Movies

For the 9th consecutive year, the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest returns, introducing a selection of the best ethnographic productions of the last few years, organizing interesting tributes, discussions, panels and masterclasses, and underlining the exciting present and the dynamic future of visual anthropology and ethnographic documentary.

From the 21st till the 25th of November 2018, Ethnofest will be located in ASTOR cinema, as well as a few new locations in Stoa Korai, just opposite to the screening venue, and in Technopolis City of Athens. More than 50 films will be screened, taking the audience to cinematic journeys from Brazil to India, from USA to Australia, from South Africa to Greece – to name but a few of the places depicted in the films of this year’s edition. We are also very happy to host many filmmakers in the festival where they will present their films, discuss with the audience and share their views and experiences.

On an educational aspect, this year’s edition includes a masterclass with Dr Rupert Cox, filmmaker and director of the Postgraduate Program in Visual Anthropology at the Granada Centre of Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester, whose film “Zawawa, the sound of sugar cane in the wind” will screen at the 9th Ethnofest. Dr Cox will give a masterclass on sound in visual ethnography, entitled “The Sound of the Sky being Torn: Three ethnographic experiments in the translation of science into art”. Also, filmmaker Dr Alexandra D’Onofrio will give a masterclass on story-telling techniques and collaborative filming practices, entitled “Liv-in Stories. Creative Storytelling in Collaborative Ethnographic Practice”.

This year the festival decided to focus on Health with a series of screenings that offer “Ethnographic Views on Health”. This tribute is implemented by the Operational Program “Public Sector Reform” and is co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek National Funds. The film tribute has free admission, the non greek-speaking films have subtitles in greek and it is accessible to disabled people. The films “Why is Mr W. Laughing?”, “TB in Town 2” and “Regarding Gravity” are Greek premieres.

This year’s themed section of the 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival, titled “Critical Encounters: the European Refugee Crisis”, attempts to problematize the “crisis”, and to approach it as a point of encounter and dialogue, but also, as a condition of violence and division. The themed section is guest-curated by anthropologists Katerina Rozakou (VU Amsterdam) and Ifigeneia Anastasiadi (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences) and it will include a series of screenings, as well as discussions and side-events.

The ninth edition of Ethnofest includes two special screenings: the anniversary screening of Dennis O’ Rourke’s exceptional – and classic – film “Cannibal Tours”, which will be screened 30 years after its very first screening in Greece, as well as Stavros Psillakis’ emblematic documentary “The Man who Disturbed the Universe”, shot twenty years ago at the Chania Mental Institution. the latter will be screened within the context of the tribute “Ethnographic Views on Health”. Furthermore, like every year a selection of films made by the students of the Summer School, organised by Ethnofest in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute in Athens, will be screened.

Finally, a new section, called “Filmic Experiments in Ethnography”, wil be inaugurated. The aim of this section is to present films that experiment with the medium, forms, narrative techniques and practices of the genre and of social sciences in general, creating new visual and sensorial experiences, In the context of this section, two films will be presented: Rupert Cox’s “Zawawa, the sound of sugar cane in the wind” and Mattijs van de Port’s “Knots and Holes. An essay film on the life of nets”.

We hope you will enjoy the 9th Ethnofest and see you at ASTOR cinema!


9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival 

21-25 November at ASTOR cinema, 28 Stadiou street

(entrance through Stoa Korai / Panepistimio metro station)

Ticket prices

Screening slot: 2 euros | All-day pass: 5 euros | 10 slots pass: 10 euros | Free entrance for disabled people, students and unemployment card holders

 

A selection of films that were produced by Summer School students. The Summer School is being co-organized by Ethnofest and the Netherlands Insitute at Athens (NIA).

Program

You can download 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest’s program in PDF:

9_ETHNOFEST_Program_ENG_WEB_

 

21/11Wednesday
17:00
Panorama
Directed by: Anna Grimshaw. 85' (U.S.A.)

What do fishermen do in winter? George Sprague lives and works in Buck’s Harbor, Maine.  He is widely known for his “cellar” (affectionately called the whine cellar), where people gather to talk, make lobster traps, share stories and pass the long months until spring.  It is a spontaneous theater, with a lively cast of characters who delight in playing themselves. Their skill and ingenuity in self-dramatization make for unexpected scenes and encounters that sometimes include the filmmaker herself.   

