Berlinale-Blogger 2017
BerlinalePeople: Oliver Husain, artist

Image: Oliver Husain, Isla Santa Maria 3D, 2016. Production still.
Image: Oliver Husain, Isla Santa Maria 3D, 2016. Production still. | Photographer: Iris Ng, © courtesy O. Husain

Part of a series of mini profiles on the movers and shakers that make the Berlinale one of the most important events in the international film calendar: the filmmakers, programmers, industry promoters and visitors. 

Name & role: Oliver Husain, filmmaker. Born in Frankfurt, lives and works in Toronto. My video installation “Isla Santa Maria 3D” is showing in the Berlinale Forum Expanded exhibition February 8-20, 2017 at the Berlin Academy of the Arts.

This is my 1st Berlinale.

My favourite Berlinale program(s): Forum and Retrospective.

Why being invited to screen at the Berlinale is special for an international filmmaker:
It’s almost Cannes!

What I won’t miss off-Berlinale 2017:
Very excited about the retrospective of Indian painter Bhupen Khakhar at KunstHalle. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person as a young guest student in Baroda and was hugely influenced by the early encounter with his gentle, queer, un-classifiable work.

What you need to know about my film:
"Isla Santa Maria 3D" (trailer) is based on the myth of an island formed from the remains of a replica of Christopher Columbus’ flagship. Its wreckage is pulled out of time, into a non-linear narrative that overlaps truths and fantasies to re-imagine possible futures.

"Isla Santa Maria 3D" had to be 3D because:
It would be too boring in 2D! It was my first experiment with stereoscopic technology, and I realized that long, static, tableaux-like scenes work best for the audience to explore the dimension of the space, and experience the depth of vision. We would have shot it in a completely different rhythm for 2D.

interview by @JuttaBrendemuhl

Oliver Husain’s experimental short films and videos have been shown at numerous film festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Experimenta India, Bangalore; and Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2003, Husain’s video Q was awarded with the National Award from the Government of Germany. His film Item Number won the award for Best German Film at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 2012. Husain’s installations and expanded cinema performances have been exhibited at many galleries, including the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Galeri Nasional, Jakarta; Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City; ICA Philadelphia; Frankfurter Kunstverein and Fridericianum, Kassel