11th International Festival of Moving Image Art in India
VENUE: Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, 716, CMH Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore – 560038
Experimenta 2023 Festival Trailer
directed by Scott Miller Berry with music by Debashis Sinha
EXPERIMENTA 2023 PROGRAMME
DAY 1 | JANUARY 18 | WEDNESDAY
OPENING FILMS | 6:00 PM
Rule by Consent
“17 states, 20 political parties, over 500 parliamentary constituencies, 3500 states assembly seats, 19,000 candidates and 251 million voters. India has just been through her 4th General Elections since independence. What is the retrospect?”
Rule by Consent is provided by Films Division India
Jamal (A Camel)
A report from the life of a camel, most of which plays out in a small and dreary room—a sesame mill. The camel is not entirely desolate, and is visited by chickens, pigeons, lamb and people, but ambles around in smaller and smaller circles of conﬁnement.
Ibrahim Shaddad, born in Halfa, Sudan in 1945, studied at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf in Germany. He graduated in 1964. Over the course of his career, he has made many medium-length and short films. Several of his projects have been banned by the various governments in Sudan. He spent years in exile in Egypt and Canada before returning to Sudan. His love of cinema is deep and his vision of art is radical.
During the late seventies and early eighties, a group of ﬁlmmakers who were then the staff of the Cinema Section at the Department of Culture issued a periodical named CINEMA. This same group then founded the Sudanese Film Group (SFG) in April 1989 to give them more independence from the state. The purpose of the group was to be fully engaged in all aspects of ﬁlm production, screening, and teaching, as well as maintaining the passion of the Sudanese for the cinema. But on June 30, 1989, the coup d’état, which brought with it a suspicion of all forms of art, terminated any cultural aspirations and banned all civic society organizations. Finally in 2005, the heavy hand of the state was somewhat loosened and the SFG was able to re-register.
Mes Voisins (My Neighbours)
African migrants in Paris talk about everyday life and racism in the labour and housing markets. The chanson from which the ﬁlm takes its title sings of misery on people’s own doorstep. Hondo then switches to another mode to continue his analysis of social conditions—never has the post-colonial state of the world been summarised as succinctly as in the closing animated sequence.
Med Hondo was born in Atar, Mauritania in 1936. At the end of the 1950s, he emigrated to France, founding a theatre group in Paris and turning to ﬁlm. In the mid-1960s he began shooting his ﬁrst feature ﬁlm, ‘Soleil Ô’, which attracted international attention. In his subsequent ﬁlms, Hondo addressed the history of the African continent and its diaspora. In addition to his work as a director, Hondo also worked as a dubbing artist. He died in Paris in 2019.
DAY 2 | JANUARY 19 | THURSDAY
PROGRAM 1 | 3:00 PM
The Murder of Fred Hampton
In late 1968, Howard Alk and Mike Gray of the Chicago Film Group began working on a documentary on the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter, especially their charismatic leader, activist Fred Hampton. In the middle of production, the trajectory of the ﬁlm pivoted quickly when, in the early dawn of December 4, 1969—at the direction of Cook County State’s Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan—ofﬁcers raided Hampton’s apartment on Chicago’s west side, murdering Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark in their sleep. After Hampton was assassinated, the ﬁlm suddenly became a two-part document of a stillborn revolutionary moment.
From 1965 to 1972, Chicago Film Group made TV commercials and documentaries for national and local clients. Their documentary films include the two features ‘American Revolution II’ (1969) and ‘The Murder of Fred Hampton’ (1971). In 1969 they released a seven part educational film series ‘Urban Crisis and the New Militants’ in an attempt to update the educational film genre. The company was dissolved in 1973.
The Murder of Fred Hampton is provided by The Chicago Film Archives
PROGRAM 2 | MEDIA ENCOUNTERS : FOREIGN AFFAIRS | 6:00 PM
In the late Cold War and the early post-Soviet era, Goethe-Institut encouraged new tendencies in media production, ranging from documentary to more experimental forms like experimental ﬁlm and video art. The works produced through these Goethe-Institut co-productions often captured the social upheavals and turbulent politics in various places in the Global South. Credited to have produced pivotal works, even initiating sustainable alternative ﬁlm and media art scenes in their host cities, several of these works also toured festivals and institutions abroad. Unfortunately, a majority of these works have been lost, if not rare or inaccessible. This program is part of ongoing research that has resulted in the recovery of some of these works, while also challenging the assumption of a one-way inﬂuence of these encounters between local artists and their German collaborators.
Good Work, My Boy (Shabesh Bete)
Rose with Thorns
The Girl from Bikini Island
Sorry, I Am An Actress
Pilipinas: What do you think of the Philippines, Mr Janetzko?
