The Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest attends closely to the new paradigm that has shifted the human condition world-wide. Within the gravity of the current unprecedented situation, the festival aims to be a constant agent for the transmission of knowledge but also an active platform for the formation and support of ideas and creative discourse.
Being aware of the new circumstances and with respect to everyone’s safety, Ethnofest is coming back for its 11th edition, the winter of 2020. It is our deep desire for the festival to be able to be held smoothly with the physical presence of the viewers, the guests and our team since the actual screening experience is fundamental to the identity of every festival. However, in case of an alternative option, we will make sure that the festival will be conducted in a way that is meaningful and pleasant both in relation to the presentation of the current ethnographic film production and to the meticulously chosen parallel activities. To this effect, our visitors will be able to connect with the festival experience in the best way possible.
The 11th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest will take place from 26th November to 2nd December 2020.
The festival looks for films that observe, feel and reflect upon cultures and the human condition, using approaches and tools of anthropology, ethnography and social sciences.
The call is addressed to anthropologists and other social scientists who employ and facilitate audiovisual means in their research and also to filmmakers who have collaborated with anthropologists or other social scientists at any stage of the production. We are looking for ethnographic documentaries and anthropological films, as well as for films which creatively push the limits of the standard definitions of these genres. We are also looking for student films made by anthropologists or social scientists, as a part of their BA, MA or PHD dissertation or within the framework of other university programmes.
Eligible are the films produced as of 2018. You may submit your film in one of the four open sections: Student Films, Panorama, Filmic Experiments in Ethnography and this year’s Themed Section- Brexit Revisited.
The submission deadline is June 15th 2020. You may read more about the open sections below.
To submit your film, please read the terms and conditions, fill in and submit the entry form here.
The most interesting aspect of postgraduate degrees on Visual Anthropology (or related programmes like visual sociology, visual culture) is the fact that students need to submit a film as part of their thesis and not a typical dissertation. These films often are pioneering, bold and incisive projecting the future of visual ethnography and in general of social sciences.
In this section of the festival, we present a selection of student films from all over the world.
In this section, we invite, explore and showcase the forefront in ethnographic, anthropological and social science filmmaking created by established filmmakers as well as by new talents.
Panorama is an outlook on the state of contemporary ethnographic cinema.
Filmic Experiments in Ethnography
The aim of this section is to present films that experiment with the mediums, forms, narrative techniques and practices of ethnographic filmmaking. These films create new visual and sensorial experiences and provide new pathways to anthropological analyses.
Wishing to initiate a dialogue on the value and relevance of visual anthropological perspectives on contemporary social life, the Festival introduced a themed section of screenings relating to social issues and visual/anthropological viewpoints about them. These screenings underline the significance of documenting and analyzing the contemporary social reality and its topical aspects.
Themed Section 2020
Brexit was an enduring event, whose outcomes are still unravelling. What preceded it (a global credit crunch, sovereign debt crises), what developed during its most heated developments (the rise of authoritarian leadership and populism) and what followed it (the coronavirus crisis) formulate a continuum of concatenating crises that leaves many of us befuddled. Unlike many of the existing crises, however, Brexit was a popular choice. As an expression of the ‘direct voice’ of the people, and a manifestation of popular sovereignty, the vote to Leave tested the limits and limitations of democracy itself. The drama that followed it, with sovereignty oscillating between ‘people’, Parliament, and even the judicial, have shown the world how what took place in the UK is a case study of the feeble tragedy we call modern democracy.
This year, Athens Ethnofest’s special section is dedicated to Brexit in its myriad formations. The session will present different approaches to filming issues that pertain to the core of the Brexit debate: these issues can include UK society, social class, democracy and its discontents, populism, the social life of the European Union. Our understanding of ethnographic film here is open, so we invite documentaries, participatory films, docufiction, as well as artistic and ethnographic forms of filmmaking. The section will critically reflect on the relationships between film processes, aesthetics and the politics of representation. Aiming to unwrap the Brexit boom and bust, the section will reflect on phenomena way beyond Britain, including the EU at large as well as the connections of an increasingly de-connected world.
Guest editor for the Themed Section 2020 will be Theodoros Rakopoulos, associate professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo.