Miranda Pennell studied and worked in contemporary dance before she started working with the moving image. She has an MA in visual anthropology from Goldsmiths College, and a PhD from the department of Media, Art & Design at the University of Westminster for which she received an Arts & Humanities Research Council scholarship.
Pennell’s film and video work exploring choreographic ideas and forms of collective performance has won many awards and has been widely broadcast internationally and presented in festival and gallery contexts. Her recent moving-image work uses archival materials as the starting point for a reflection on the colonial imaginary. Why Colonel Bunny Was Killed (2010) was awarded best international film at the 2011 Images Festival, Toronto, and Courtisane Festival of Film & Media Art, Ghent. Her feature-length film The Host (2015) reworks the image archive of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. The Host toured selected UK art-house cinemas in 2016 courtesy of the Independent Cinema Office (ICO), and was awarded the 2017 Punto de Vista Award for Best Film at the International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra (Spain). Her current moving image research has been supported by Film London’s New Approaches scheme. She has worked as a freelance commercials director, as a lecturer on film, video and performance practices, and she also writes and curates.
Selected screenings or exhibition include ‘Miranda Pennell: choreographies and archives‘ at Filmmuseum Munich (2017), ‘Co-op Dialogues 1976-2016: Lis Rhodes & Miranda Pennell’ and ‘Assembly: survey of recent artists’ film and video in Britain 2008–2013‘at Tate Britain (2016 and 2015 respectively), ‘Autobiography and the Archive‘ at the Zhika auditorium at Whitechapel Gallery (2015), ‘Colonial Spectres‘ Museum of Modern Art Vienna (2012), and group exhibitions ‘All Systems Go: Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle, Miranda Pennell, Dominic Watson’, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, ‘The World Turned Upside Down‘ at Mead Gallery (2013) and ‘Europe – The Future of History‘ at Kunsthaus Zurich (2015). One-person programs of her work include those at Close-Up Cinema, London (2016), Glasgow Short Film Festival (2011), Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2006), Vienna International Shorts (2011), Tampere Short Film Festival (2009).