The fourth edition of the Urban Lens Film Festival
, that has already been held in Bengaluru and now takes place in New Delhi, remains committed to the idea that cinema allows us a space to reflect and re-examine the cities in which we live.
In order to open the Urban Lens Film Festival to a greater diversity of films from wider geographical regions, the festival, for the first time, put out a call for entries. The call received an overwhelming response with more than 1600 entries from 102 countries. The 27 films being screened this year include a selection from the open call and a set of invited films. These fiction, non-fiction and animation films mirror a cinematic truth about cities, framing them beyond their skylines by teasing out individual/collective stories and experiences of people from around the world.
In keeping with the mission of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)
to engage with cities of the Global South, the festival explores cinematic narratives that emerge from countries such as India, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan and South Africa. The thrust of urbanisation in these countries is unprecedented, giving rise to a sea of striking stories - a couple's struggle for housing in a crowded city (Ek Ghar
), resilience of people in making homes for themselves in an abandoned building in Caracas (Ruina
), examining how men and women occupy public space during the day and night (Chasing Tails
and Amdavad Ma Famous
), a grandson's search for the truth about his grandfather in Buenos Aires (70 y Pico
), the experience of loneliness in a city (Solito
) and the functioning of the real estate mafia in Kochi (Kammatipaadam
). In addition, films reflect on the stories of immigrants in Israel and the United States (Journey Birds
and and i
) and a fantastical imagination of Berlin (Wings of Desire
This edition of the Urban Lens film festival, brings to you a series of conversations that go into different aspects of cinematic practice. Last year's edition of the festival featured a discussion with camera persons, and what their practice of framing meant. This year the festival presents a set of conversations with directors and editors who will speak about their individual craft, and how it has shaped the work they have produced. In an image-saturated world where proliferation of digital technologies has made cinema production and consumption accessible, it becomes even more important for us to understand what the practice behind filmmaking is, and how it has shaped our cinematic imaginations over time, and continues to even today.
From directors Girish Kasaravalli
and Rajeev Ravi
to editors Bina Paul
and Namrata Rao
- these conversations will try and explore what the process and thought behind their craft is, and their relationship to an ever changing technology. These reflections around their practice is not only meant for cinephiles and students of cinema, but for anyone who is interested in questions around cinematic form and language. We hope that these discussions will lead to a deeper and nuanced understanding of the images and sounds that shape us.