Day One: Feminist Storytelling: Engaging The Future Through The Past
This session features inventive feminist approaches to storytelling by directors from Panama, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran who are experimenting with form in 16mm film, home videos, VR media adapted to 2d video, and animation. Mobilizing media tools of the future, these makers tell stories of the past, exploring themes of feminist representation, state violence, revolutionary movement, domestic intimacy, and intergenerational trauma.
Instruction for How to Make a Film
dir. Nazli Dincel, USA, 2018
Shot at the Film Farm in Mt.Forest, this comedy is a quest about performance, educational voiceover, analogue filmmaking, ASCII, language, ethics of ethnography and narrative storytelling under a metaphor of instructions to farm land. Text by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Wikihow/shoot-film.
She Who Sees the Unknown: Kabous, The Right Witness, and The Left Witness
dir. Morehshin Allahyari, Iran, 2019
By refiguring the story of Kabous, a jinn who brings nightmare and sleep paralysis to the human body, this VR film provides the opportunity to revisit the complexities of motherhood, war, childbirth, kinship, and the possible manifestation of epigenetic trauma, stored in DNA through generations.
Through the lens of Home Movie Stars
dir. Dana Enani, Egypt, 2021
I witness what you capture. I observe, I investigate, and reminisce. Egyptian film archivists explore home movies collected by Magdy Rafla, a jeweler and a film enthusiast, from the 50’s-70’s. We identify what is known and what isn’t. Featuring known Egyptian movie stars, we wonder about the differences between the private world and the commercial.
Half a Life
dir. Tamara Shogaolu, Egypt, 2017
HALF a LIFE is a short animated documentary that pairs the intimate narration of a young, Egyptian gay activist with a highly stylized animation, bringing the streets of Cairo to life through this firsthand account. He shares with us a traumatizing encounter that prompted him to become a gay-rights activist in the increasingly unstable, dangerous and oppressive current social climate in Egypt.
Day Two: Between Fact And Ethnofiction: The Sensorial And The Archival
In film and visual media, what makes an ethnographic fact? When do sensorial images produce fictions? This session features films from Cambodia, Egypt, Cyprus/Spain, and England. From Basu’s complication of 20th century West African colonial archives to Achnoistis’ intimate perusal of his personal voice message archive, these projects critique, deploy, and play with sound and image to build sensorial experiences.
dir Paul Basu, England, 2020
In Faces|Voices, participants reflect on the faces captured in the portraits and comment more generally on the significance of these archival images. Adding their voices to the mute photographs, we find that the same portrait may invite quite different readings. Where one person sees coercision, another might detect boredom. The crushing experience of colonialism may be found in one subject’s expression; strength and resilience in another’s. Perhaps most surprising is the sympathetic view – even identification with – the face of the colonial anthropologist himself.
Sunrise in My Mind
dir. Danech San, Cambodia, 2020
Pich, a young woman working at a beauty salon in Phnom Penh, spends most of her nights at work chatting and gossiping with her coworkers and customers. One night, she gives into her restrained interest in Lay, a young man who spends his evenings driving Phnom Penh’s streets by motorbike as a delivery man. They share an unspoken desire, an impatient encounter, and the strange realization of mutual attraction.
Tales of the Marvelous and News of the Strange
dir. Lily Ekimian & Ahmed T. Ragheb, Egypt, USA, 2021
Told through 35mm black and white photography, a sprawling narration, and contradictory subtitles, “Tales of the Marvelous and News of the Strange” explores the lives of a young couple as they grapple with their cultural and spiritual identities through superstition and art.
dir. Panayiotis Achniotis, Cyrus, Spain, 2020
Short drama taking place within the nostalgia of voice messaging dialogues and the envisioning of travels and relationships.
dir. Michael Morris, Egypt, USA, 2013
A wide view of the jagged line between landscape and skyscape. An arranged collection of fragments. A study in the limits of autobiography. Fires was shot with a Lomokino super 35mm camera on the 135 format and transferred using a flatbed scanner. The result is a series of stories and landscapes in which objects and the memories attached to them are constantly disappearing.
Day Three: Intimacies In Virtual And Queer Time
Through the virtual, what kinds of intimacies become challenging, and what kind of intimacies become possible? These films from Greece, the U.S. and Germany explore themes of power in virtual, queer, and real time. Through a collectivist filmmaking approach, “I Can’t Really Hear You” gestures towards embarrassment and (im)possibility in the omnipresent virtual archive. “Share” follows a Gen Z influencer, showing the kinds of queer intimacy that teenagers seek and fine online. In the anti-romantic comedy, “Beer Beer!,” Popo Fan playfully explores romance, power and racialization in Berlin queer nightlife.
I Can’t Really Hear You
dir. Elena Demetria Chantzis, Theofanis Dalezios, Giannis Delagrammatikas, Joshua Olsthoorn, Ino Varvariti, Greece, 2021
A group of humans and non-humans in a telecommunication are aiming to process an archive that seems exploding and imploding at the same time. Difficulties of connection and communication combined with the layers of ungraspable meanings create an ambiance of embarrassment and impossibility. Swapping between different media, spatialities and temporalities, the ongoing conversation of this unusual group attempts to look into issues of power dynamics, representation, collectivity and accessibility. Slowly it becomes clear that the archive is everywhere, and that they are actually part of it. Facing its oppressive fundamentals they have to find a way to sabotage its logic. Can they? Are they (still) real? I Can’t Really Hear You.
dir. Ellie Wen & Barna Szász, USA, 2019
A short documentary following Tim, an Asian-American 18-year-old, who has 3 million followers on Instagram (@3.1415). He lives online, grabbing his phone first thing in the morning and even taking baths with it sometimes. Although Tim usually shares funny memes on his massively popular page, he occasionally posts about mental health. As the film explores his reason for these posts, we discover that he has created a different identity for himself online than in real life. Will he be able to reconcile the two identities? Tackling issues of identity, family, and communication, the film is a heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting story about a Generation Z teenager at an important crossroads in his life.
dir. Popo Fan, Germany, 2021
“Beer! Beer!” is an “anti-romantic comedy” set in the early morning following a wild party in Berlin. When Tao, a Chinese guy, meets Sebastian, a local German. As they seem to get more and more intimate with each other, suddenly a mattress changes everything…