Atlas Arts




Plural Futures: film commission

Fortune teller held by a pair of hands

ATLAS Arts is seeking proposals from artists working with moving image, to create a new community film which speculates on the future. The artist will work with ATLAS and  inhabitants of the Isle of Skye to plan and produce this film – with an open brief that brings together different perspectives and lived experiences.

With close support and guidance from ATLAS and Skye Climate Action, the artist will be responsible for:

  • Devising a process for collectively making the film with residents from Skye and Lochalsh – including where appropriate – the undertaking of archival research, oral history gathering, hosting workshops and screenings, and identifying key stakeholders in the process 
  • Translating this process into a moving image work that speculates on the future, to be screened in various venues across Skye

Remuneration: Artist fee of £2500 plus £5000 for production. The production budget will be agreed with the selected artist through more detailed discussion, but it is expected that it will be used for the gathering of research, access support, and a mixture of pre and post production processes.

Eligibility: Open to artists and filmmakers working across the UK.

About the project:

In January 2020, ATLAS was approached by Skye Climate Action, asking if we would help steer a community film project that would predict the future. The proposed film would imagine a future in which various communities in Skye, Lochalsh and elsewhere have come together to successfully respond to the challenges of ecological crises, working with the premise that if we are to tackle climate injustice, we have to first imagine together what that change might look like. Examining how we might think about things like food, transport, health, culture, care, global relations, energy, the circular economy and climate literacy, differently – the project aims to imagine alternatives with local communities – and inform new ways of being. 

Recognising that Covid-19 and climate breakdown are crises of inequality, this project is part of a larger conversation to avoid ‘going back to normal.’ How can we work positively, pleasurably and critically to embrace these challenges? What are the futures we want to see? How can we be in solidarity with those dealing with the effects of the climate crisis right now, and learn in the wake of Covid-19? This project aims to support these kinds of conversations, proposing a starting point for new discussions.

Research support:

Throughout April and May, ATLAS and SCA have been gathering feedback and ideas from around Skye and Lochalsh. This includes recent Future Telling sessions hosted by ATLAS which focused on learning from Covid-19, and SCA workshops focused on how to work in our communities to live and work more sustainably, ethically and democratically.

ATLAS will mediate and produce this project with the selected artist/ filmmaker, working with Skye Climate Action’s membership to create a critical and imaginative framework for the production process.

The brief for the project is left intentionally open, and we are seeking proposals from artists who bring their own experiences and research focuses. Artists must however be open to working communally with various stakeholders to develop aspects of the film.

ATLAS will give key support to manage relationships, ethics and to support the gathering of information with the selected artist.

Covid-19 note:

The filmmaking and gathering process should be planned to take place in a physically distant manner. This may mean making use of digital resources, as well as non-digital infrastructures such as post, local radio, local press, distribution points across Skye and Lochalsh, and telephone. It may mean use of processes such as animation, and/or more of a focus on post production. It is understood these restrictions may also inform the content of the film. We are open and flexible to alternate working methods, with the production budget used to support this. 

Proposed Timeline:

Ongoing: Monthly SCA meetings and ATLAS Arts ‘future tellers’ subgroups (online and phone)

July: Appointment of artist/filmmaker.

August- October: Production sessions/structure planned and advertised. 

October-December: Production and shoot/editing

January/February 2021: Film premier and island wide tour (distributed in physically distant manner if required)

How to apply: 

Recognising that responding to open calls can often be time consuming and without remuneration, we have kept the initial application process simple. Please email a short statement of interest of no more than one side of A4, outlining:

  1. Your approach to filmmaking/moving image
  2. Your interest in the themes of the project and a draft conceptual plan
  3. An indication of how you might work with different communities to collectively make a moving image work

You may also include links to existing supporting material (website/social media/ past projects).

ALTERNATIVE FORMATS – instead of a written submission, you may instead submit a short video proposal, or audio recording, of no more than 5 minutes.

Email statements to: admin@atlasarts.org.uk

Deadline extended: 10am Monday the 6th of July 2020.

If you have any further queries about the application process, please contact Katharine Barrington, ATLAS programme assistant at katharine@atlasarts.org.uk to discuss.

Selection process: A panel made up of ATLAS staff and Skye Climate Action members will review all expressions of interest and will follow up with shortlisted candidates before 10th July 2020. 

Any further work on shortlisted proposals will be remunerated by ATLAS at an agreed daily rate.

About Skye Climate Action:

Skye Climate Action  (skyeclimateaction.org) formed following the Scottish Government’s ‘Big Climate Conversation’ meeting in Portree in August 2019. It is a community response to the climate crisis, working on practical solutions to reduce Skye’s carbon footprint and prepare for the changes that are happening to our climate. SCA raises climate awareness and networks with individuals and organisations to exchange ideas and find solutions. Its members are working on a range of issues including reducing waste, re-using materials, a water bottle refill scheme, transport, agricultural plastic waste, school environmental policies and Highland Council policy. SCA has sub groups in south Skye and north Skye and the full group meets every two months to report back on activities and plan ahead.

Plural Futures is a thread running across ATLAS projects in 2020. It includes film events, artworks, collective-making, meals, discussions and long term processes of work, organised by ATLAS Arts in collaboration with community groups around Skye and Lochalsh. This programme is about thinking about many different kinds of possible futures and ways of relating to the world – with humans, animals and other critters – whilst building solidarity and plurality in this imagining.

Published on 29 May 2020