Urban Lens 2017

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.

Films @ Urban Lens 2017

On Practice

In this edition of the Urban Lens film festival, we bring you a series of conversations that go into different aspects of cinematic practice. Last year’s edition of the festival featured a discussion with camera persons, and what their practice of framing meant. This year we bring you a set of conversations with directors and editors who will speak about their individual craft, and how it has shaped the work they have produced. In an image-saturated world where proliferation of digital technologies has made cinema production and consumption accessible,  it becomes even more important for us to understand what the practice behind filmmaking is, and how it has shaped our cinematic imaginations over time, and continues to even today.

From directors Girish Kasaravalli and Rajeev Ravi to editors Bina Paul and Namrata Rao – these set of conversations will try and explore what the process and thought behind their craft is, and their relationship to an ever changing technology. These reflections around their practice is not only meant for cinephiles and students of cinema, but for anyone who is interested in questions around cinematic form and language. We hope that these set of discussions will lead to a deeper and nuanced understanding of the images and sounds that shape us.

Get in touch with us

Urban Lens 2017

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IIHS Bangalore City Campus: No. 197/36, 2nd Main Road,  Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080. India. T: +91 80 6760 6666 |  F: +91 80 2361 6814  |  E: urbanlens at iihs dot ac dot in

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan
716, CMH Road, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bengaluru 560 038
T: +91 80 2520 5305

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan
3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, HC Mathur Lane, New Delhi, Delhi 110 001
T: +91 11 2347 1100

Godrej One: Pirojshanagar, Vikhroli East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400079 India. T: +91 22 2518 8010