22 October 2016 to 25 June 2017
Spotlight Gallery, Brighton Museum

Free with admission

This new display at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery tells the story of experimental film-making in Brighton & Hove, from 1896 to the present day.

8mm Zoom Reflex cine camera by Bolex Paillard, 1963
8mm Zoom Reflex cine camera by Bolex Paillard, 1963


Unknown to many, both Brighton and Hove have played a rich and important part in international film history.  Early film-making pioneers included George Albert Smith and James Williamson, who became known as the Brighton School and worked here at the turn of the 20th century, while Modern and contemporary filmmakers and moving image artists – like Jeff Keen, Ben Wheatley and Ben Rivers – have cemented the city’s status as a hotbed of experimental film.

Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation will explore Brighton & Hove’s success as a place for experimental film-making, and its significance nationally and internationally.


Still from Grandma's Reading Glass, 1900, by George Albert Smith. Courtesy of British Film Institute
Still from Grandma’s Reading Glass, 1900, by George Albert Smith. Courtesy of British Film Institute


About our partners


videoclub is an artists’ moving image platform showing artists’ work across the UK and internationally. We support artists through curated programmes, engaging the public through screenings, exhibitions, talks, residencies and commissions.

We work in collaboration to develop inventive, stimulating events and opportunities to show artists’ film and video. Working with small collectives to large institutions, we exhibit work in cinemas, festivals, museums, galleries, non-arts spaces and outdoors, presenting diverse work by early career to established artists.



Screen Archive South East

Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. Established in 1992 at the University of Brighton, the function of this regional screen archive is to locate, collect, preserve, provide access to and promote screen material related to the South East and of general relevance to screen history.

There are now over 11,000 films and some 10,000 lantern slides from the nineteenth century as well as a significant collection of apparatus and related artefacts. The film material includes corporate documentaries, promotional material produced for seaside resorts and the military and work made by cine clubs, independent film-makers and families. These records capture many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from across the 20th century and therefore serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.



CINECITY – the Brighton Film Festival was launched in November 2003. This annual moving image festival is presented in partnership with Screen Archive South East (based at the University of Brighton) and the Duke of York’s Picturehouse (part of the Picturehouse chain of cinemas). CINECITY brings the best in world cinema to Brighton & Hove and places great emphasis on its Artists’ Moving Image programme, one of the most significant and rapidly expanding areas of contemporary arts practice.



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