The experimental short films on our radar

In association with the ICA and Dazed, Ch4 Random Acts has supported young filmmakers in realising their projects

Each year, Channel 4 Random Acts partners with the ICA to support young creatives in bringing their experimental short film to life. STOP PLAY RECORD sees a small group of filmmakers aged between 16 and 24 complete a three-year programme to develop their ideas for broadcast with C4 Random Acts. 

In partnership with the programme, Dazed has commissioned filmmakers Jessica Bishopp and Rowan Wigley, with Bishopp’s piece premiering right here. Lifespan thoughtfully explores the biological advances the human race has made, how it affects aging and the social implications that surround it. Is the normal 9-5 going to be obliterated? Will our entire way of thinking change as more and more people push 100? 

Rowan Wigley unpacks the quaffed trials and manicured tribulations of a world saturated with heavily-marketed products we don’t really need. In Heresy of Champna, disobedience among the masses, blinded by clouds of hairspray, is treated with the same force as a frizzy, out of place strand.

Other creatives have delved into very different worlds with their films: Thibaut Nyemba shows us some suited-up, paisley-printed gangs engaged in a dancing turf war, and Alexander Rowland beautifully memoralises the Alma Estate and its residents on the brink of redevelopment. Saskia Dixie takes a look at power, gender and success through a colourful, abstract lens. Then Sophie Littman uncovers the high jumping world of a local youth trampolining club, a microcosm among expending springs, and Harry Barber directs pulsing choreography that explores anxieties and insecurities in the darkness.

The three-year-programme now enters its second year, so there's sure to be more explorative pieces to come, with the films all showing at Somerset House 11 August