Friday 15 January 2021

Frames of Representation (27/11/20–13/12/20)

Frames of Representation (FoR), the ICA film festival, returned for its fifth edition last month. A showcase for the ‘cinema of the real’, the 2020 festival presented 20 films that offered aesthetic and political resistances to cinematic categorisations.

Emerging from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, the new films that screened at FoR 2020 engaged with multi-layered ethical and political concerns, experimental filmmaking practices and the development of new modes of language.

In this edition, the festival’s thematic focus encapsulated notions of the role of spectatorship. Alongside the films, a programme of workshops, discussion and performance interrogated the relationship between knowledge, engagement and the act of viewing. FoR 2020 challenged the relationship between viewing and action by bringing to the fore the space that comes after watching a film. The festival foregrounded the idea of the image as a moving proposal for the renegotiation and redistribution of positions of reception and activity, providing a space for fluid dynamics rather than rigid dichotomies.

Highlights included The Earth Is Blue as an Orange, the first feature by Iryna Tsilyk and the winner of the Best Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, which offers cinematic and cultural resistance to Ukraine’s tumultuous relationship with Russia; and the Hong Kong/China co-production The Cloud in Her Room, a personal and generational story by Zheng Lu Xinyuan that won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020. FoR 2020 also dedicated days to explore the works of filmmakers from Eastern Europe and Latin America, including Los conductos by Camilo Restrepo, winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. The festival’s opening and closing night films were Panquiaco, the first feature by Panamanian artist and filmmaker Ana Elena Tejera, and Air Conditioner, by Angolan collective Fradique.

Source: ICA

Image: IFFR

Friday 1 January 2021