Urban Lens Film Festival 2017

21-24 Sep 2017 Bengaluru | 6-8 Oct 2017 Mumbai | 2-8 Dec Delhi

IIHS Urban Lens Film Festival

The fourth edition of the Urban Lens Film Festival remains committed to the idea that cinema allows us a space to reflect and re-examine the cities we live in. This year, the festival will be held in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in Bengaluru and New Delhi and a traveling package of films from the current and past editions of the festival will be screened in Mumbai at the Godrej India Culture Lab.

In order to open the Urban Lens Film Festival to a greater diversity of films from wider geographical regions, the festival, for the first time, put out a call for entries. The call received an overwhelming response with more than 1600 entries from 102 countries. The 28 films being screened this year include a selection from the open call and a set of invited films. These fiction, non-fiction and animation films mirror a cinematic truth about cities, framing them beyond their skylines by teasing out individual/collective stories and experiences of people from around the world.

In keeping with the mission of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) to engage with cities of the Global South, the festival explores cinematic narratives that emerge from countries such as India, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan and South Africa. The thrust of urbanisation in these countries is unprecedented, giving rise to a sea of striking stories – a couple’s struggle for housing in a crowded city (Ek Ghar), resilience of people in making homes for themselves in an abandoned building in Caracas (Ruina), examining how men and women occupy public space during the day and night (Chasing TailsMod and Amdavad Ma Famous), a grandson’s search for the truth about his grandfather in Buenos Aires (70 y Pico), the experience of loneliness in a city (Solito) and the functioning of the real estate mafia in Kochi (Kammatipaadam). In addition, films reflect on the stories of immigrants in Israel and the United States (Journey Birds and and i) and a fantastical imagination of Berlin (Wings of Desire).

The coming together of filmmakers, researchers, students and a larger section of the public to watch these films together at the Urban Lens Film Festival will hopefully create a space for reflection and spark critical discussions about cinema and the nature of urban experience.