The Emami Art Experimental Film Festival (EAEFF), returns as a five-day event from 22nd – 26th November 2023, following the debut edition’s success last year. EAEFF is conceived by Ushmita Sahu, Director and head Curator of Emami Art. This year, the scope of the Festival has grown to encompass twenty-two films in the competitive section + thirty-three Indian and international films across seven curated sections + Masterclasses, Filmmaker in Focus, Panel Discussions, Special screenings and more. Independent film curator and writer Raju Roychowdhury is the EAEFF 23 Festival Director.
'The second edition of the Emami Art Experimental Festival comes with an astonishing number of films, curated programs and masterclasses. The festival started focusing mainly on filmmakers from the East and Northeastern regions, but this year, it has expanded to the All-India level, receiving almost 300 experimental and independent films from all over the country. Although the festival started as a venture to create a platform for emerging video artists and filmmakers from the eastern region, with the overwhelming response and participation by the students, academicians, cinephiles, and artists, we expanded the second edition of the festival to all India levels. Apart from the films in competition selected through the open call, the festival holds many curated programs by Indian and Internationally renowned artists and filmmakers. I believe it is essential to have interdisciplinary dialogues between art forms in a contemporary art space. I congratulate all the award winners and makers of the films in the official competition,' Richa Agarwal, CEO, Emami Art.
'Emami Art Experimental Film Festival is envisioned as a discursive space for understanding moving images as an art form. In a country where films are integral to culture and society, there is a lacuna of platforms that recognise and support experimental, alternative, independent films that defy categorisation. The experiences of this part of the world and its various visual representations need serious recognition and appreciation. As a curator, I firmly believe that it is vital to have interdisciplinary dialogues for expanding any form of artistic practice and to have exposure to the contemporary experimental practices happening in our time. Apart from the films selected through an all-India open Call, the five-day festival includes a lot of carefully curated films, for instance, experimental films from East and Northeast India and South East Asia, along with alternative cinema from Canada, Germany, Argentina and more. The program also includes forums for deeper engagements through discussions and masterclasses by renowned figures in experimental filmmaking and moving image art. I thank the jurors, Solomon Nagler, Ashish Avikunthak and Raju Roychowdhury, for their valuable advice and effort in selecting the filmmakers from an overwhelming number of applications,' Ushmita Sahu, Director and Head Curator of Emami Art.
The EAEFF 23 All India Open Call received more than three hundred entries from across the length and breadth of the country. Twenty-two outstanding entries have been selected in the competitive section by a jury of Indian filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak, Canadian experiential filmmaker and Professor of Film Production at NSCAD University Solomon Nagler and EAEFF 23 Festival Director Raju Roychowdhury. Additionally, the jury has selected two films, HYPNAGOGIA (2023), by Tushar Nongthombam from Imphal, Manipur, in the short to mid duration Category along with I Wonder If Daylights Were White Nights or Something Childish But Very Natural (2022) by Sibi Sekar from Chennai, Tamil Nadu in the long duration category for two awards of excellence.
The films selected by the jury for the competitive section (in alphabetical order) are:
Ankai-Tankai (2022) by Mansingh Chandravanshi; Baauji (2023) by Vikram Singh; Bela (2021) by Prantik Basu; Dustbin of a Middle-Class Family (2021) and Dustbin of a Politician (2022) by Parashar Naik; Flesh in Flux (2021) by Prerit Jain; Locust Review Presents: TWENTY-ONE HEADLINES (2022) by Anupam Roy and Sudip Chakraborty; Marks of Wound Marks of Woe (2022) by Koushik Mitra; Memoirs (2021) by Debjit Bagchi; Memories of a City (2023) by Sarvesh Singh Hada; Museum of Memories (2022) by Navneet Mishra; My Courtyard (2021) by Shrutiman Deori; No Superhero (2023) by Stuti Bansal; Normalization of a Disaster (2020) by Devadeep Gupta; Nott – The Earthen Pot (2023) by M.K. Raina; Of Other Spaces (2021) by Sibi Sekar; On How the Art Flows (2023) by Pralay Mistri; Slow Wave (2023) by Pooja Kadam; The Frog is the Pond’s Witness (2022) by Anuj Malhotra; WordCount (2023) by Srotoswini Sinha.
The Festival will screen thirty-three Indian and international films across seven curated sessions by filmmakers of international renown. The curators include - artist and filmmaker Riar Rizaldi from Indonesia, who works predominantly with the medium of moving images and sound, both in the black box of cinema settings and in spatial presentation as installation. Rizaldi brings a selection of films from Southeast Asia, focusing on Indonesia, that investigate, interpret, and create myths, either directly or indirectly, with various approaches. Harkat is an international boutique arts studio passionate about films, new media, community spaces, and contemporary art. Based in Mumbai & Berlin, filmmakers Simran Ankolkar, Namrata Sanghani, and Karan Talwar will bring a lecture screening, presenting short films from the lab and speaking about the context of the works and the lab itself.
Canadian experiential filmmaker and Professor of Film Production at NSCAD University, co-founder of WNDX: Festival of the Moving Image in Winnipeg Solomon Nagler, curates an anthology of Canadian experimental films including emerging, mid-career and established filmmakers titled Landscape, Home and Abstraction in Canadian Experimental Film.
Gusztáv Hámos and Katja Pratschke are media artists and artistic researchers whose artistic practice includes video, film, photography, interactive and site-specific installations, walk-in 360° cinema spaces, as well as the curation of exhibitions, symposia, film series, workshops, and publications. Their curation titled Time Travel Images/ Photofilms purports to look at photofilms and how they reference the past in the “cinema’s present” and thus permits us to think (about) all further time dimensions.
Under the EA Locus in Focus banner, which offers discursive spaces to local and regional communities through ongoing short and long-term projects, the festival brings a selection curated by a Guwahati-based filmmaker and video artist Mehdi Jahan of experimental films crafted by young multidisciplinary artists from East and Northeast India to contemplate the intimate relationship between their immediate socio-political reality and collective memory.
German artist/filmmaker Wolfgang Lehmann is the EAEFF 23 Filmmaker in Focus. He will present a selection of films and two masterclasses. Working with the materiality of the image in film or video is an artistic strategy that uses the image as a central part of the visual design. Lehmann intends to take the audience on a subjective journey through the possibilities of working with film and video as material in the artistic film and video history concerning his work. Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata supports this section of the festival.
Special Screening, Masterclass and More
A special screening of Argentinian experimental filmmaker and musician Claudio Caldini’s 2022 short film Promesa will be on view throughout as a tribute to the master filmmaker. The Festival also includes Masterclasses by Indian filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak, Switzerland-based contemporary artist, researcher, and writer Budhaditya Chattopadhyay and German artist/filmmaker Wolfgang Lehmann, who is also the filmmaker in focus for EAEFF 23. The Festival also includes several Panel Discussions and conversations.
Emami Art Experimental Film Festival (EAEFF)
Dates: 22nd – 26th November, 2023
Venue: 4th Floor, Emami Art