Hong Kong Topography
The Girl from Bikini Island and Pilipinas: What do you think of the Philippines, Mr Janetzko? are courtesy of the Mowelfund Film Institute. Sorry, I Am An Actress appears courtesy of the artist, Park Ji-hong. Thousandth Birth appears courtesy of the Thai Film Archive. Hong Kong Topography appears courtesy of the artists Ingo Petzke and Jim Shum.
Merv Espina is an artist and researcher who investigates the ﬁssures of systemic biases and historical lapses in media, knowledge and cultural production, and the networks and organisms that have grown through them.
DAY 3 | JANUARY 20 | FRIDAY
PROGRAM 3 | ARTIST PROFILE : SYLVIA SCHEDELBAUER | 3:00 PM
Sea of Vapors
PROGRAM 4 | YUGANTAR FILM COLLECTIVE | 6:00 PM
Yugantar Film Collective was India’s ﬁrst feminist ﬁlm collective and was founded by Deepa Dhanraj, Abha Bhaiya, Navroze Contractor, and Meera Rao in 1980. Between 1980 and 1983, during a time of radical political transformation in India, Yugantar created four pioneering ﬁlms together. Two of these films are presented here.
Sudesha tells the story of a woman living in a village in the lower Himalayas. In this area, people depend entirely on the forest for their daily needs of ﬁrewood, food and water. But the forests have been destroyed by powerful timber traders. And along with the forest, the livelihood of the people has been greatly altered. The women of this region played an active role in the Chipko Movement. Sudesha was imprisoned for her protest.
The ﬁlm exposes the oppressive working conditions of hundreds of maidservants in Pune and reveals how the women came together to form an organization to ﬁght for their rights.
Nicole Wolf is a senior lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research and curatorial projects concentrate on political cinemas and experimentations with documentary modalities as relational practice. Her engagement with South Asian art, activist practices and feminisms informs her inquiry into international cinematic/political alliances for global publics of conflict and dissonance.
DAY 4 | JANUARY 21 | SATURDAY
PROGRAM 5 | 3:00 PM
Jagdpartie (The Hunting Party)
Jagdpartie (The Hunting Party) is a treatise on racism, and was Ibrahim Shaddad’s graduation ﬁlm that he shot while at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. It was shot in a forest in Brandenburg. A black man is being pursued by a white mob, and while the ﬁlm offers hope of a common horizon for all workers beyond race, by the end this possibility is closed off.
Ibrahim Shaddad, born in Halfa, Sudan in 1945, studied at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf in Germany. He graduated in 1964. Over the course of his career, he has made many medium-length and shorth films. Several of his projects have been banned by the various governments in Sudan. He spent years in exile in Egypt and Canada before returning to Sudan. His love of cinema is deep and his vision of art is radical.
During the late seventies and early eighties, a group of ﬁlmmakers who were then the staff of the Cinema Section at the Department of Culture issued a periodical named CINEMA. This same group then founded the Sudanese Film Group (SFG) in April 1989 to give them more independence from the state. The purpose of the group was to be fully engaged in all aspects of ﬁlm production, screening, and teaching, as well as maintaining the passion of the Sudanese for the cinema. But on June 30, 1989 the coup d’état, which brought with it a suspicion of all forms of art, terminated any cultural aspirations and banned all civic society organizations. Finally in 2005 the heavy hand of the state was loosened somewhat, and the SFG was able to re-register.
Phela-ndaba (End of the Dialogue)
End of the Dialogue is a landmark film that was one of the first to reveal the full horrors of the Apartheid to the world. Made in 1970, the film is valuable not only as a record of the Apartheid, but as a record of how people’s understanding of South Africa was then changing. Produced by a small group of black South African exiles and film students based in London, it caused an uproar when it was originally released. More than 50 years later, the images and facts still shock.
In 1970, members of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) formed a ﬁlm collective with ﬁlm students from London and made the documentary ‘Phela-ndaba (End of the Dialogue)’ about the effects of the Apartheid in South Africa. Because of the severity of the legal situation there, they shot the ﬁlm in secret and smuggled it out of the country in order to ﬁnish it in the UK.
PROGRAM 6 | 6:00 PM
On vous parle de Paris: Maspero, les mots ont un sens (Calling from Paris: Maspero. Words Have a Meaning)
With the documentary series ‘On vous parle de…’ Chris Marker wanted to produce a counter-public – “contre-information.” More than being just a portrait of publisher François Maspero, the episode Les mots ont un sens also answers the question of what role leftist intellectuals can play between militancy and information.
Chris Marker was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France in 1921. He studied philosophy in Paris. Sometime around 1950, he turned to ﬁlm. In 1962, he created one of his most famous works, ‘La Jetée’. In addition to directing numerous documentary and essay ﬁlms, Marker was a writer and photographer. He died in Paris in 2012.
