About the Arcana project

As part of Folkestone StrangeLove Festival 2017 we were invited to host a film challenge event. We decided to do something in a slightly different format - allowing people to make a shorter film in more time to benefit small teams and individuals, and to encourage non-filmmakers within the local arts community to take part. Participants had just over a week to create a one minute film based on a secret object they picked up at the StrangeLove hub - a tarot card they could interpret in any way they liked. The 18 finished films were screened as one film called ‘Arcana’ on March 29th 2017. You can watch them again here.

A lot of the participating filmmakers said how much they enjoyed working in this short format and wanted to do more, so we then started to think about doing the entire deck of 78 tarot, and more cards were handed out at the screening night.

Arcana is now an ongoing project - we will have some more short film screening nights to see new batches of films and eventually have one long 78 minute film that can be shown in its entirety or broken up into personalised ‘readings’ for viewers. Ideally all 78 films would be made in time for the next Folkestone StrangeLove Festival in autumn 2018 so they could be used for that festival.

How to take part

Cards are still available for people wishing to take part - fill out the contact form if you would like them, or come to our next screening night.

If you have already picked up your next card then please make a film that:

  1. Is 60 seconds long
  2. Includes no credits within the film itself
  3. Interprets the card in some way (using the visuals, the name of the card or the meaning behind it)

Once your film is done upload it to Vimeo, making sure you have ticked the boxes allowing it to be downloaded and put into groups (this can be found by going to your uploaded video, clicking on ‘settings’, then ‘privacy’ and scrolling to the bottom of the list of options).

Submitting the film

Once your film is made and uploaded email the Vimeo link to us at 52hrfilm@gmail.com and we will add it to the album. All copyright of the films remains your own but we will be showing the film at screening evenings and they could go on to be used in future digital ‘readings’ at events.

Please also include what credits you would like (credits for all films are displayed together at the end).


Lots of people asked when the deadline is. Frankly we hadn’t thought that far ahead, but a lot of people benefit from having a deadline to help them get stuff done.

We’d also like to arrange a second screening evening, probably at the end of May, so for films to be shown at that screening we are asking for them to be in by 9pm on Sunday May 21st. Films made after that date will need to wait for either the finished film or a third short screener (to be decided).

‘What on earth is this card?!?’

The first cards we gave out were the Major Arcana - the easily recognisable named cards like ‘The Emperor’, ‘Death’ and ‘The Devil’. Once they went we went into the Minor Arcana - the numbered suit cards (Ace - 10) with a King, Queen, Knight and Page for each suit.

The numbered cards aren’t labelled but they are easy to work out - a number in Roman numerals will be written at the top, and the suit itself will feature heavily in the image - Swords, Cups, Wands (clubs) and Pentacles (coins). This useful Wiki has images of each cards in the Rider Waite deck, which is the deck we are using for this project.

‘But what does this card mean?!’

The Minor Arcana do each have very interesting meanings so it’s worth turning to Google and seeing what your card means, there is lots of information online.

The next screening

Watch this space for information on Arcana II, which is due at the end of May. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or join our mailing list by filling out our contact form to keep up to date


The Folkestone 52 Hour Film Challenge - write, shoot and edit a short film in a weekend




1. secrets or mysteries, "the arcana of his profession"

2. either of the two groups of cards in a tarot pack: the twenty-two trumps (the major arcana ) and the fifty-six suit cards (the minor arcana ).