IFFK Filmmakers find inspiration in diversity of works at KMB 2016

Group of directors, who had works screened at recent film fest, made visits to the Biennale

Kochi, December 21: Over the past few days, a clutch of filmmakers, whose movies were screened at this year’s International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) 2016, have made visits to the ongoing third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Singapore-based director Green Zeng, whose The Return (2015) was selected for the recent film fest, said there was not much to choose from between the KMB and the Venice biennale.

“Of course, the biennale in Venice has a higher budget and is afforded more space, but regarding the quality of the artworks in the exhibition, I don’t feel any difference between KMB and Venice Biennale,” said Zeng, who had attended the last Venice Biennale earlier this year.

Zeng was particularly impressed by the artworks that integrated different media – in keeping with the event’s theme of multiplicities. “The work of Camille Norment was really fascinating since her installation explores the undiscovered dimension of sound and vibrations,” he said.

South African filmmaker Brett Innis, who showed his movie Sink (2016) at the fest, concurred. “Artists from different corners of the world are brought onto a common platform where distinctive forms of creativity can be seen. The works are ambiguous and experimental. They prompt audiences to reflect unlike the narrative techniques used in filmmaking,” Innis said.

Dutch documentarian and anthropologist Louk Vreeswijk in search of inspiration and did not come away disappointed. “I saw a lot of conceptual art with a good mixture of literature, philosophy, audio and visuals. Some of the pieces made me think about what I want to see in an artwork – especially Sharmishta Mohanty’s ‘I make new the song born of old’, which integrates a visual experience with a soothing poetry recital,” he said.

Saudi Arabia-based director Mahmoud Sabbagh, whose Barakah meets Barakah (2016) was screened at IFFK, expressed admiration for the diverse narratives and forms at the Biennale.

“Showcasing the works of both Indian and Pakistani artists: that in itself makes this art fiesta unique. It should be a model for the country to follow,” said Sabbagh, who is planning a project of trans-cultural exchange across the Indian Ocean.

“Exploring the Biennale helped me get more background on the history and people of Fort Kochi. My visit will contribute to create the work,” he added.

For Jayan K. Cherian, the Biennale – “an installation in itself” – is an opportunity to witness a cross-section of artistic expressions. “There is a distinct change in the artistic production in accordance with the times we live in. Raúl Zurita’s ‘Sea of Pain’ captures perfectly the refugee crisis and forced displacement. Many works here have directly or indirectly referenced the socio-political conditions of the time,” said Cherian who showed Ka Bodyscapes at the IFFK.



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