Tabitha Jackson, Channel 4’s arts commissioner confirmed today that short-form strand Random Acts will return later this year.
Speaking at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead as part of Northern Film & Media and Channel 4’s Arts Council England backed Artist’s Cut initiative, Jackson said that the broadcaster would commission 260 new shorts in the latest run.
The films will be used as “hand grenades” to break up the schedule and “express the contemporary world that we live to younger audiences in a creative, non-school subject way”. Jackson added that she was looking for “television as art rather than about art”.
The latest instalment of Random Acts will aim to engage with more non-traditional suppliers such as arts curators and artists, in keeping with the broadcaster’s creative diversity drive.
Channel 4’s arts and multiplatform departments will work collaboratively to expand the reach of Random Acts and Jackson said that the strand would aim to “empower arts organisations towards connected TV and second screen opportunities”. The films will also feature on Channel 4’s Random Acts online gallery.
Channel 4 launched Random Acts last year in response to Jackson’s view to a view that arts programming had become ‘formulaic’. The first year featured 260 shorts-form films from organisations such as FACT, Tate Media, Ballet Boyz and Vice Magazine.
Speaking of the collaboration with Northern Film & Media, Jackson said that Channel 4 is “committed to identifying the next generation of artist filmmakers to follow in the footsteps of the likes Steve McQueen and The Chapman Brothers.”
North East artists Matt Stokes and Cecilia Stenbom are currently developing new narrative work with Channel 4, Third Films and Pinball Films through The Artist’s Cut.