18:45
Ethnographic Views on Health
Directed by: Jana Papenbroock. 75' (Germany)

Mr W. is a man who loves to laugh. He and his friends, Mr K. and Mr G., are members of a community project of artists with different disabilities. Instead of interpreting art as an escape fantasy from normative society like most neurotypical artists, these artists see art as a vehicle to build a community. What seems like a utopian society where artists cooperate instead of compete, works subversively serene in practice. This collaborative portrait was co-written, co-directed and co-shot with its three protagonists and their own video cameras.

20:30
Panorama
Directed by: Rodion Ismailov. 82' (Russia)

A documentary film which recounts the lives of passengers travelling on the longest railway route in the world. The director tells the stories and fortunes of ordinary Russians met by chance on the Moscow-Vladivostok train. The endless journey is a metaphor of the country in perpetual motion, while the passengers’ stories form a social portrait of contemporary Russian society.

22/11Thursday
14:30
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Directed by: Silas Michalakas. 12' (Greece)

In the middle of August Vlatsiotes from everywhere gather to their place of origin and set up the Great Dance in the meadows. A meeting that connects the memory of the community with the present bonds of its members and signifies their own annual circle.

14:30
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Directed by: Silas Michalakas. 11' (Greece, Cyprus)

Video submitted by Cyprus and Greece to UNESCO to support the inscription of the Byzantine Chant to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO, 2003).

14:30
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Directed by: Özlem Sariyildiz, Yunus Emre Aydin. 70' (Turkey)

‘‘İstanbul Makamı’’ is a cinematographic improvisation with 5 musicians from abroad who fall in love with the Maqam Music (Classical Ottoman Music) and decide to live in Turkey believing that music might best be learned in the lands it was born and performed. Each has different stories but the desire to find their own paths despite modern times’ obligations intersects their roads. Constructing three layers -music, İstanbul and combination of both in the filmic platform- the film is a modern times fairytale in praise of İstanbul and its classical music; a film about obstinacy, desire, looking for one’s own raison d’etre, travelling, being a world citizen and the power of music to understand the other and express oneself in the pursuit of intertwining stories following passion. It tells unique stories about the common dreams we are afraid to approach, and thus, tries to give inspiration to us to free ourselves.

16:30
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Anna Brass. 83' (Germany)

In 2008, Afghan teenagers Hossein, Reza and Kaka flee their homeland for Europe, hoping to find freedom and peace. They happen to arrive in Greece, but Greece is at the dawn of the economic crisis and soon it becomes clear that they cannot stay. However, they cannot leave either, since Greece’s frontiers are some of the best monitored in the continent. Yet the three friends keep trying to leave Greece in order to reach another European country and to pass through a legal asylum procedure. This is an undertaking that puts at risk not only their friendship, but also their lives. A film about friendship – and the contradictory European refugee policy.

18:00
Summer School
Directed by: Zilan Dalgic, Ismini Gatou, Anni Valajärvi. 10' (Greece)

What does the term gentrification mean, outside its strict formal definition? Can we simply say, there are those who benefit and those who are threatened by it, or is it more complex? Through four different stories of inhabitants from Koukaki, a central neighbourhood in Athens that is currently under an extreme gentrification process, the film tries to examine and unfold the subtle shades that form the bigger image. Common ground in all their narratives plays “the Airbnb explosion”, that prevails the area. The documentary is an attempt to approach the subject through the locals’ perspective, by following their thoughts and (dis-)agreements, with gentrification always being apparent without being shown, so that these people’s stories and views speak for themselves.

