Urban Lens Film Festival 2014

26 – 28 September 2014

IIHS Urban Lens Film Festival

In the second edition of Urban Lens film festival, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) brings you over 35 non-fiction films from India, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Canada. The festival which will run from 26th to 28thSeptember 2014, is an attempt to engage with how the ‘city’ has found a cinematic expression in non-fiction films over a period of time.

Each film that is part of this festival will explore different facets of what the city produces – whether political, social, economic or cultural. Deepa Dhanraj’s classic documentary film Kya Hua Is Shehar Ko looks at the communal riots of Hyderabad while Saba Dewan’s The Other Song chronicles the life of the singer Rasoolan Bai from Varanasi and women and work in the early 20th century. Anriban Dutta’s Wasted takes a philosophical look at the idea of waste in our cities, Priya Sen’s Noon Day Dispensary, a video series from the Savda-Ghevra Resettlement disrupts easy narratives around eviction, resettlement and city planning and Gitanjali Rao’s animation film Printed Rainbow explores the loneliness of an old woman and her cat, and their fantastical journey. We hope that questions around non-fiction films’ form and its relation to the urban will emerge through the screenings and conversations that take place at the festival.

This year’s festival will also feature international films, such as Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, a docu-fantasia about his home-town Winnipeg in Canada, Heddy Honigmann’s El Olvido, a movie about a forgotten city and its people and Dear Mandela by Dara Kell and Chistopher Nizza which documents the remarkable story of Abahlali baseMjondolo, the largest movement of the poor to emerge in post-apartheid South Africa.

This Urban Lens film festival will also have specially curated package of films from the Films Division archive, special screenings and a public talk, in this year’s edition. The selection from the Films Division archive called ‘The Visual Grammar of Nation Building’ is a representative package of films made in the first three decades after independence, reflecting the preoccupations and aspirations of the young nation. It is also a study of the language, diversity and power of the documentary form.  As part of special screenings, we will be showing Patricio Guzman’s Nostalgia for the Light and Rajula Shah’s Sabad Nirantar. The public talk will be given by Rohan Shivkumar who will speak about the nature of spaces within the city of Mumbai, which enable and facilitate the film industry there in his talk titled Producing Images, Consuming Images – The spaces of the film industry in Mumbai.

We hope that through the screenings and conversations that take place during the Urban Lens film festival 2014, a different imagination of the urban and cinema can emerge.