Biography

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portrait of Laura Waddington
© Mathilde Kohl
Short Bio

Born in London 1970. Studied English literature at Cambridge University before moving to New York and then Paris, where she made short films and videos. Her work has screened at numerous international film festivals, including Locarno, Rotterdam, Montreal, Edinburgh, New York Video Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center, on ARTE television and in museums such as The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid and The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis. She has received several awards. Focuses on her work include a retrospective at The 51st Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, a homage to her videos at The 41st Pesaro International Film Festival and "Vidéo et après: Laura Waddington" at The Pompidou Center, Paris. She is presently working on a book project and lives in Lisbon, Portugal.

Long Bio

Laura Waddington, born 1970 in London, studied English literature at Cambridge University, before moving to New York, where she worked in independent cinema and made short films. Inspired by electronic musicians, who she met making and distributing work from their apartments, she became interested in alternative modes of production and began shooting video. ZONE (1995), filmed with a spy camera on the QE2 and The Lost Days, the story of a woman’s journey around the world, directed via the Internet with camera people in 15 countries, experimented with the possibilities of the medium. The Lost Days marked the start of an ongoing collaboration with English composer Simon Fisher Turner (Derek Jarman’s Blue, Caravaggio, The Garden).

In 1998, she left New York and lived briefly in Lisbon and Barcelona before moving to Paris. Travelling widely overland on ships, buses and trains, because of a plane phobia, she began to focus on borders and people she met trying to cross them. In 2000, the Rotterdam Film Festival commissioned her to make a video for the project “On the Waterfront” a series of digital diaries, shot by ten filmmakers in ports around the world. CARGO (2001) is an account of her journey on a container ship to the Middle East, with sailors from Romania and the Philippines.

In 2002, following extensive travels in Kurdistan, Europe, The Middle East, and the Balkans, researching refugee routes into Europe, she spent months in the fields around Sangatte Red Cross camp, filming Afghan and Iraqi refugees who were trying to cross the channel tunnel to England, (Border, 2004). In 2006, she spent several months in Amman, Jordan with Iraqi refugees who had fled the war in Iraq. In 2008 and 2009 she returned to Jordan for nine months and continued work on an ongoing independent project about Iraq. In the following years, she lived in many cities, including Istanbul, Turkey, working on an upcoming graphic novel project

In 2009 she made a contribution to the collective French Film Outrage & Rebellion, initiated by Nicole Brenez to protest police violence in France. Made in a few weeks and without a budget with images found on the internet, STILL is dedicated to the memory of Santiago Alvarez and his great short film "NOW!"

Laura Waddington’s work has screened at numerous international film festivals, including Locarno, Rotterdam, New York Video Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Edinburgh, Montreal Festival of New Cinema, on ARTE television and in museums such as The Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid and the Jeu de Paume, Paris. She has presented her work in locations such as the European Parliament, Brussels and Flaherty Seminar, US. Focuses on her work include "In Person: Laura Waddington" at The Austrian Film Museum, Vienna organised by Six Pack Film, a retrospective at The 51st International Oberhausen Short Film Festival, a homage to her videos at The 41st Pesaro International Film Festival and "Vidéo et après: Laura Waddington" at The Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

She has received awards including the ARTE Prize for Best European Short Film at The 48th International Oberhausen Short Film Festival, First Prize at Videoex Zurich in 2002 and 2005 and The Grand Prix Experimental-essai-art video, Cote Court 2005, France. Articles and interviews about her videos have appeared on ARTE television, Radio France Culture, Les Inrockuptibles, Télérama magazine, Film-Dienst magazine among others.

Selected Filmography

1992    The Visitor
1994    The Room
1995    ZONE
1996    Letters to My Mother
1999    The Lost Days
2001    CARGO
2004    Border
2009    STILL

Selected Awards

Grand Prix Experimental-essai-art vidéo, Cote Court, France 2005
First Prize Videoex 2005, Festival of Experimental Film and Video Zurich, Switzerland
Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury, The 51st Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany, 2005
First Prize ex aequo, Videoex 2002, Festival of Experimental Film and Video, Zurich, Switzerland
ARTE Prize for Best European Short Film, The 48th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany 2002
Arts Council of England Artist's Film and Video Production Award 1996