 

18:00
Summer School
Directed by: Dora Intzirtzi, Julie Reintjes, Paula Zanardi. 9' (Greece)

‘made in absence’ concerns the topics of absence and imagination in Greek cultural heritage. The protagonist of the film is the most debated museum of Greece: the Acropolis Museum, which hosts a vast collection of archeological findings from the Acropolis rock. With the absence of visual footage of the museum collection due to filming restrictions, the voices of two narrators – along with other textual elements – guide the viewer through an imaginary tour of the museum. The voices and imagery offer diverse conceptions about the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles, belonging, heritage, cultural identity, art, and reproduction in the process of making and disputing memory. The concepts of absence and imagination are both the conceptual subject as well as the visual focus of the film. An exhibition we can only imagine: the blurred imagery, souvenirs, and hand-drawn illustrations invite the audience to contemplate what is not present and what can only be recreated in our minds.

18:00
Summer School
Directed by: Eleni Anagnostopoulou, Nikolaos Tatsakis, Petros J. Siammas. 10' (Greece)

Queer the City is an attempt to navigate through the waters of uncertainty guided by the compass of a question: how do people recognize themselves as queer? By looking through different embodied narratives in Athens, the film meditates on elements of performativity and the interweaving of roles that take distance from normative expectations. Rather than fixedly define, its reflexive lens is steered via the blurs of identity and aspects of the body. Through the practices of dance, drag and BDSM, the film makes an effort to channel the very expressions of the practices, and one that comfortably sits with the ambiguity of queerness, wherein, its potential lies.

 

 

18:00
Summer School
Directed by: Nada El-Kouny, Renate Bijlholt, Juul Hesselberth. 10' (Greece)

Rolling into a skatepark in the heart of Athens’ Kerameikos neighbourhood, Skaterotopia dives into the urban skaters’ world. Entering into the skate spot Latraac through its sliding doors, the documentary mingles with the visitors to the space. Functioning as a cafe during the day and a hip bar during the night, Latraac mainly serves its role of being a wood-built skate bowl, envisioned and constructed by its founder architect and fellow skater. The movie investigates the profiles and identities of the skaters present at Latraac, then allows them to lead us into the diverse skater communities across the city. ΟΑΚΑ skatepark is one location where the movie introduces the viewer to a younger, more diverse community of amateur skaters. The movie brings the viewer back to the skate spot Latraac and subtly reflects on its status within the larger community and neighbourhood it is located within. Skaterotopia investigates the multiple forms of exclusion and inclusion present within a skater community’s place within the larger urban environment of Athens that is undergoing significant and fast-paced changes.

 

 

18:00
Summer School
Directed by: Rosa Gelardi, Sophie Krabbe. 9' (Greece)

Following a mobile laundry service for the homeless in the city of Athens, this short ethnographic film investigates the ambiguous, fluent and contextual nature of notions of ‘‘cleanliness’’ and ‘‘dirt’’. With a focus on circulation and the washing machine as the main character, the film reflects upon complex anthropological notions from everyday life through a small-scale initiative and allows the investigation of ideas attached to cleanness. Moving with the laundry van on its daily rounds in the city, this film voices the community gathering around the service and gives an insight into the importance attached to elements of normalcy and belonging. In combination with a visual attention to things simultaneously clean and dirty, the film offers insights into cleanliness not only as an idea, a practice and a cultural construction, but also as a need, a meeting point and an access into spheres of normality.

 

19:30
Ethnographic Views on Health
Directed by: Agnes Sklavou & Stelios Tatakis. 55' (Greece)

Boobs…. Sweet stories, bitter stories, with a beginning, without an end. We experience them, we think about them but rarely do we hear them. Women and men share personal stories about breasts. The big story…Breast cancer. A woman is telling her story about her boobs and cancer.

Boobs urge us to communicate, to share our thoughts, our fears and hopes.

21:00
Filmic Experiments in Ethnography
Directed by: Mattijs van de Port. 73' (The Netherlands, Brazil)

Director’s Notes:

“Nets are all around us. They materialize such principles as connecting, filtering and patterning. Which is why anthropologists might want to have a closer look at what people do with them and what they do with people. In Bahia, Brazil, I sought out places where people work with nets. I recorded the conversations, emotions and sensations that occur in the presence of nets. I went on a fishing trip with Tico. I spoke with evangelicals, explaining the parable of the fishing net. I hung out with the boys from the Candomblé religion, who have their shirts made of lace. I shivered as I learned how lethal the introduction of a grid may be. I smiled when I heard how a fat man in tight jeans became a frolicking mermaid. And I never stopped wondering how the principles of filtering and patterning play themselves out in my own life – as a filmmaker, as an anthropologist, as a-gay-man-in-love. Keeping alive the tension between openness and closure, knot and hole, grasping and caressing, this film invites its audiences to ponder the observation that all we humans ever do is to impose structures onto life and being, then to find out that neither life, nor being, follow our designs.” – Mattijs van de Port

22:30
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Ditte Haarløv Johnsen. 73' (Denmark)

”That sea… It ́s not a small thing. Everything happened on that boat, everything… I lost hope”.

