The eighth edition of the Urban Lens Film Festival will run online from 18 – 21 November 2021 in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and Institut Français. While the online festival cannot replace the intimate collective experience of watching films together in a dark room, it allows an opportunity for a global audience to be a part of the festival and join the conversations.

Urban Lens has, over the years, screened films that speak to the social fabric of cities and its impact on the realities of urban life in the global south – these films come together in the section titled The City and Beyond. The pandemic raged through India a second time this year and each one of us has been impacted in some way. The festival therefore features a COVID-19 section with films that reflect on various experiences of the pandemic, including loneliness and isolation. This year, we have a section of films that look at the response of cinema world-over to events that proved to be turning points in history, in a section called Conflict and Cinema. The Student Films section of the festival showcases work of emerging film practitioners and their formal preoccupations.

Among other films within these categories, are films by three filmmakers – Joshua Oppenheimer, Philip Scheffner and Tamara Stepanyan, our Filmmakers in Focus. The festival will host conversations with each of these filmmakers on their approach to cinema and what shapes their individual film practice.

Urban Lens remains committed to the idea of nurturing a space that is not just about screening of films, but also conversations around cities and cinema. We hope that you will watch the films that we have put together and join us on this journey of discovering cinema’s ever-expansive potential.