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Mark Aitken

Staff details

PositionAssociate Lecturer
Email m.aitken (@gold.ac.uk)
Mark Aitken

Mark has worked in film production and education since 1990.  Born in New Zealand, raised in South Africa, Mark moved to the UK to further his education at art school and ultimately learn film making.  A committed independent, Mark subscribes to the maxim of making a film because, ‘you have something to say and this is the best way to say it.’ 

In the 1990’s, Mark produced and directed numerous short films that screened internationally which led to opportunities in music videos, advertising and television.  The advent of digital technology and its inherent accessibility brought Mark back into film education.  In the 2000’s he facilitated over forty short films with the non-profit polkadots on raindrops – a film education company he founded and dedicated to creative digital storytelling.  Many of these films won awards and gained praise internationally.  In the field of youth film education, Mark has worked with students in the UK, Poland, France, India and Colombia. 

In 2006, Mark joined Goldsmiths as an Associate Lecturer on the M.A. Film Making course.  Since 2010, Mark has run the 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate Film Fiction courses.  In 2014, he began facilitating the undergraduate Television course.

In 2005, Mark directed and produced the documentary Until when you die – a film about a Vietnamese woman living in the UK who returned home to surprise friends and family that she was still alive.  The film was nominated at IDFA for a Silver Cub Award and screened internationally.  This was followed in 2010 by Forest of Crocodiles, a documentary about how white South Africans deal with their fears.  The film was picked up by numerous broadcasters including BBC World and distributed to over 60 countries.  2014 heralded the completion of Dead when I got here, a feature doc about a man reunited with his family when they discover him in a Mexican mental asylum run by its own patients.  In collaboration with the US writer, Charles Bowden and financed via crowdfunding, Dutch and Finnish broadcasters, the film will be released in 2015.          

Mark also facilitates short writing and production courses at Central St Martins School of Art and works in primary and secondary schools on special film projects.  He has also hosted and programmed film festivals, sat on international juries in Berlin, Hamburg, Poland and the UK.

Mark has published fiction in Aesthetica Magazine and is a long time programme contributor to arts radio station Resonance fm – currently with a show on sounds inspired by photography.

Currently, Mark is researching the impact of social media on film making and is looking towards working in Palestine, Brazil and South Africa.  An Erasmus funded exchange visit to the University of Gothenburg, Sweden will take place in 2015.

Links

Current Project: Dead When I Go There

Archive: The Deep River

Education: Polka Dots on Raindrops

Publications

Articles related to Mark Aitken