The Derek Jarman Lab is a place for people to think with film. In the spirit of the visionary filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman, we believe in picking up a camera as a primary mode of intellectual investigation.

We combine practice and research in making films and teaching. Informed by our academic backgrounds, we use filmmaking as a tool for exploring and communicating research. We also have a track record in making and producing films – our first feature documentary, The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, premiered at the 2016 Berlinale and is now distributed worldwide.

With the digital accessibility of film and video, it is easier than ever to produce audio-visual content. We build a critical framework for filmmaking to encourage our students to think carefully about their work, and use film to its best potential. For us, the essay film form invites the best approach. 

The Derek Jarman Lab is part of the School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London and is chaired by Colin MacCabe. We are also supported by the University of Pittsburgh.