BANGALORE: The second edition of Urban Lens: Festival of Films and the City will showcase over 35 non-fiction films. Organised by Indian Institute for Human Settlements, the festival will be held from September 26 to 28 on the IIHS campus at Sadashivanagar. "The festival attempts to see how the idea of the city finds cinematic expression," says Subasri Krishnan, who is in-charge of the programming.
Of the 35 films from India, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Canada, about 20 films speak about the 'metaphysical quality' of our surroundings. Subasri explains,"When we think of 'urban,' we immediately think of the 'built' form. These films go beyond this concept."
Gitanjali Rao's animated Printed Rainbow is about an old woman and her cat, evocatively speaking about the loneliness of city life. The questions raised in the political documentary Kya Hua Is Shahar Ko? by Deepa Dhanraj hold relevance today. Nishtha Jain's City of Photos explores photo studios in Indian cities. Memory of a Light by Sandhya Kumar is a visual portrait of her childhood memories. Priya Sen's Noon Day Dispensary is shot in a resettlement colony and is an ironic depiction of a dispensary there. El Olvido is about the city of Lima and My Winnipeg, a docu-fantasia.
A selection from the Films Division archive curated by film director and cinematographer Avijit Mukul Kishore will also be screened.
Called 'The Visual Grammar of Nation Building,' these films reflect the aspirations of a young nation.
A special screening will be held on September 26 at 7 pm featuring Patricio Guzman’s 2010 documentary Nostalgia for the Light based on life under dictator Augusto Pinochet. The 90 minute documentary narrated by Guzman, famed for his political documentaries, includes commentary from those affected by the dictator's reign, from astronomers to Chilean women who search for dead bodies in the Atacama Desert.
Poet and filmmaker Rajula Shah's film Sabad Nirantar, which studies the life of poet Kabir, will be screened on September 27 at 7 pm. Both the screenings will be followed by open house discussions.
On September 28 at 6.15 pm, a public talk will be held by Rohan Shivkumar, an architect from Mumbai and the deputy director of the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies. His session titled ‘Producing Images, Consuming Images - The spaces of the film industry in Mumbai’, will add to the growing conversation of the nature in which the film industry engages with public spaces.
Though the film festival is in nascent stage, Subasri hopes it will initiate a dialogue about public spaces, real and imagined.
The film festival will take place on IIHS Bangalore City Campus, Sadashivanagar from September 26 to 28. For the film schedule, visit http://iihs.co.in/urbanlens-2014/