Recently Added: The Alchemy of Colour Exhibition, John Rylands Library, University of Manchester and videos related to the exhibition. CFP: Color TV Aesthetics panel at SCMS 2019 in Seattle (Deadline: 6th August 2018).

Past Events:  Colour in Context Symposium (University of Bristol); Journeys through Colour SeminarRoyal Anthropological Institute; BAFTSS Annual Conference and presentations on colour and film; the BAFTSS Amateur Cinema SIG’s British Amateur Women Filmmakers and Colour Films Symposium, Norwich. Colour Group GB’s Colour in Film Conference at the BFI and Birkbeck.CFP Mid-Century Colour special issue of Cinema&Cie edited by Joshua Yumibe and Elena Gipponi.

updated 18th July 2018

The Alchemy of Colour. Exhibition, 15 March -27 August 2018. John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.  “Poisonous paints, blackened bones, and beetles steeped in booze. Discover the strange and curious recipes that artists used to create some of history’s most vivid colours in our latest exhibition.Throughout the ages, artists experimented with intriguing ingredients to concoct their colours. Often they turned to nature in their pursuit for the perfect pigment.  Gorgeous yellows were cooked up from the stinking urine of cows, tree growths dissolved in acid made inky blacks, and precious stones were crushed up into vibrant shades of blue.

The Alchemy of Colour uncovers the bizarre stories behind artists’ palettes through a display of some of the most striking manuscripts in our collection. An exhibition full of surprises, immerse yourself in a history of colour that’s as remarkable in its inventiveness as it is in its beauty.”

More information on the Alchemy of Colour can be found in the John Rylands Library’s videos:

1) Why Does Yellow Glow? 

2) Why do some Black Inks Vanish?

3) How do you identify Blue?

4) Powerful Paintings: Identifying Purple

 Updated 9th July 2018

CFP for a color TV panel at SCMS 2019 (Seattle) on Color TV Aesthetics.

While scholars once lamented the lack of critical attention paid to color in film, in recent years a number of publications have reversed this trend, making color a lively and dynamic field of enquiry for film scholars. Color television has yet to benefit from this new wave of chromophilia however, and has not received the close scrutiny afforded to film.  Question of color aesthetics have been almost entirely absent from discussions of color broadcasting. Histories of the post-war period tend to focus exclusively on the international diplomatic wrangling over which color system each country would adopt (PAL, SECAM, or NTSC) amidst a cold-war climate where content-sharing was freighted with geo-political importance. more
Please email a paper proposals, including a title (120 characters), abstract (2500 characters), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (500 characters) by 6th August 2018 to Kirsty Sinclair Dootson ( and Professor Susan Murray ().

added 18th July 2018

Past Events

Call for Essays: Cinema and Mid-Century Colour Culture, Cinema&Cie, International Film Studies Journal, Edited by Elena Gipponi and Joshua Yumibe. Deadline: Closed.

Recently there has been renewed scholarly interest in the technology of cinema, shaped in part by the ongoing digital transformations of the apparatus. Film theorists have long acknowledged a crucial role for technology in shaping new forms of experience, and conversely, recent examinations of the cinematic apparatus have also emphasised the ways in which a given technology itself is a form of mediation influenced by aesthetic choices, other intermedial forms of technology, and broader social and cultural processes. Informed by such insights, this issue of Cinéma&Cie will focus on the technology of cinematic colour, specifically its analogue changes at mid-century, ca. the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, though studies are welcome that extend this timeframe, particularly for thinking through parallel developments in the Global South. This is the era in which photographic systems such as three-strip Technicolor, Kodachrome, Agfacolor, Eastmancolor, and Fujicolor dramatically transformed cinematic practice – from musicals and melodramas, to animation, experimental, and amateur cinemas – and led to the eventual normalisation of colour over black-and-white cinema around the world. Our emphasis is on how colour functions during the era as a transformative technological and cultural form inherent to image production and reception. FULL DETAILS

Please send your abstract (300–500 words in English + bibliographical references) and a short biographical note to by June 1, 2018.

