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A diverse range of film and video organisations have flourished since the 1960s, developed from a common goal, with shared needs and concerns. , Some have had an overtly political purpose and others offered access to practical equipment and assistance. Inspired by the co-operative spirit of the 1960s, The London Film-maker's Co-operative (1966-1997) helped to keep costs down for the artists who used it's printing and editing facilities and provided a space for sharing information and skills. Many British experimental filmmakers, from Peter Gidal to Anna Thew, have passed through its doors, helping to run its workshops and even build the walls.

Film-makers and video artists have also found that getting organised in a collective or co-operative manner has enabled them to develop wider distribution links and screening possibilities for their work. London Video Arts was founded by emerging video artists in 1976 to highlight their work and those of their contemporaries. LVA's inaugural screening at the Air Gallery in 1978 celebrated the organisation's first distribution catalogue and showed the work of founder members such as David Critchley, Tamara Krikorian, Stephen Partridge and David Hall.

Workshops such as Sankofa and the Black Audio Film Collective and Retake were instrumental in bringing greater visibility to the work of Black and Asian British filmmakers during the 1980s by forging collective production and distribution systems, and producing seminal collective film and video works such as Sankofa's Territories (1984). Similarly, the formation of Circles in 1979 by the filmmakers Lis Rhodes, Tina Keane, Annabel Nicolson and writer and curator Felicity Sparrow, signalled the first British woman artists film distributors. Along with the feminist film distribution organisation Cinema of Women, this was to give the work of many women film and video artists a visibility and support previously denied. Both organisations would later merge in 1992 to form Cinenova.

In addition, political film collectives such as Cinema Action and the Berwick Street Collective produced experimental films with a social and community-based imperative, such as the Berwick Street Collective's seminal 1975 film The Night Cleaners. The Bethnal Green based Four Corners Film Workshop continues to provide practical support to film and video makers and the local community.

Also see: Circles Social Emma Hedditch's tour on women filmmakers and Shoot Shoot Shoot Mark Webber's tour on The London Filmmakers' Co-operative.

Still from Territories by


Footage of the Notting Hill Carnival is radically interrogated - by Sankofa.

Still from Clouds


Frantic frame edge defining nothingness.

Still from Hang on a Minute/Much

Hang on a Minute/Much Maddess

On the whole it's not an unpleasant experience.

Still from Shadow of a Journey

Shadow of a Journey

A movement of watery images flickering across the screen; and meanwhile, on the sound track, a woman sings a Gaelic song.

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