Biography

Miranda Pennell’s recent moving-image work uses photographic archives as the starting point for a reflection on the colonial imaginary.   Strange Object (2020) premiered at the London Film Festival and is the first of a planned trilogy of films that relate image-making to the history of bombing. Her feature-length film The Host (2016) toured selected UK art-house cinemas in 2016 and was awarded the Punto de Vista Award for Best Film at the 2017 International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra (Spain). Why Colonel Bunny Was Killed (2010) was awarded Best International Film or Video at the 2011 Images Festival, Toronto, and Courtisane Festival of Film & Media Art, Ghent.

Pennell trained in contemporary dance before she started working with the moving image. Pennell’s award-winning films exploring aspects of collective performance and choreography have been widely screened and broadcast internationally.  

Selected one-person screenings include retrospective programmes at Stuttgart FilmWinter Festival for Expanded Media (2019), Choreography and Archives, Filmmuseum Munich (2017), Photofilm: Sampling the Archive, Institut Français, Budapest (2017), Choreocinema: Siobhan Davies & Miranda Pennell, Barbican, London (2017), Irish Film Institute, Dublin (2016), Close Up Cinema, London (2016), retrospectives at Glasgow Short Film Festival (2011), Vienna International Shorts (2011),  Tampere Short Film Festival (2009) Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2006).

Group  exhibitions include Tanzbilder, Neues Museum Nuremberg (2019), Lahore Biennale 02 (2018), All Systems Go, Cooper Gallery, Dundee (2016),  Europe – The Future of History, Kunsthaus Zurich (2015), and The World Turned Upside Down,  Mead Gallery (2013).

Pennell has an MA in visual anthropology from Goldsmiths College, and a doctorate from the University of Westminster, on the relationship between film, photography and the colonial. She has worked as a commercials director, as a lecturer on film, video and performance practices, and she also writes, curates and as an activist she organises around culture and human rights.