Urban Lens Film Festival 2016

The city, in the cinematic imagination, has always been a site of multiple and complex narratives. These narratives have allowed for different ways of seeing and telling stories about the urban landscape; about people and places whose stories might not immediately be apparent. In keeping with its commitment of engaging with different voices around the urban, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) presents the 3rd edition of the Urban Lens film festival. For the first time, it will be held in two cities – Bengaluru and Delhi.

Urban Lens Film Festival 2016The festival primarily showcases non-fiction films that engage with the real and imagined idea of the city, over time. These films come from different story-telling traditions and formal practices: from ethnographic accounts of the city, to personal essay films and animation films – all the films that are part of the Urban Lens seek to interrogate different facets of what the urban produces. This edition features a wide range of films from India and abroad, including animation and student films. Among the Indian films being shown are Mira Nair’s ‘India Cabaret’ and ‘So Far From India’, Arun Khopkar’s ‘Narayan Gangaram Surve’, Rahul Roy’s ‘The Factory’, Ruchir Joshi’s ‘My Rio, My Tokio’, Paromita Vohra’s ‘Where’s Sandra?’ and Gitanjali Rao’s ‘TrueLoveStory’. The international films include Harun Farocki’s ‘Videograms of a Revolution’ and ‘Workers Leaving the Factory’, Fatih Akin’s ‘Crossing the Bridge’, Olivier Meys and Zhang Yaxuan’s ‘A Disappearance Foretold’ and Jens Wenkel’s ‘Lagos-Notes of a City’. In addition, there will be panel discussions that will examine the contexts, languages and aesthetics that shape the cinematic discourse on the city and citizens.

The festival runs from 4th to 6th March in Bengaluru and from 18th to 20th March in Delhi. For the Delhi edition of the festival, IIHS will be collaborating with the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan. We hope you will join us for the festival in both the cities, so that a new conversation around cinema and the urban can emerge.

 

List of Films

 

Sl. Film Director Trailer
Indian Films
1 The Factory Rahul Roy https://goo.gl/KXOwx8
2 My Rio, My Tokio Ruchir Joshi NA
3 TrueLoveStory (Animation) Gitanjali Rao https://goo.gl/ysD26o
4 Ayodhya Gatha Vani Subramanian https://goo.gl/XIKM7Z
5 Where’s Sandra? Paromita Vohra https://goo.gl/y1I4pK
6 Our Metropolis Gautam Sonti & Usha Rao https://goo.gl/gJDukk
7 A Poet, a City and a Footballer Joshy Joseph https://goo.gl/fMLVKr
8 Electric Shadows Avijit Mukul Kishore NA
9 Maine Dilli Nahin Dekha Humaira Bilkis https://goo.gl/ZwTnd7
10 Taar Cheye Se Anek Aaro Debalina Majumder https://goo.gl/bc3HeL
11 Narayan Gangaram Surve Arun Khopkar NA
12 My Mother India Safina Uberoi https://goo.gl/nDHKO3
13 India Cabaret Mira Nair NA
14 So Far From India Mira Nair NA
International Films
15 Komşu Komşu, Huu! Bingöl Elmas https://vimeo.com/114801133
16 Videograms of a Revolution Harun Farocki NA
17 Workers Leaving the Factory Harun Farocki NA
18 Crossing The Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul Fatih Akin https://goo.gl/gPnzuW
19 Lagos – Notes of a City Jens Wenkel https://goo.gl/49Bqdm
20 Berlin Babylon Hubertus Siegert https://goo.gl/KcfPsP
21 A Disappearance Foretold Olivier Meys NA
Student Films
22 Good Morning Mumbai (Animation) Rajesh Thakore and Troy Vasanth NA
23 The Fort Undefeated Manur Raj Katyal https://goo.gl/Uojg5Z
24 B-22 Shilpi Saluja and Akshika Chandna NA
25 Not Caste in Stone Firdaus Soni, Keduokhrietuo Sachu, Kritika Agarwal, Prateek Shekhar, Vaibhav B. Sorte https://goo.gl/bxeLDJ

 

Panel Discussions

Urban Lens features a series of talks that seek to examine the contexts, languages and aesthetics that shape the cinematic discourse on the city and citizens. This festival this year brings together an eclectic mix of practitioners who will discuss their work and preoccupations surrounding these concerns, be they formal, historical or to do with the very brass-tacks of image-making and the codes that get formed around it. The themes are varied. We look at the multiple ways of recording intimate narratives in the city; pushing the limits of the ‘acceptable’ in non-fiction filmmaking and thereby getting into the contentious issues of ethics and empathy while dealing with our ‘subjects’. We look at how we often build our narratives on a body of existing references that we make our own, sometimes forming new languages of filmmaking in the process. India has among the most vibrant and complex cultures of filmmaking across genres. These talks, discussions and presentations seek to remind us of that, and hope to extend the discourse by putting a very specific group of practitioners in dialogue with each other.

