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Essay Film Festival 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts
27 March – 2 April

Eleven Miles (Egaro Mile), dir. Ruchir Joshi, India 1991, 160 min.

The Essay Film Festival returns to the ICA for its sixth edition, presenting a global range of contemporary and restored essayistic works which explore the critical and creative zones of possibility that lie between experimental and documentary modes of filmmaking. New work by the Otolith Group and restored essay films by Ruchir Joshi engage with the cultural history and politics of India, providing imaginative and insightful perspectives on the educational projects of Rabindranath Tagore, the wandering Baal musicians, and the changing cities of Ahmedabad and Kolkata. From Argentina, France, UK and the Philippines come challenging found-footage experiments by Leandro Listorti, Frank Beauvais, Sarah Wood and John Torres, which critically examine the status and uses of images today. And US artists Garrett Bradley and Cauleen Smith investigate and celebrate the depth and diversity of African American lives past and present with works that, like all good essay films, invite the viewer into an ongoing conversation.
The Essay Film Festival is a collaboration between the ICA and Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, with support from the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership. The full programme of this year’s festival, including screenings and discussions at Birkbeck Cinema, the Goethe-Institut and the Institut Français, can be found here.

Friday 27 March, 8:30pm
O Horizon + introduction
Essay film exploring the educational philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore.

Saturday 28 March, 6:00pm
UK premieres of found footage works by Leandro Listorti and John Torres

Saturday 28 March, 8:00pm
 UK PREMIERE Eleven Miles + introduction by Ruchir Joshi
UK premiere of restored classic Indian essay film.

Sunday 29 March, 6:00pm
Every Day + Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream + introduction
A double bill of experimental works exploring the personal and the everyday.

Sunday 29 March, 8:30pm
Short films by Ruchir Joshi + discussion
Following the screening, Ruchir Joshi will be in conversation with artist Tony Cokes.

Tuesday 31 March, 8:55pm
Short films by Sarah Wood + discussion
To bring the world into the world: a programme by Sarah Wood.

Wednesday 1 April, 9:00pm
UK PREMIERE America + discussion with Garrett Bradley
UK premiere of America and conversation with Trevor Mathison.

Thursday 2 April, 9:00pm
Shorts films by Cauleen Smith + discussion
Following the screening, Cauleen Smith will be in conversation with Matthew Barrington, Essay Film Festival.