NEW DELHI: The capital will witness the maiden edition of Enter the Cube, an annual calendar of films organised under the aegis of the Delhi-based Lightcube Film Society, a collective of film programmers, designers, writers, critics and curators. Commencing from August 13, the festival will hold nearly 50 theme-based film screenings in Delhi-NCR. On Day 1, Iranian film Offside (2006) and Senegalese film City of Contrasts (1968) will be staged at Essel Tower club in Gurgaon.
Its founders Anuj Malhotra and Suraj Prasad explore the idea of psycho-geography in cinema by taking films out of conventional auditoria. “For many, it might be okay to hold on to the romantic idea of the big screen, but with the proliferation of the digital space, image consumption goes beyond a dark theatre. We explore how the experience of a film changes according to the space you are in,” says 28-year-old Malhotra.
Films will be screened in locations outside theatres. Italian horror film Suspiria will be shown in the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication hostel. In the coming months, screenings are expected at an abandoned factory, a dilapidated house, a courtroom, Sanjay Van, a girls’ hostel and in the ruins of a Mughal monument in Delhi.
Under the Degrees of Separation theme, the idea is to manifest how Gurgaon has now become a mechanism that perpetuates class divide and segregation. The Notes from Purgatory theme will contemplate on Delhi’s colonialist legacy and how it manifests as a trauma that lingers on in the city. Under the Modern Forest theme, a series of films will explore how Noida teeters on the boundary between a modern future and a primitive past.
For Prasad, his village Dhenuki in Bihar existed as a “mysterious object in the noon of his memory”. “I witnessed startling revelations on my return to village. The villagers had never watched films. Besides recreation, I felt that the language of cinema could help them in introspecting their lives,” says the 29-year-old.
A cinema-based outreach and education project, The Dhenuki Cinema Project enables the inhabitants to run a local mobile film club and institute an archive of local narratives chronicling their day-to-day lives. The screenings include commercial potboilers and films of Satyajit Ray, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Bimal Roy, among others. Over the past five years, pilot projects have been conducted in Bihar, Assam and Chhattisgarh. With the first phase ending in three months in Dhenuki and Nagaland’s Kiphire, the founders plan to take the project to 10 villages in coming months.
“The village is a black canvas with no electricity, just shining stars and glittering fireflies. But my passion for films and the hinterland has made me come here,” says Sagar Chaudhary, a cine-activist in Bihar who is mapping Dhenuki and setting up a DIY antenna network broadcasts from Dhenuki. For member ship of the annual calendar, visit http://lightcube.in/.