Harouna is stranded in the coastal town of Noaudhibou in Mauretania. He has left his girlfriend and newborn in Mali to search for a safe haven for the three of them. In Italy, a group of asylum seekers live in a prison-like centre, uncertain about their futures. In Copenhagen we meet Austin. He has reached the promised land, but is forced to roam the streets in search for money for his family in Nigeria. This is the story of people who risk their lives in the hope of creating a dignified life for themselves and their loved ones.

23/11Friday
17:00
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Marzia Jamili. 8' (Greece)

Written and directed by Marzia Jamili, a Hazara refugee now living in Sweden, Unimaginable Dreams is an auto-ethnographic essay film that traces Marzia’s last days in Athens, Greece. Blending documentary and fiction, Marzia casts her best friends to recreate magically real versions of her dearest memories of Athens as she delivers a cutting address to Afghanistan, in which she tells the sea about her broken homeland. Unimaginable Dreams is the first production by the Melissa Network’s Film Club, a collaborative program co-founded by Dove Barbanel and Brittany Nugent, that challenges hegemonic representations of migrant women by empowering members to reclaim the gaze and create narratives of their own. A creative group of women from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia share diverse perspectives to analyze their favorite movies, learn filmmaking skills and collaborate on original productions that add urgent personal nuance and depth to migration storytelling.

17:00
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Arjang Omrani, Asef Rezaei. 64' (Greece, Iran)

Asef is a young Afghan refugee who left his country in search a safer life conditions. He arrived in Greece in 2016 and was moved to the refugee camps in Athens, Piraeus port and then to Eleniko. During this period, he struggles several times to cross into Western Europe. Few months later, Asef meets Arjang Omrani and after a while they decided to make a diary film about Asef’s everyday life in Greece and his attempts to flee to other countries. Asef was coached by Arjang Omrani during the film process in which he was learning about ideas of filming, montage and storytelling. Using his own mobile phone Asef manages to collect his video diaries that lasted for the next eight months. While showing his surroundings, Asef gives insightful portraits of Eleniko refugee camp, Victoria park in Athens, where he goes to contact the smugglers. Also his experiences in Patra, in the abandoned wood factory where he was sheltering, and the port where he tries to hide under the trucks that are waiting to embark on ferries to go to Italy. The young Afghan refugee not only shows the foreign places of passage but also he reflects upon his motivations of getting into this journey and the constraints and difficulties he has gone through. “Why can’t I have a normal life!” speaks out Asef from the rooftop of a deserted wood factory. He talks about his dreams and desires while questioning the universal injustice in people’s life conditions.

18:45
Panorama
Directed by: Dimitra Kofti. 55' (Germany)

Shiny supermarkets stand next to dilapidated factory buildings in the Bulgarian city of Pernik, one of the Balkans once most important industrial areas. The film explores daily life experiences and memories in a city marked by a history of industrialization and deindustrialization, where multiple epochs and teleologies of modernity coexist. People’s lives are filtered by Pernik’s industrial rise and decline and by the shift from the socialist to the post-socialist era. The narrative focusses on people’s working lives, through which stories unfold: current work practices, memories from the abandoned factories, migration stories, narratives about precarity, strikes, daily coping strategies. The ‘cracks’ are apparent in the urban landscapes and in the narratives. They are employed in the film as metaphors that underline the meeting points of multiple temporalities; cracks inscribe changes and epochs while they also connect them.

