The idea was already there. The team that included Tilly, Henry and myself was asked to curate an exhibition in collaboration with the LUMA film festival. “It is like the Norman Rea Gallery goes for a date with LUMA film festival” as the director of LUMA humorously summed it up. We still weren’t quite sure what our task would be about. The meeting with the director of the NRG who was a supervisor of this collaboration cleared everything up. We found out that the exhibition would showcase the story boards and mood boards of the films that won the chance to participate in the LUMA festival. We were also informed that the exhibition would be enriched by two guest speakers. Now I can easily admit that these outlines were only a base on which we were about to create our exhibition.

Our first challenge was to select a few films out of the many that were submitted. Apparently an enjoyable and easy task became one of the toughest in the whole curation process. As Henry said “The most challenging part was deciding what we were going to put into it given there was so much to choose from!’’ As we had a first glance at the films, we quickly realised that they vary a lot and they would require different approaches! We decided to create three groups and fill them with films we liked the most. Productions that we placed in the first group became part of the main exposition. We agreed to showcase not only the story and mood boards, but also props and costumes to enrich the encounter with the films and with the process of filmmaking. The films with the strongest soundtrack were placed in the second group as we wanted to use them as background music that would fill the gallery walls during the opening night. Finally the last section was devoted to the films that were very emotional and artistic and we decided to project them in the separate room.

The second challenge that we had to face was the long and complicated process of gathering all the material to create the exhibition. We contacted each film director separately. As Tilly said “For me, the toughest part was coordinating all of the directors and getting them to contribute things to display at the exhibition on time, as we were still getting really interesting things to print to exhibit on the day of the opening!”  We had many difficulties with acquiring the painting from a director whose film was nominated in the festival in L.A. and we had to collaborate with him from Hollywood. We were very proud at the end when we eventually managed to rent it for the exhibition.

The last element of the exhibition that we needed to sort out before setting up was an event with two guest speakers that we had to organize from scratch. With help of the TFTV department we invited two professors who discussed the artistic aspects of films.

As we felt that we had the concept and all the materials we needed we got very excited for setting up the exhibition! Tilly, Henry and myself enjoyed this part of the preparations the most. Whilst laying out the exhibition we quickly realised that we had very similar ideas and tastes which allowed us to create NRG X LUMA with great satisfaction!

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