What is the Jarman Award?

The Film London Jarman Award

The Film London Jarman Award at a glance

  • A world-renowned annual prize for artists' moving image in the UK, established in 2008
  • Inspired by visionary artist filmmaker Derek Jarman
  • Artists are nominated by art and film world experts across the UK each year
  • A jury of industry leaders select 6 artists for the shortlist
  • Works by the shortlisted artists are toured to key cultural venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • £10,000 prize money
  • Previous winners are Luke Fowler (2008), Lindsay Seers (2009), Emily Wardill (2010), Anja Kirschner & David Panos (2011), James Richards (2012), John Smith (2013), Ursula Mayer (2014), Seamus Harahan (2015), Heather Phillipson (2016), Oreet Ashery (2017), Daria Martin (2018), Hetain Patel (2019), Michelle Williams Gamaker, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Jenn Nkiru, Larissa Sansour, Project Art Works and Andrea Luka Zimmerman (2020 joint winners), Jasmina Cibic (2021) and Grace Ndiritu (2022).

Film London Jarman Award Patrons

Spanning actors, artists, screenwriters and musicians, the Patrons’ work and support are vital in the development and success of the Award. The Film London Jarman Award Patrons are John Akomfrah, Rupert Everett, Dexter Fletcher, Hetain Patel, Tony Peake, Tilda Swinton and Toyah Willcox.

The Patrons’ expertise, industry knowledge and connection to Derek Jarman in either a professional or a personal capacity help to introduce artist filmmaking to a wider audience. Together they help promote and sustain the legacy of Jarman, whose inventiveness and bold ambition is seen in the work of artists practising today and those shortlisted for the Award.

John Akomfrah. Courtesy of Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery. Photo by Jack Hems

There are so few initiatives that recognise and celebrate artists' film which isn't the run of the mill. Because the Jarman Award stands for that - this protean, productive space in which different kinds of people come together and say 'we want to find another way of doing things' - just for that symbolic thing alone, it's important.

- John Akomfrah, artist filmmaker and Jarman Award shortlist 2014

Find out more about John Akomfrah

Rupert Everett. Photo by William Baker

"I think that is what is so inspiring about him, he was a survivor, he wasn't waiting, ever, to be accepted by the business and given some miraculous blank cheque, and I think that is how we should all be looking at this business. I think the person who wins this Award wins it because they have the kernel of that kind of attitude in them too, which is that you've got to be a light to yourself, and that's what Derek was, he just ploughed his own course."

- Rupert Everett, actor, writer and director

Find out more about Rupert Everett

Dexter Fletcher. Photo by Philip Sinden

"I’m very honoured to have been asked to be a patron of the Jarman Award. The impact of this unique director on my own career has always been integral to me striving to keep pushing my creative boundaries. Derek opened the door for me into the world of art and the inspiration that comes from engaging with all its forms. Derek Jarman was an innovator and visionary. An award in his name and the opportunity that it gives to support and promote a new generation of artists is wonderful, fitting and very exciting. Great artists should always have their legacy."

- Dexter Fletcher, director and actor

Find out more about Dexter Fletcher

Hetain Patel

"The way Derek Jarman managed to get support from both arts and mainstream film and TV industries to make experimental, politically-charged works, and get them seen so widely, is a huge inspiration to me. My work often gets contextualised around and limited to issues of race and ethnicity, so to be recognised for my use of the medium, in the spirit of Derek Jarman, has been a real a turning point for me professionally. It was thrilling to win the Award, and is an honour to be a Patron going forward."

- Hetain Patel, artist filmmaker and Jarman Award winner 2019

Find out more about Hetain Patel

Tony Peake. Photo by Anthony Cullen

"Derek Jarman was someone for whom the words ‘that’s not possible’ barely existed. Someone who delighted in opening new doors and inviting others to accompany him as he strode creatively through them. As such, it is entirely fitting that his name should be associated with an award that so magnificently celebrates and encourages innovative new work from artist filmmakers."

- Tony Peake, novelist and Derek Jarman biographer

Find out more about Tony Peake

Tilda Swinton. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

"Jarman was an antagonist, certainly a poet, maybe a prophet. We keep faith with his inclusive and vibrant spirit by naming a film award in his name, a talisman of practical magic, of inspiration, for artists working with cinema to do things that only cinema can do, with their hearts and eyes and hands - and in company with that spirit.

- Tilda Swinton, actor and Derek Jarman collaborator

Find out more about Tilda Swinton

Toyah Willcox

"I consider myself extremely lucky to have worked with Derek Jarman, not only on the movies Jubilee and The Tempest, but also to have been present in his personal life. To have seen first-hand his creative processes and above all to learn from him what it is to live by the rule ‘no compromise’. This is the Jarman that inspires me so much today, not only a great visionary, artist, writer and collector of ideas, but a man who saw beyond class, gender, even intellect, into the very important stories of each individual’s soul."

- Toyah Willcox, singer, writer and actor

Find out more about Toyah Willcox

In memory of Terence Davies (1945-2023)

Terence Davies

Although I didn’t know Derek intimately the occasions on which I did meet him he proved to be a life enhancer and a very generous man. He fearlessly told the truth and he is one of the great losses to British cinema. We must make sure we never forget him. I believe that this Award will be important in keeping his legacy alive.

- Terence Davies, filmmaker

"We were deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of Terence Davies, a Jarman Award Patron and announcer of the award back in 2015.

Terence was an extraordinary film-making talent, an inspiration for many film-makers and artists. He leaves a huge legacy through his remarkable body of work. We were honoured to have worked with him and our thoughts remain with his friends and family."

- Adrian Wootton, Film London CEO, Jarman Award ceremony, 21 November 2023

Find out more about Terence Davies