference to private and regionally held archive material by different women amateur filmmakers, this presentation explores how colour film offered opportunities to explore personal interests and places of significance. Two Yorkshire women, Lucy Fairbank, an unmarried infant teacher and May Webb, the married manager of a York camera shop, may both be seen as pioneers in how, where and when they  filmed before colour television became widely available.
Dr Heather Norris Nicholson currently works as an independent cultural and community historian and has honorary research links with Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Huddersfield. Interests in amateur film and visual story-telling span many years and interweave with preoccupations with travel, landscape, belonging, memory and identity. Publications include Amateur Film: Meaning and Practice, 1927-77, 2012,MUP) and (co-written with Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes) British Women Amateur Filmmakers: National Memories and Global Identities ( EDUP).

2. ‘“Because I thought it was far more natural….” the early colour films of Rosie Newman’
A short presentation on amateur camerawoman Rosie Newman’s 1930 Kodacolour travel films and her Kodachrome record of her experiences of the Second World War. Additional information at Rosie Newman’s Britain at War In Colour
Jane Fish is Senior Curator – Film at the Imperial War Museums

3.’Ludic domesticity and Royal family matters in colour’
Queen Elizabeth II’s colour home movies are compelling visual records on issues of gender identity and class hierarchies.  As a visual storyteller, the Queen proved in many of her amateur films a sharp sense for significant facts, colour, light, and composition. This is evident alongside details challenging customary perspectives from which imperial and post-colonial autobiographical visual accounts are  historically negotiated. Moreover, most of the Queen’s home movies dislocate the master narratives common to the amateur filmmaking practice in the 1950s and 1960s by adding a vigorous and surprising sense of unconformity, especially when recording domestic scenes that contradict, and humorously challenge, popular expectations for stereotypical depictions of royal etiquette. This presentation will discuss several scenes belonging to Queen Elizabeth II’s home movies collection.
Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes is a Visiting Lecturer in digital and new media anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, affiliated scholar and guest lecturer at the Centre of South Asian Studies (Cambridge), Fellow of Clare Hall, and member of the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network. She is a visual and digital humanities scholar working on British imperial studies, theories of media, and issues of racial and gender identities. Her research and teaching employs new theoretical models drawing on visual culture, cognitive psychology, and postcolonial studies. She has published extensively on colonial amateur film practice, and is currently co-authoring with Susan Aasman a volume on ‘Amateur Media: Film, Digital Media and Participatory Cultures’ (forthcoming Routledge, 2018).

4. Women, Amateur Film, and Colour Processes
This presentation considers two recent projects at the University of East Anglia that have adopted a different strategy towards amateur filmmaking studies than the dominant place-based approach found in much academic work and in initiatives such as the BFI’s Britain on Film project. These projects – “Women Amateur Filmmakers in Britain” and “The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-85” – have overlapping interests around the production practices, technological choices, and aesthetic approaches of women amateur filmmakers working with colour processes from the middle of the twentieth century on. The projects have also both worked closely with the collection of British amateur films from the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC), held at the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA), and will reflect on their findings to date. In the first half this presentation, Keith M. Johnston will cover the Women Amateur Filmmakers project, including the identification, cataloguing and digitisation of over 100 films, and consider the rich vein of women-produced films that span seven decades of the twentieth century. These films feature a variety of genres (drama, comedy, animation, documentary, travelogues), modes of production (single author, team, husband-and-wife collaboration), and technological adoption. An important aspect of that technological story is around the range of colour processes found in these, and other, amateur films. In the second half, Paul Frith will cover the Eastmancolor project’s engagement with the technological opportunities and limitations of amateur colour processes: focused on the production and aesthetics of colour films from the Women Amateur Filmmakers collection, he will explore how the amateur community worked together to develop experimental techniques that were employed to duplicate the technological accomplishments of the industry.
Dr Paul Frith is a Research Associate working on the Eastmancolor Revolution project at the University of East Anglia. He received his PhD from UEA in 2015 and was employed by the British Film Institute as a Conservation Specialist (2013-16). His PhD thesis addressed the commonly held misconception of a so-called ‘horror ban’ in Britain during the 1940s through alternative approaches to both censorship and discussions of the horror film. He is currently researching the use of colour in amateur cinematography and horror film censorship during the rise in colour production in Britain during the 1950s.





© 2010 Amateur Cinema (Media) Studies Network