Urban Lens 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.

The 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.


Films @ Urban Lens 2016


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. The 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.

Festival Team

Avijit Mukul Kishore

Avijit Mukul Kishore is a film-maker 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.

Avijit Mukul Kishore


Yashodara Udupa


Vikrant M S


Nawaz Khan and Kunal Deshpande


Kunal Deshpande and Sabari Pandian


Neelufer Aslam and Wilson Prabhakaran

4-6 march 2016 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

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

tel: +91 80 6760 6666
fax: +91 80 2361 6814
e-mail: urbanlens at iihs dot ac dot in

18-20 march 2016 | Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan

Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan
No.3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg,
Near Connaught Place,
HC Mathur Lane, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

tel: +91 11 23471100
e-mail: urbanlens at iihs dot ac dot in

© Copyright - UrbanLens 2020. All rights reserved.