As Brightonians know, the city by the sea boasts a top cultural line-up, from theatre to music, stand-up comedy to museums, but one of Brighton’s lesser known gems, Lighthouse, is actually one of the most exciting contemporary art spaces in town. The exhibits showcase local to international artists who focus on film, digital art and photography, and events here can inspire audiences in a way other venues can’t – by encouraging everyone to take part, and providing the lessons and know how in order to pursue film as a career.
The majority of exhibitions to take place at Lighthouse include film installations, interactive artwork or mobile phone games, while events include screening nights, artists talks, gaming weekends and film quiz nights. Just this past weekend, Lighthouse worked together with The Observer in simulcasting their own TEDx event (which takes place, physically, in London) –a day-long event seen as a ‘festival of ideas’, or a line-up of inspirational and provocative talks from scientists, actors, philosophers, chefs and environmentalists.
The upcoming Lighthouse Monthly Talk is being given by well-known technology critic and commentator on digital culture Bill Thompson on 7 April 2011. Thompson was instrumental in setting up and editing the first Guardian website, has a widely read weekly column, Billboard, and is the studio expert on many of the episodes of the BBC World Service’s ‘Digital Planet’.
Current training courses available at Lighthouse include a Digital Media Arts MA as well as courses called “iPhone Development” and “The Projection Room”, while past courses have included “Screenwriting for Television”, “Animation Storyboarding” and the simply titled “Write Movies”. Lighthouse also runs Britain’s leading mentoring programme for filmmakers. Called “Guiding Lights”, the course takes place over twelve months, during which film professionals are mentored by some of the film industry’s biggest names. This year’s mentors include: Sam Mendes, Alex Garland, Nick Hornby and Barbara Broccoli, while past mentors have included Danny Boyle, Paul Greengrass, Stephen Frears and Kenneth Branagh.