All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than June 15, 2018. If accepted, 5,000/6,000-word essays will then be required for peer review by October 15, 2018.

added  14 May 2018

Colour in Context Symposium. 11:00-18:00 Friday 23rd March 2018. University of Bristol.  Key note speaker: Professor Lynda Nead, Birkbeck. ‘Greyscale and Colour: the Hues of Nation and Empire c.1945-60.  Abstract

The symposium: Colour – its specific hues, meanings and perception – are a contentious issue in the study of film.  From the history of its technologies and the production of a ‘natural colour’ image to its association with all that is artificial and unreal, the interpretation of colour has been closely linked to its cultural, social and historical contexts. Colour in Context is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium and offers a space in which to discuss the diverse ways in which filmmakers and artists have used colour (and the strategy of its absence) as a technique of cinematic expression as well as those who have made a subversive use of colour that is intended to disrupt cinematic forms of representation in a range of cultural, social or historical contexts. Thus, this symposium aims to explore the specificities of colour and its contradictions in a range of cultural, social or historical contexts. CFP Colour in Context Symposium This call has closed.

Colour in Context Symposium Full Programme Abstracts and Delegate Biographies

The Colour in Context Symposium was organised in conjunction with a Screening and Workshop event: When the New Wave Came to Bristol: Remembering Some People (Clive Donner, 1962) at the Watershed, Bristol 24th March 2018.


The Colour in Context symposium was funded by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies. The symposium was organized by the Special Interest Group on Colour and Film. Symposium convenors: Liz Watkins and Sarah Street. The Some People Workshop was been organised by the AHRC-funded project The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-85, which is based at the Universities of Bristol and East Anglia.

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added 7th December 2017

‘British Women Amateur Filmmakers and Colour Films – BAFTSS Amateur Cinema SIG Symposium’, 2 March 2018.  
Location: East Anglian Film Archive, John and Joy Chittock Research Room, County Hall, Norwich, NR1 2DQ.                                                                                                                            The Symposium has received generous support from the BAFTSS, ACSN, and East Anglian Film Archive, and is organised in collaboration with the Amateur Cinema Studies Network and AHRC funded ‘The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-1985’ project.  Programme    Additional information

updated 21st February 2018

BAFTSS Annual Conference 2018. Revolution, Politics, Technology, Aesthetics. 12th-13th April 2018, University of Kent. The 6th BAFTSS Annual Conference will be held at the University of Kent and focuses on the politically revolutionary and technologically or aesthetically innovative aspects of film, television and screen media around the world.

BAFTSS 2018 Conference   Programme  Panels & presentations on COLOUR & FILM


added 2nd March 2018

Journeys through Colour: experimentation, realism and artifice in non-fiction travel films. Seminar. 18:00-20:00 Tuesday 27th February 2018, Royal Anthropological Institute, London. This public event was sponsored by BAFTSS and the RAI, an independent charity organisation. It is not affiliated with current UCU actions.

Speakers: Professor Jeffrey Geiger (University of Essex), Jan Faull (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Liz Watkins (University of Leeds). Introduced and chaired by Dr Natasha Eaton (University College London).

Full abstracts, bio notes and photographs

A study of colour in film – its multifarious technologies and practices – offers a way to question teleological film histories that have written of a progression toward ‘colour realism’. This event explores the aesthetics, rhetoric and meaning of colour in travel films of the 1920s and 1930s. Colour is entwined with the practices of film making, representation and exhibition which associate spectacle and the fantastic as integral to the formation of images and narratives in non-fiction film. The presentations begin to unpick a complex of materials and techniques utilised to mediate views of the world to geographically diverse audiences. Colour signals a discourse of fiction and non-fiction, realism and expression, nature and artifice in travel and expedition films. The speakers discuss topics from the rhetoric of Kodachrome’s ‘living color’ in amateur travel films of the Pacific to the observation and interpretation of ‘natural colour’ in early 1900s expedition films to Everest and the Antarctic. How are landscapes and travel represented in film?


 updated 13th March 2018

The Colour Group GB’s third International Film Conference on Colour in Film  19th-21st March 2018. Programme Details

The conference was organized by Dr Elza Tantcheva-Burdge of the Colour Group (GB), Professor Ulrich Ruedel at the  University of Applied Science HTW Berlin and Professor Barbara Flueckiger at the University of Zurich, in cooperation with the British Film Institute and Birkbeck, University of London.

 updated  13th January 2018