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Institute of Contemporary Arts
Autumn 2020

Please note, FRAMES of REPRESENTATION has now been postponed due to the ICA’s precautions around Covid-19. The festival will hopefully open in autumn 2020; new dates will be shared as soon as they can be confirmed.

FRAMES of REPRESENTATION, the ICA’s annual film festival, returns for its fifth edition with a programme addressing the role of spectatorship. 

Exploring the spaces between knowledge and participation through the act of viewing, this year’s programme premieres 20 films from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, and also features discussions, workshops, live music and Q&As with directors, curators, scholars and other speakers.

Questioning the role of the spectator within the current audiovisual landscape, FRAMES of REPRESENTATION 2020 aims to challenge the relationship between presentation and action. The selected films engage with a shared time that extends from the moment of screening into possibilities for imaginative transformation. The festival foregrounds the idea of the image as a proposal for the renegotiation of positions of reception and agency, providing a space for fluid dynamics rather than dichotomies.

This year, the festival addresses and resists the theoretical separation between (film)makers and audiences, individuals and collectives, referencing the writings of the French philosopher Jacques Rancière in The Emancipated Spectator (Verso, 2009):

Emancipation begins when we challenge the opposition between viewing and acting; when we understand that the self-evident facts that structure the relationship between saying, seeing and doing themselves belong to the structure of domination and subjection … The spectator also acts, like the pupil or the scholar. They observe, select, compare, interpret. They link what they see to a host of other things that they have seen on other stages, in other kinds of places. They compose their own poem with the element of the poem before them.

FRAMES of REPRESENTATION 2020 aims to foster collective learning in conversation with a community of filmmakers and activists while encouraging audiences to question traditional hierarchies and structures of seeing, listening and acting via the poetry of spectatorship.


FRAMES of REPRESENTATION is the ICA’s annual film festival, dedicated to foregrounding transgressive, unruly ‘cinema of the real’, which lies at the intersection of fiction and non-fiction.
Illustration by Sanya Kantarovsky


UK PREMIERE Panquiaco + Q&A
Panamanian filmmaker Ana Elena Tejera’s Panquiaco offers an unflinching reflection on the concept of home.

FoR20 Opening Night
A night of performance and experimental music responding to Ana Elena Tejera’s film Panquiaco.

A group of boys hunt for a puma that has been stalking their village in Ezequiel Yanco’s evocative study of rural Argentina.

A devotional journey into the heart of the Argentinian Puna, a bare landscape shaped by myths and ancestral forces.

Los conductos traces a restless man’s journey while simultaneously reflecting on the political and social landscape of Colombia.

Directors Ksenia Okhapkina, Matjaž Ivanišin and Iryna Tsilyk, whose work features in FRAMES of REPRESENTATION, discuss their filmmaking practices.

Ksenia Okhapina’s observational study of a Russian industrial town that started life as a Soviet-era labour camp.

A Slovenian minority group in a remote Hungarian village grapples with grief and mortality
following the death of an elderly villager.

Irina Tsilyk’s first feature tracks a Ukrainian single mother and her family as they film their lives against a backdrop of conflict.

New York-based director and photographer Khalik Allah discusses his photography practice in conversation with Shanida Scotland of The Guardian.

Centred on 125th and Lexington in East Harlem, Khalik Allah’s monumental new diary film is a rich and deeply personal work.

Filmmaker Éric Baudelaire is joined by scholar Erika Balsom for a discussion preceding the screening of Un Film Dramatique.

The first in FRAMES of REPRESENTATION’s two short film programmes features new works from Portugal, Brazil and France.

Directors Eloy Enciso, Natalia Marín and Javier Fernández Vázquez discuss and explore current trends in Spanish cinema.

A powerful exercise in collectivity, co-directed by filmmaker Éric Baudelaire alongside a class of 20 middle schoolers.

Film Collectives in Contemporary African Cinema
A workshop exploring current collaborative approaches in African film through the lens of Angolan director Fradique, the Geração 80 collective and guests TBA.

Javier Fernández Vázquez’s solo debut feature interrogates the complex relationship between Spain and Equatorial Guinea, its former colony.

A man returns to his Galician home to unearth hidden stories of post-Franco Spain in Eloy Enciso’s powerful feature.

The daily routine of a lonely nightwatchman becomes a prism through which Ivan Marković and Wu Linfeng explore Beijing.

Zheng Lu Xinyuan mixes reality, fiction and experimental reveries into a powerful reflection on love and impermanence.

Connecting with FRAMES of REPRESENTATION’s theme of spectatorship, artists, thinkers and healers address radical equality and contemporary oppressions.

Striking new works from Europe and Latin America feature in the second selection of short films in FRAMES of REPRESENTATION.

Angolan filmmaker Fradique expands the possibilities of the cinema of the real with his journey into the heart of Luanda.

FRAMES of REPRESENTATION closes with a night of electronic music responding to Fradique’s feature Air Conditioner.

Supporting filmmakers while fostering wide-ranging discussions around the cinema of the real, PROGRESSIO returns with an expanded programme for 2020.