Introducing our Curators

Finally, the Curatorial Project Film Festival is on its way. Two workshops later, our five young curators are ready with their day-long events. Mark it on your calendar..! – 18th and 25th Feb, 3rd, 10th and 17th March at Whistling Woods International, Film City, Goregaon and  24th March at Edward Theatre, Kalbadevi.

For the detailed schedule click here

The Curtorial Project Film Festival is in continuation with the Film Curatorial Practices workshop series, both are a part of a four-year Curatorship Programme conceptualized by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with select institutions from across the country. The Curatorial Project Film Festival is being held in collaboration with Whistling Woods International and also at a day-long event at Edward Theatre in association with Enlighten Film Society.

Festival open to one and all.. no registrations, no tickets..!

Here’s introducing you to our Curators.

18th Feb: Familiar Strangers

Srajana Kaikini

Srajana Kaikini , currently completing her Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi , is an architect by graduation and a classical Odissi dancer by passion. An avid cineaste, she writes on cinema and art and is involved in new media art practices as an artist. Her latest curatorial venture was exploring the liminal zones of sleep, titled ‘Adventures of a narcoleptic flaneur’ which was exhibited in JNU. She also writes prose, poetry and reflections, some of which trickle their way into her blog. Spontaneous encounters and illegible signatures are among many other little things that capture her imagination.

Curatorial Note:

Where is the Friend's Home - Abbas Kiraostami

“Then came a craving desire to keep the man in view — to know more of him. Hurriedly putting on an overcoat, and seizing my hat and cane, I made my way into the street, and pushed through the crowd in the direction which I had seen him take; for he had already disappeared.”- -Edgar Allan Poe, “The man of the crowd”

This curatorial endeavor seeks to see how, any community , which for every individual, is made of friends and strangers, the known and the unknown, also holds its own milieu of the ‘familiar strangers’ and the unseen crowd that are always in connection to the individual. Therefore, here are brought together films that explore this concept of how a community constantly is in conversation with each other and probe unseen bonds , which, are each person’s ‘emotional security’ and at the same time, an ‘exit clause’ always at his disposal.

24th and 25th Feb: A bit of I, A bit of me

Afrah Shafiq

Afrah Shafiq graduated with a degree in Literature, Psychology and Media Studies and a Masters in Audio Visual Communication. Her interest lies in the field of documentary and non-fiction film narratives, where she presently works as a researcher and assistant. She is preoccupied with the idea of contradictions, memories, loneliness, big cities, small neighborhoods and gender.

Curatorial Note: 

Desperately Seeking Helen - Eisha Marjara

The programme includes a collection of documentary work that is in one way or the other a cinematic rendition of the self. These subjective truths with generous doses of reality, explore the practice where the filmmaker chooses to face the camera and implicate themselves in their own work and the teller becomes inseparable from what is being told.

The films here often replace the traditional journal and the performative self becomes a means for exploring people and places, faces and landscapes while almost always linking their everyday to a broader social order.

While revealing the distinct presence of the artist in their own work these films complicate how non-fiction film and video represent and make references to the real world and through that process also attempt to challenge what a documentary film should look and sound like.


3rd March: Emerging unheard voices of Indian Cinema

Manjeet Singh

A qualified engineer (MS, Mechanical Engineering, USA) Manjeet left his job at the General Electric company and moved back to his hometown Mumbai to make films in 2006, after he was completely absorbed by the medium of Cinema during a short film making course at New York Film Academy. He realized that if did anything else in life it would be a complete waste of time and efforts.  Since then he has traveled throughout India, researching human struggles, turning them into scripts; made short films; wrote Cinema blogs and worked on films of filmmakers, Anurag Kashyap, Pavan Kaul and others.  His other passions include painting and playing Tabla. Manjeet aspires to curate film festivals to promote pure Cinema, which underlines the basic human struggles. He strongly feels the need of alternative avenue for the release of art house films in India and wants to work for its cause. ‘Mumbai Cha Raja’ is his debut feature film. 