20:00
Ethnographic Views on Health
Directed by: Stavros Psillakis. 52' (Greece)

The Chania Mental Institution [Crete]. A group of mental patients is our host at the «Citizen’s Assembly», the place they meet and deal daily – where some ask for money and others ask for speech. Another group of former chronic patients, now out of the Mental Institution, goes through the painful process of social rehabilitation and dares to embark upon a trip to Denmark.Through the parallel parlance of the two groups the film attempts to listen to the utterance of madness, in its chaotic delirium. It tries to observe man’s dramatic clash with madness, in the deepest despair and total uncertainty regarding every aspect of the being it encompasses.

21:15
Panorama
Directed by: Séverine Enjolras, Magali Bragard. 96' (France)

During a summer in Paris and its suburbs, two young directors attempt a remake of “Chronique d’un été”, fifty years after the cult film of Rouch and Morin. An offbeat portrait of nowday’s youth, as a mirror image of the 1960s, while questions of the “cinéma vérité” are revisited with fancy.

23:15
Student Films
Directed by: Dragoș Hanciu. 28' (Romania)

Ionaș is an old Romanian countryman who spends his summer nights in a trailer, guarding his cornfield against the starving boars that come to eat his crops. In his nocturnal taciturn meditation, Ionaș has to resist falling asleep, because otherwise he knows he cannot be aware of anything but his dreams. Facing a fight greater than him, Ionaș might win the battle against the boars, but soon realizes he cannot stand against something as big as time.

23:15
Student Films
Directed by: Vittoria Paglino. 20' (United Kingdom)

“Choir” is an ethnographic short film that explores amateurism and chorality. Focusing on a choir of amateur singers in northern Italy, the film researches collective practices based on a shared pursuit of enjoyment as grounds for building strong and diverse communities, detached from the capitalist dynamics of productivity and success. Individuals’ narratives are juxtaposed to an observational representation of the group dimension.

23:15
Student Films
Directed by: Daria Blokhina Alekseevna. 30' (Russia)

The Filippovy family live in the north of Russia, far away from modern civilization. They live in strong connection with their surrounding nature, a way of life that demands hard work and the reward itself is the motivation to go on.

24/11Saturday
16:00
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Julie Høj Thomsen. 23' (United Kingdom, Denmark)

Ali came to Denmark in 2011 to seek asylum. After two and a half years in asylum camps his case was rejected, and since then he has lived “underground” as an undocumented migrant in Copenhagen. The film explores Ali’s experience of life as an “illegal migrant” in Denmark. It deals with the conditions of “rightlessness” and “deportability” and how these conditions influence Ali’s general experience of time, place and belonging. Because of the threat of deportation Ali’s face and identity is not shown in the film, and the story is carried by Ali’s voice and images of Copenhagen city.

16:00
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Tami Liberman. 31' (Germany)

This film tells the story of Mr. X, but his identity, and his face, are never revealed in it. Mr. X is a West-African refugee living in Berlin without a work permit. As his exposure might put him in danger, he is the one holding the camera instead of appearing in front of it. Mr. X shoots the landscapes and people of Berlin to tell stories about the refugee camp in Italy, about his grandmother in West Africa, about his acquaintance with African drug dealers from Görlitzer Park, and about the relationship between him, his legal status and his camera.

16:00
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Côme Ledésert. 25' (France, Germany)

Toni is a fisherman in Lampedusa. He sees men, women and children arriving from other continents. Who are these migrants traveling by sea on an island at Europe’s doors, departing again as soon as they can if they haven’t perished on their way? Through his testimony, intercut by animation that take him on a journey as forced witness, this documentary invites us to question our perception of migrants in Europe – between our tenacious fantasies, Toni’s reality and the persisting dreams of migrants.

17:30
Ethnographic Views on Health
Directed by: Lianne (A.L.) Cremers. 46' (The Netherlands)

We take you to Town 2, a lovely community situated in one of the biggest and most violent townships of South Africa. Life here is all about surviving. Do you have enough food, is it warm enough, is it safe? Death is continuously lurking, has become part of every-day life. What if you suddenly get infected with tuberculosis? A curable disease, yet of which so many people have died already. A disease that easily spreads through the air. Do you go to the clinic where they run a well-resourced tuberculosis programme, take that free medication, and fight for your life? What if the side-effects of treatment are so strong that you are afraid to lose your mind? What if you need to eat in order to deal with this toxic medication, but you do not have food? How do you survive?

