Samuel Stevens, Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design lecturer in Contemporary Media Practice BA and Illustration and Visual Communications BA has been awarded the £10,000 Essay Filmmaking Fellowship in the annual Arts Foundation Awards 2017.

Steven’s latest film Spanish Labyrinth (2016) which he made at the University of Westminster traces the journey of avant-garde filmmaker Eli Lotar across Spain in 1931, echoing the main interests in his filmmaking, focused on ecological, social and political realities in Europe.

He said of his plans for the Fellowship: “In the wake of Brexit I feel a real need to look at British identity. I would like to produce a film and a book that will shine a light on a movement in the 1930s that was at the forefront of essay filmmaking practice in the UK.”

Judge Andrew Kotting said of the winner: “A fine and inspired shortlist of both established and emerging talent made the job of choosing a winner very difficult, however in Samuel Stevens’ work we found diversity and rigour and a spirit that probed and cajoled. The pacing was immaculate and the rhythms of sound-image correlation were seductive and informative. The ambition of Samuel’s proposed essay film was also impressive and exact.”

Stevens’ other films include Atlantopa (2009), for which he received mentoring from Adam Curtis. It imagined a bridge across the straits of Gibraltar as a symbol of inter-continental unity allowing migrants to cross easily into Europe. The film won a Jury Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan (2010). Stevens has carved an international exhibition trail, participating in shows such as Una Idea de Europa at CentroCentro in Madrid (2016) and New Semantics at the Whitechapel in London (2006).

For more information visit Samuel Steven’s website.

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