Curatorial Note:

Carnival - Madhuja Mukherjee

The idea is to showcase fiercely independent films emerging from India, which are honest; have captured the character’s expressions intimately; broken new grounds in story telling; remain unnoticed in India even tough, the they might have travelled to reputed film festivals abroad and in India. The films could be documentaries, fiction, shorts, feature lengths, in regional languages, etc. The film-makers could also be present for the screenings for an interactive session. This would make the event insightful about the process of making films; the problems encountered; etc.

A brainstorming session on making the art house cinema accessible to common people and developing cinema culture in India. Methods to have a release mechanism for alternate cinema. A discussion on making films on low budgets incorporating digital medium; the need of collective collaborative efforts to tell important human stories, which conventional producers fear to invest in.

10th March: Sonic Silences, Soundscape and Cinema

Geetha B

Assistant Professor at the Department of Languages of Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani and has tweleve years of teaching experience.  Her areas of academic interest include Literature & Film Studies, Comparative Literature, Modern Indian Drama, Media and Communication on which she has published.  She is guiding dissertation in the area of  literature and cinema at doctoral, masters and undergraduate levels.  She teaches courses in the area of literature, cinema, communication and film making. She writes and her poems have been published in various anthologies. She is into photography and film curating. Presently she is designing a course in Humanities and Design.

Curatorial Note: 

2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that dips itself into sonic silences. The initial silence in the sequence before the monolith encounters the ape men is intriguing.  While the music is used to evoke feelings of awe, almost reverence for the unknown, the silences are used to further accentuate these experiences. Film viewing experience of this work is complete only when one understands the nuances of both its silences and its music content. The cuing of musical episodes and the juxtaposing of these elements with extended periods of silence make the film special in this context.

Satantango by Bela Tarr is an epic 7 hours and 12 minutes and is painstakingly choreographed and shot in black and white. The initial sequence begins with with a stretched sonic silence and barring the few incidental sounds there is no other sound in first nine and half minutes.

In the mood for love - Wong Kar Wai

I plan to complete this journey into silences in flms with Mani Kaul’s 1989 film Siddeshwari.  While the film may not offer strictly ‘silent’ moments, but with meditative pace and the beauty of an abstract painting, it lets us reflect upon the idea of quietness in films.   By keeping this film in my programme, I wish to draw the audience’s attention to the brilliant use of sound track that never intrudes the tranquillity and quietness of the moments.


17th March: Food and Cinema

Atika Chohan

Atika Chohan is an independent screen writer and cinema curator based in Mumbai. Atika worked with Yash Raj Productions as a writer on the acclaimed Sony TV series “Rishta.com”. She started her career in Delhi as a journalist with the national daily, The Hindu, and later worked with the news channel CNN IBN. She studied screen-writing at FTII, Pune and has a Master’s degree in English Literature from Delhi University.

Curatorial Note:

Eat Drink Man Woman - Ang Lee

Visually, food is the only other sensorial that creates an onscreen impact as strong as sex and violence, and since it’s the least controversial theme and not just comparatively, it finds an easy access with any class of audience. Hence, food-films become a greater tool for sensitising a large number of people in one go, whetting their appetite, as it were, for themes with far deeper undercurrents than the onscreen representation of boiling and chopping and sauté-ing. Food in films encode a metaphor for survival, a necessity that makes people around the world take strong decisions and works as a default anthropological tool. It helps us interpret the psychological stance of a nation, community or even individual.

The idea is to showcase fiercely independent films emerging from India, which are honest; have captured the character’s expressions intimately; broken new grounds in story telling; remain unnoticed in India even tough, the they might have travelled to reputed film festivals abroad and in India. The films could be documentaries, fiction, shorts, feature lengths, in regional languages, etc. The film-makers could also be present for the screenings for an interactive session. This would make the event insightful about the process of making films; the problems encountered; etc. A brainstorming session on making the art house cinema accessible to common people and developing cinema culture in India. Methods to have a release mechanism for alternate cinema. A discussion on making films on low budgets incorporating digital medium; the need of collective collaborative efforts to tell important human stories, which conventional producers fear to invest in.

* Please note, that timings are subject to change in case of certain unavoidable situations

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