research, Exhibition And networking project 2018–ongoing
UNITED SCREENS is a long term research, exhibition and networking project that intends to create an alliance of community cinema programmers loving independent film, sharing a condition of economic or political vulnerability, and hence being easily subjected to unfair trade-offs within the cinema industry. Through this project, we aim to work towards a model for a distribution platform for films and video art particularly produced across the Global South.
UNITED SCREENS aspires to become a decentralised, peer-reviewed, peer-promoted think-tank on film cultures.
We look to the past to revisit efforts made and claims raised in the process of decolonizing forms of film distribution, in order to further engage with the formation of decentralized distribution channels of film that exist beyond bodies of censorship, agencies of control and institutions in position of power. We aim to understand postcolonial ties to current formats of film distribution because only with a historical register can we pave the path to a broader understanding of modes of censorship, state control of screens, and processes of othering through cinema. With this research project, we propose to collectively form a more inclusive understanding of film distribution beyond its normative socio- and geopolitical contexts and barriers.
During Chapter_1: UNITED SCREENS: ON CINEMA BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE SCREEN, many curiosities materialised into friendships, and friendships flourished into camaraderies. These interactions within a growing network were collected as documented films, audio interviews and personal memories, uploaded to an open source archive and exhibited at SAVVY Contemporary in the framework of Edit Film Culture! in June 2018 together with film screenings and a discursive programme.
Drawing from the learnings of the first phase, Chapter_2: UNITED SCREENS:
NEAR EAST, MIDDLE EAST, FAR EAST. CONTEMPLATIONS ON CONTEMPORARY CINEMA aims to foster alliances with film professionals and cultural practitioners around the complex and entangled conditions embedded in the seven keywords that our first research chapter revealed: Funds, Spaces, Aesthetics, Infringement (censorship), Archiving, Collectivity and Technology.
Find all interviews conducted within this project at pad.ma.
UNITED SCREENS VIDEO ARCHIVE
At the heart of the research and exhibition project lies the expanding open-source archive of video interviews, conducted with filmmakers and media practitioners in their respective contexts. The archive grows with every intervention and centres around the questions of economic, social, cultural, legal and technological challenges and complimente solutions in distribution of films from South-to-South. The intention is to collect testimonies of filmmakers, exhibitors, distributors, producers, film festival organisers, publishers/bloggers & scholars. Uploaded to the public media archive (pad.ma ), the interviews are annotated according to timecodes and thus searchable with relevant meta-data to reflect on the key points - Funds, Spaces, Aesthetics, Infringement (censorship), Archiving, Collectivity and Technology.
Conducted through the first research chapter, our interview archive currently hosts 30 interviews, which are all viewable here on pad.ma.
This archive of conversations around what we believe are paramount aspects shaping and defining filmmaking today, acts as a space for convergence of ideas, thoughts and conversations from many different contexts.
CURATOR Abhishek Nilamber
ASSOCIATE CURATOR Laura Kloeckner
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS Antonia Alampi Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
MANAGEMENT Lema Sikod
COMMUNICATIONS Anna Jäger
GRAPHIC DESIGN Elsa Westreicher
Funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.
Pad.ma – short for Public Access Digital Media Archive – is an online archive of densely text-annotated video material, primarily footage and not finished films. The entire collection is searchable and viewable online, and is free to download for non-commercial use. The Pad.ma project was initiated by a group consisting of CAMP, from Mumbai, 0x2620 from Berlin, and the Alternative Law Forum from Bangalore.