In 1991, Madhu Rye, a well-known Gujarati writer starts reading from the ‘nonsense’ verse he wrote for a play after the communal riots of 1969. Speaking from self-imposed exile, he remembers the home of his language, the city he has left behind. He looks at his ‘Amdavad’ now, the decrepit old town, the crawl of the new consumer culture on the other side of the river, the scooter city, the constantly hungry and overfed city, the city at the end of a decade where it has seen several new riots. A fourteen minute cine-poem, Memories of Milk City catches Ahmedabad at a time of transition, peeling apart layers of textures, gestures and sounds, tripping over a culture and a language at war with themselves.
Ruchir Joshi is a writer, a filmmaker, a photographer and a columnist for major publications in India as well as international publications. Known for his acclaimed debut novel, ‘The Last Jet-Engine Laugh’ (2001), he is also the editor of India’s first anthology of contemporary erotica, ‘Electric Feather: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories’. Joshi’s films ‘Egaro Mile (Eleven Miles)’ and ‘Tales from Planet Kolkata’ have won international awards. Restored versions of both films were screened at the Berlinale in 2019.
For two years starting in 2020, this work has tried to find language for and ways across the bizarre upheavals of social and political values with the rise of fascism in India and a global pandemic. Filmed in Delhi, these incomplete fictions are of the people, places, and protests that keep the language of hatred at bay and absorb the city’s grief and euphoria. In them, are the continuous echoes of a violent and tenuous present. There is a shadowy sense of a protagonist who un-dreams it all; a stranger, who turns out, is no stranger at all.
Priya Sen is a ﬁlmmaker and artist who works across ﬁlm/video, sound and installation. Her work explores forms for tenuousness and ambiguity within realist potentials of nonﬁction ﬁlm. Her practice might be described as eclectic and itinerant, and she likes to play with narrative modes and cinematic gestures. Sen’s ﬁlms have screened globally at festivals and venues that include BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta India, Dharamshala International Film Festival, Outfest LA, Seoul International Women’s Film Festival and the Flaherty Seminar, among others. She is currently based in Bangalore and teaches at the Srishti Manipal Institute.
DAY 5 | JANUARY 22 | SUNDAY
PROGRAM 7 | 3:00 PM
Angela Davis: Portrait of a Revolutionary
At the start of ﬁlming in 1969, Angela Davis was a relatively unknown, young, radical philosophy professor at UCLA, urging her students to question the class system, racism, sexism, and war. She was imprisoned in 1970 for her outspoken communist ideology, and the ﬁlm then became a call for her release. The ﬁlm shows Davis both in public and private spheres: in classrooms, at protests for political prisoners, in her home, and with the Black Panthers.
Yolande Du Luart, born in 1932, studied ﬁlm at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She and fellow students at UCLA made the documentary ‘Angela Davis – Portrait of A Revolutionary’. After the FBI became aware of the group’s ﬁlm work, Du Luart returned to France to ﬁnish the ﬁlm. In the following years, Du Luart worked as a translator.
Angela Davis: Portrait of a Revolutionary is provided by Kinolibrary.
CLOSING FILM | 6:00 PM
A Night of Knowing Nothing
An exploration of the turbulent student life and activism in India, and especially the Film and Television Institute of India campus for the last ﬁve years. L, a university student in India, writes letters to her estranged lover while he is away. Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her. Merging reality with ﬁction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds.
Shot mostly in monochrome, Payal Kapadia describes the ﬁlm as hybrid non-ﬁction, a blend of observed moments, staged scenes, home video footage and drawn ﬁgures projected onto moving images.
Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai-based ﬁlmmaker and artist. She studied Film Direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. She won the Golden Eye award for best documentary ﬁlm at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for her ﬁlm ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’. Her short ﬁlms have been screened at various festivals including the Cinéfondation at the 2017 Festival de Cannes.
Festival Director: Shai Heredia
Festival Coordinators: Gavati Wad, Nehal Vyas, Moakshaa Vohra, Shruti Rao
Illustration: Anil Kumar H A
Design: Jayasimha C
Brochure Design: Rhea Iyer, Vishrut Maurya
Trailer: Scott Miller Berry
Design Team: Krutismita Acharya, Mehak Pawar, Vaishnavi Shenoy
Production Team: Ayushi Priscilla, Namita Avriti, Visalakshi Mantha
Printing: Atelier Prati, W Q Judge Press
Documentation : Aliasger Dhariwala
Anmol Tikoo, Anuja Ghosalkar, Arshia Sattar, Ayisha Abraham, Carsten Zimmer, Debashis Sinha, Ekta Mittal, Madhushree Dutta, Maureen Gonsalves, Meena Vari, Michael Heinst, Nandita Nirgudkar, Rajula Shah, Riya Matthew, Svati Shah, Yashas Shetty, Yashaswini Raghunandan, and all the student volunteers from Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology.
Experimenta 2023 is supported by Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.