Bengaluru:

4th March

Manufactured Realities: Triumph of the Film | Madhusree Dutta and Joshy Joseph

Much has been said about putting the “real” in the reality that documentary films seek to represent. This discussion seeks to engage its panelists, whose work carries a characteristic, playful language of film making, in a discussion on reality and realism and their thoughts on the formal possibilities of the non-fiction film.

5th March

When Three Cameramen Meet | Navroze Contractor and Rahul Roy

The panelists and the moderator of this conversation are cinematographers who work primarily in the non-fiction medium. They make their own films and also shoot for others. This is a discussion about their practice as people who think through the lens, watching and responding to situations, making their films.

6th March

Personal History as City Portrait | Sabeena Gadihoke, Paromita Vohra and Ayisha Abraham

This conversation looks at urban narratives that get formed out of personal histories, through three distinct image-making practices. Sabeena Gadihoke will present explorations of urban space in Bombay and Delhi in the 1950s and 60s through the work of Homai Vyarawalla – India’s first woman press photographer. Paromita Vohra will talk about her television series ‘Connected Hum Tum’, where Mumbai women discuss their lives and preoccupations by making video-diaries. Ayisha Abraham will discuss found-footage practice where personal, often intimate images acquire significant meaning over time and become a record of culture. 

 

Delhi:

18th March

Excavating Queer Resonances in Indian Cinema Pre-Bomgay | Vikram Phukan

An illustrated talk by Vikram Phukan, a Mumbai-based playwright and stage critic, looking at queer references in Indian cinema before Riyad Wadia’s landmark film Bomgay (1996). This will be a walk-through of queer text and subtext in Indian cinema, starting with the silent era, through films that are lost or obscure and in mainstream films. The speaker is working on a book on this subject.

19th March

Film Thieves: Memory and Reference as Raw-stock | Ruchir Joshi and Joshy Joseph

Playing on cinematic memory. Referencing visual traditions to make them filmic. Building on, critiquing and celebrating works that have already addressed our current preoccupations. And finally, celebrating the film or video medium. These are the themes this conversation seeks to address, using references from the panelists’ work.

20th March

Personal History as City Portrait | Sabeena Gadihoke, Paromita Vohra and Ayisha Abraham

This conversation looks at urban narratives that get formed out of personal histories, through three distinct image-making practices. Sabeena Gadihoke will present explorations of urban space in Bombay and Delhi in the 1950s and 60s through the work of Homai Vyarawalla – India’s first woman press photographer. Paromita Vohra will talk about her television series ‘Connected Hum Tum’, where Mumbai women discuss their lives and preoccupations by making video-diaries. Ayisha Abraham will discuss found-footage practice where personal, often intimate images acquire significant meaning over time and become a record of culture.

Profiles

Subasri Krishnan | Curator

Subasri has been filmmaker for more than a decade. She also heads the Media Lab of the Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS).

Her documentary films deal with contemporary politics. Her first documentary film “Brave New Medium” on internet censorship in South-East Asia, has been screened at film festivals, both nationally and internationally. The award-winning “This or That Particular Person” looks at the idea of official identity documents, and in that context, the Unique Identity number. The film was adjudged as the Best Short Documentary Film at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), 2013. Her new documentary film “What The Fields Remember” explores ideas of memory, violence and justice through survivors’ narratives of the massacre.

As part of the Media Lab at IIHS, she teaches and curates the Urban Lens film festival. Prior to going to film school, Subasri worked for the academic journal ‘Seminar’.

Avijit Mukul Kishore | Programming: Panel Discussions

Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Mumbai, India. His areas of specialisation are documentary films and collaborations with visual artists on film and video based installation projects. He is actively involved in cinema pedagogy and is co-curator of The FD Zone Mumbai programme. His films as director are ‘To Let the World In’, ‘Vertical City’, ‘Certified Universal’ and ‘Snapshots from a Family Album’.

Previous editions:

Urban Lens Film Festival 2014

Urban Lens Film Festival 2013

 

Email: urbanlens@iihs.ac.in

Trailer: https://youtu.be/SpJGMazQUjw

Website: http://iihs.co.in/urbanlens/

Twitter: @iihsin | #UrbanLens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iihsin/

YouTube livestream playlist: https://https://goo.gl/atm5HL

Urban Lens 2016 | Bengaluru:

Venue: IIHS Bangalore City Campus, No. 197/36, 2nd Main Road, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080.

Phone number: +91 80 6760 6666

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1562968810689922/

Urban Lens 2016 | Delhi:

Venue: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, No.3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Near Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Phone number: +91 11 2332 9604

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/229578487378833/

 

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