18:30
Filmic Experiments in Ethnography
Directed by: Angus Carlyle, Rupert Cox. 50' (United Kingdom)

It is a strange and bitter irony that the US naval bombardment which launched the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 was called the ‘typhoon of steel’, invoking the turbulent winds that annually buffet this small island. Okinawans sought shelter from the battle in natural features of the environment such as caves and within sugar cane fields, creating memories that reside in the sounds of these places today. This film, the result of a ten-year collaboration between a landscape artist, an acoustic scientist and an anthropologist attempts to listen in on and make sense of these sounds through the stories of individuals and the recordings of these sounds. Their words, solidified as text and witness to the history of the US occupation of the island and expressed through the mixing of images and sounds of natural elements, military machinery and ritual practices convey the experience of many Okinawan lives, suspended between the American wars of the past, present and future.

20:15
Ethnographic Views on Health
Directed by: Matthieu Brouillard. 79' (Switzerland, Canada)

Friends Christian, 63, and Bruce, 71, each have their burden to bear: Christian suffers from a genetic condition that severely impairs his vision and makes his skin hypersensitive to sunlight, while Bruce is hard of hearing and bipolar. But both men share a desire: to fly, to defy gravity, to rise up against the limitations of their bodies. As a very thorough and rational person, Christian has mastered the techniques of paragliding, and, after years of struggle, he has been given permission to fly on his own. He is now persuading the more erratic and turbulent Bruce to do the same and follow him all the way to Mont Blanc… An intimate and moving portrait of two non- conforming individuals, this “direct cinema” piece with surrealist undertones takes us on a journey into the luminous heights and the dark intricacies of the human psyche.

22:00
Special Screenings
Directed by: Dennis O’ Rourke. 72' (Australia)

Director’s Notes

Cannibal Tours is two journeys. The first is that depicted – rich and bourgeois tourists on a luxury-cruise up the mysterious Sepik River, in the jungles of Papua New Guinea … the packaged version of a “heart of darkness”. The second journey (the real text of the film) is a metaphysical one. It is an attempt to discover the place of “the Other” in the popular imagination. It affords a glimpse at the real (mostly unconsidered or misunderstood) reasons why “civilised” people wish to encounter the “primitive”. The situation is that shifting terminus of civilisation, where modern mass-culture grates and pushes against those original, essential aspects of humanity; and where much of what passes for values in western culture is exposed in stark relief as banal and fake.

23:15
Panorama
Directed by: Matthias Krepp, Angelika Spangel. 91' (Austria)

Social networks allow refugees to follow the actions and crimes happening in their countries in real time. “Sand and Blood” is a montage of amateur videos from various online platforms, narrated by refugees now living in Austria. This formal approach offers a new and intimate perspective on Syria and Iraq’s recent history: a montage of haunting images of devastation, fear, and hatred. It gives the viewer the opportunity to ask questions which go beyond newspaper headlines. Every character is given the chance to explain his own personal viewpoint, without judgement. “Sand and Blood” weaves these stories together in a dark and moving tapestry that ultimately forces the viewer to question the very nature of good and evil, victim and perpetrator.

25/11Sunday
15:00
Panorama
Directed by: Peter Biella, Leonard Kamerling. 61' (U.S.A.)

Since he was a boy growing up as a Maasai herder, Toreto ole Koisenge dreamed of cattle. When filmmaker Peter Biella first visited his homestead in 1980, he had over six hundred head. Today his herd numbers only twenty. The world of the Maasai pastoralists has grown smaller since the Tanzanian government put a stop to their seasonal cattle migrations and forced them to live in permanent settlements. For elder Toreto ole Koisenge, the dream is no longer about cattle. In this new world of tunultious change, how can he create a life that offers his children wisdom, humanity and hope? Changa Revisited follows the lives of Toreto’s extended family from two points in time across a thirty-year divide. The film draws from a collection of over 6,000 black and white photographs and hundreds of audio recordings of Maasai life taken in 1980. These images woven with contemporary video footage create a deeply personal portrait of a family’s journey through three decades of volatile change.

