Swedenborg Film Festival with Ali Smith

2 Nov 2017 – 18 Nov 2017

Event times

Screening times vary

Cost of entry

Free admission. Advance booking highly recommended.

Swedenborg House

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Nearest underground stations: Tottenham Court Road and Holborn

Save Event: Swedenborg Film Festival with Ali Smith

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:


THE 2017 SWEDENBORG FILM FESTIVAL explores the theme of 'dreams', with a season of iconic features and visionary shorts chosen by the writer Ali Smith.


Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, Ali Smith is one of today's most significant and original storytellers, as well as a leading cultural critic. For the 2017 Swedenborg Film Festival (2-18 November), Smith has curated a season of films – from rarely seen cinematic masterpieces to contemporary artist shorts – all questioning boundaries between imagination and reality, performance and identity. Smith is also guest judge of the annual Swedenborg Short Film competition, featuring international artists with new moving image works responding to the theme of 'dreams'. 

Screenings take place at the heart of Bloomsbury in grade-II-listed Swedenborg Hall, 'one of London's most atmospheric venues' (Guardian).


2 November, 6.30pm: Céline and Julie Go Boating (dir. Jacques Rivet, 1974)
"Rarely seen today, yet the director’s biggest commercial hit, Jacques Rivette’s Céline and Julie Go Boating is an exhilarating combination of the themes of theatricality, paranoia and ‘la vie parisienne’, all wrapped up in an extended and entrancing examination of the nature of filmmaking and film watching." (bfi.comBook Places Here

9 November, 7pm: Nights of Cabiria (dir. Federico Fellini, 1957)
"The star's prize-winning, heartbreaking performance, the story's allegorical resonance and Fellini's sweeping, soulful vision of a Roman prostitute's resilient humanity mark "Nights of Cabiria" as a cinematic masterpiece." (The New York Times). Book Places Here. 

16 November, 7pm: An Evening of Short FIlm with Ali Smith
An evening of historic and contemporary short films on the theme of 'dreams', curated by Ali Smith. Including works by René Clair, Mannus Franken and Joris Ivens, Douglas Hickox, Agnes Varda, Jean Vigo and Sarah Wood. Book Places Here.

18 November, 6pm: Short Film Festival Screenings & Announcement of Winner
Featuring new films of 20 minutes or less, the 2017 Swedenborg Short Film Festival invites entries from the latest emerging and established talent of experimental and artist film, exploring the theme of 'dreams'. Spanning screenings in Swedenborg Hall and installations throughout grade-II-listed Swedenborg House, featured artists include: Chiara Ambrosio, Louis Benassi, Michelle Brand, Fenglin Chen, Charles-André Coderre, Atobe Hiroshi, Richard Hunter, Esther Johnson, Chay Milne, Julian Olariu, Edward Ramsay-Morin, Stanley Schtinter, Michael Trigilio, Murat Sayginer and Andrea Luka Zimmerman. At the close of the festival, guest judge Ali Smith will announce the winner. Book Places Here.

FREE ADMISSION. Book places via the links above or 

THE SWEDENBORG FILM FESTIVAL is curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze). The only film festival in the world inspired by the work of a single philosopher, the SFF has received a huge response from thousands of filmmakers around the world since its launch in 2010. For the 2017 edition, filmmakers were invited to explore the concept of 'dreams' – a theme encountered in the work of scientist, philosopher, theologian and visionary, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) as well as those he influenced, from William Blake to Jorge Luis Borges. Artists including Bridget Smith, Andrew Kötting, Jeremy Millar and Lech Majewski have shown work at or judged the SFF. For 2017, Ali Smith was invited to guest judge the short film competition and curate a season of films on the theme of 'dreams'.

ALI SMITH was born in Inverness in 1962. She is the author of Free Love and Other Stories; Like; Other Stories and Other Stories; Hotel World; The Whole Story and Other Stories; The Accidental; Girl Meets Boy; The First Person and Other Stories; There but for the; Artful; How to be both; and Public Library and Other Stories. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge. Her recent novel Autumn (2016), the first in a four-part series, is short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

What to expect? Toggle


Gareth Evans

Ali Smith

Nora Foster


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.