Alongside the commercial cinema of narrative and spectacle in India, there has always been another practice, call it avant-garde, experimental, or artists’ film and video. In the last decade independent festivals celebrating unusual and obscure film forms have taken root in India, and a fragmented, yet dedicated, community of moving image artists has emerged. These artists are increasingly concerned with challenging conventional forms of representation and devising new ways of seeing and understanding culture. Through formal innovation, they attempt to expose the complex cultural relationships they share with filmmaking as an artistic practice. Considering the cultural heterogeneity of India, and the particular relationship between individuals and the concepts of ‘community’ and ‘politicality’ in the discourse of Indian democracy, these films are auto-ethnographic documents of the filmmakers’ aesthetic and socio-political contexts.
Since its inception in 2003, Experimenta, the independent international festival for experimental cinema in India, has become a significant forum in South Asia for the exhibition, discussion, and dissemination of ideas about new genres of film. Shai Heredia, Experimenta’s Festival Director, has curated this programme featuring two screenings of recent innovations in moving image art from India.
Presented in partnership with London Indian Film Festival. Supported by Arts Council England, Film London & Western Union.
All presentations at Tate Modern's Starr Auditorium