In Focus: An Afternoon of Film and Video

Sunday, December 14th

@ Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 W. 27th St
Buzzer 600
New York, NY 10001

An afternoon of sessions focusing on current film and video practices of South Asian women artists. We begin with spotlighting acclaimed filmmaker Shalini Kantayya in conversation with NYU professor, Tejaswini Ganti on the subject of fact vs. fiction in film, followed by a screening of short experimental videos by 10 international artists.

$5 Suggested donation. Open to the public.

Shalini Kantayya and Tejaswini Ganti

Where do the lines between fact and fiction blur and what are the ethics of representing the truth? Filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya will present her work, which ranges from science fiction to documentary film. Shalini will then be joined by NYU professor, Tejaswini Ganti, in a discussion on fact vs. fiction in filmmaking and storytelling. Join us for a conversation that explores these central questions in crafting and representing stories through film.

Patterns of Interaction
A screening of short experimental videos, followed by a Q & A and reception.

“Patterns of Interaction” constructs an interplay between short experimental videos by 10 international artists. The videos address a range of subjects including capitalism, war, mortality, cultural and corporeal memory, and various perceptual and spatiotemporal experiments. The artists utilize abstract, non-linear and/or repetitive structures and motifs to construct vivid forms of sensory immersion for the viewer.

Videos by: Poulomi Desai, Rohini Devasher, Jeanno Gaussi, Vandana Jain, Nadia Khawaja, Gazelle Samizay, Ela Shah, Negin Sharifzadeh, Shashwati Talukdar, Ambika Trasi

Curated by: Shelly Bahl

This screening is co-sponsored by 3rd i NY

Shalini Kantayya finished in the top 10 out of 12,000 filmmakers on Fox’s ON THE LOT, a show by Steven Spielberg in search of Hollywood’s next great director. Her sci-fi film about the world water crisis, a DROP of LIFE, won Best Short at Palm Beach International, received a national television broadcast in the US and India, and was used as a tool to organize for water rights in 40 villages across Africa. A William D. Fulbright Scholar, Shalini has received recognition from IFP Spotlight on Documentary, Jerome Hill Centennial, NY Women in Film and Television, and Media Action Network for Asian Americans. She is a Sundance Fellow, a TED Fellow, and was a finalist for the ABC Disney | Directors Guild of America Directing Program. Her work-in-progress documentary, Catching the Sun, has received support from the Sundance Documentary Program, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation and anticipates release in 2015.

Tejaswini Ganti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and its Program in Culture & Media at New York University. A visual anthropologist specializing in South Asia, her research and teaching interests include Indian cinema, documentary film, anthropology of media, production cultures, visual culture, and neoliberalism. She has been conducting ethnographic research about the social world and filmmaking practices of the Hindi film industry since 1996 and is the author of Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry (Duke University Press 2012) and Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema (Routledge 2004; 2nd edition 2013).

This program is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Photo: Still from “A Drop of Life” by Shalini Kantayya