PSBT announces its 18th Open Frame Film Festival, with an exciting and important line up of new voices, films, conversations and workshops. In keeping with our objective of empowering filmmakers and the cause of the independent documentary, Open Frame will continue to engage with the documentary form and its myriad manifestations: the stories documentaries tell and how, the artistic and political processes and impulses that shape them and how they impact the spaces in which they are authored and articulated.
With a focus on training and enhancing filmmaking skills, we present Professional Intensive Workshops for starting-out and mid-career filmmakers on working with the short documentary, led by Paromita Vohra, and how to effectively and poignantly develop a film concept and create a narrative through one’s film with Deepa Dhanraj.
There will be Documentary Masterclasses with four senior filmmakers, each representing a distinct understanding and creative practice – You Talking to Me? The Documentary as A Form of Conversation by Paromita Vohra; The Great and Small Expectations by Avijit Mukul Kishore; Subjective Real by RV Ramani and The Discourse of ‘Things’ by Vipin Vijay.The Lectures will be a context not just for sharing and learning, but also for reflecting on the ways in which conventional definitions, meanings and practices have and can be challenged to create new meanings and possibilities with storytelling and their reception.
With the proliferation of digital media and access to it, the classical documentary is in a state of optimistic flux and transformation. It is imperative that new ideas, formats, values and experiments infuse the art and craft of films, to accommodate these opportunities and our diversities. Like in the past, in partnership with Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi, and International Public Television, we present a package of the best films and programmes from the International Public Service Broadcasters’ Conference, Brooklyn, 2018. Mini-INPUT, led by Iris Yudai, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Deniz Sertkol, Goethe-Institut, Germany, will be an intensive training in how to tell effective and powerful stories, emphasising the role of public broadcasters in bringing untold, difficult and important stories to people. There will presentations and conversations on Telling Real Stories, Using Tools from Fictional Storytelling; Opening up Conversations on Controversial Subjects; Storytelling in the Digital Age of Social Media; Reimagining and Interpreting History; Inclusive Stories and Visual Storytelling.
We bring to the audience a special conversation with the Masters of Cinema – Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Benegal, both Dada Saheb Phalke Award Winners and Trustees, PSBT, with Rajiv Mehrotra.
As our special international showcase, we will screen the Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and multiple award winning and Oscar nominated Last Men in Aleppo by Feras Fayyad, a searing portrait of volunteers from the White Helmets, through whose eyes, we experience daily life, death and struggle in the streets of war-torn Syria.
PSBT-Doordarshan films compel us to reflect on a wide gamut of concerns: the relevance and value of traditional wisdom and the lived experiences of Adivasi women and men, which emphasise cultures of co-existence and harmony, raising vital questions about the nature of our destructive and violent development discourse; the power of people coming together in movement; affirmative journeys in the face of adversity; conversations on death and dying and the human impulse to resist the inevitability of mortality; the undying passion and hard work of those who keep hope alive; the magic of music, sound, creation and innovation; sports as a means of finding freedom; how traditions evolve over time to create new synthesis and cultures; chronicles of history, in which lie embedded tangible memories of people and eras gone by; the relationship between history, language and people; the mingling and merging of personal and larger histories; how some practices become mainstream and others relegate to margins; how do we reclaim our lost spaces and values; how are oral traditions, knowledge systems, performance arts preserved and sustained; the scars of violence and internalised trauma; how does one envisage education and learning when survival itself seems like an achievement; can we still preserve our lives and lands as we know them or are they likely to be forever gone in our obsession with a flatter and smarter world; how do we confront and resolve complex questions of crime and justice; how does someone’s death equal justice? Who gets to decide what is penance, who lives, who dies and why? There will be many discussions and conversations with filmmakers and other speakers. A Voice of My Own: Documentary Conversations will get some young filmmakers to reflect on the art and politics of documentary practice.
We will screen PSBT’s package of short films, engaging with sexualities, many of them made by first time filmmakers. Produced in partnership with the Human Capability Foundation, the Films explore the intersectional and diverse experiences of gender, sexuality, identity, relationships, desire, freedom, choice and fearlessness, even as they challenge dominant assumptions and popular representations. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with the presenting filmmakers, Avijit Mukul Kishore and Pramada Menon.