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.