Miranda Pennell worked in contemporary dance before she started making films, has a masters in visual anthropology from Goldsmiths College, and a PhD from the University of Westminster. Her film and video work exploring forms of collective performance has been widely broadcast internationally and presented in festival and gallery contexts. Pennell’s recent moving-image work uses archival materials as the starting point for a reflection on the colonial imaginary. Her film 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. In 2011 she received an AHRC scholarship for practice-led research into film as a tool for activating colonial photographs. Her feature-length film The Host (2015) 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). In 2011 she received an AHRC scholarship for doctoral research on film as an archive for colonial photographs. Her current 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 occasionally 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).