16:15
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Anna Knappe & Amir Jan. 19' (Finland)

A camp is a place where mohajers live in a state of waiting. Mohajers are asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants in precarious situations and their camps are reception centers, detention centers, and temporary shelters. Camps are often located in remote areas, effectively isolating the individuals living in them. They are facilities for storing humans, full of invisible walls, and windows to remind people that the world they can see through them is out of their reach.

16:15
Critical Encounters: The European Refugee Crisis
Directed by: Alexandra D’Onofrio. 54' (United Kingdom, Italy)

Ali, Mahmoud and Mohamed are three Egyptian men who lived in Italy without documents for almost ten years. Suddenly thanks to an amnesty they finally manage to legalise their status and their future is re-inhabited by possibilities. As part of their need to rediscover their dreams and hopes, they decide to take the journey back to the first places of arrival, where they disembarked from the boats that had brought them as teenagers to Italy after crossing the Mediterranean. The film follows them back to the emblematic places of the past, where memories are intertwined with fantasies about what could be, or could have been, their possible new life. Collaborative documentary filmmaking is accompanied by creative narrative processes such as theatre, storytelling, photography and participatory animation.

18:00
Student Films
Directed by: Jip van Steenis. 26' (The Netherlands)

This short film takes the viewer to two neighbouring valleys in northern Albania; the Theth and Valbona valleys. In the last decade, these historically isolated areas have developed into popular tourist destinations. The film shows how it is offered to tourists as an “undiscovered” place in which you can find some “unspoiled” nature and “exotic” customs. Regarding the exotic customs in northern Albania, tourist marketers refer to the ancient code of customary law, the Kanun, of which  hospitality is an important prescript. What does this coded custom mean to hosts in the context of increasing tourism, and how does it influence tourist experience? The film shows that hospitality (mikpritja) does indeed play a major role in encounters between foreign tourists and local hosts, but that it is also under commodification processes.

18:00
Student Films
Directed by: Simone Mestroni. 62' (Italy)

Routine violence and muezzins’ calls for prayers shape the time-flow of daily life in Indian Kashmir. From traumatic memories of a guerrilla’s funeral to the present anti-India street-riots, throughout a maimed muhajideen’s tale, people’s destiny seems to be stretched between hope and anger, love and grief, poetry and brutality. Every milestone in people’s stories -being it the first army crackdown in the valley or the decision to leave for Afghanistan to get guerrilla-warfare training- seems to happen in a mosque, just immediately after prayers. Almost 30 years have gone since the beginning of the armed struggle and notwithstanding a widespread frustration, the controversial dream of Kashmir’s independence, along with the nightmare of the conflict, is still preserved alive. It is again after Friday’s prayers that Kashmiri youngsters regularly engage Indian soldiers in stone-throwing riots, and it is ultimately here that the vicious cycle of violence, nourished by new martyrs’ fresh blood, keeps perpetuating in the intimacy of ordinary life.

20:00
Panorama
Directed by: Lee McKarkiel, Sam Liebmann. 74' (United Kingdom, Brazil)

For Vito and his family, precarity is a daily reality in Rocinha. On some days gunshots can be heard across the throng of huts embedded in Rio’s steep mountainous landscape. On these days, the family will sit, huddled on the floor of their tiny hut, until they cease. On other days, Vito gazes up at the hut that is home and shelter to his family, to assess whether the fragile walls will hold up the ceiling for another day, or whether more earth will fall. Personal is political in the heart of one of Rio’s most conflict-ridden favelas. The precarity of daily life is mirrored in the structural precarity of the favela, which each day threatens to collapse. But this is life in Rocinha, and when a different kind of tragedy strikes for Vito, we witness the resilience and strength at the heart of this community.

21:30
Panorama
Directed by: Iris Zaki. 73' (United Kingdom, Israel)

Tekoa is a trendy hippie colony for Israeli settlers on the West Bank, where none of the controversial residents want to speak to the media. From the moment director Iris Zaki arrives from Tel-Aviv to the settlement, tension fills the air. She sets up a small pop-up film studio in the middle of the small town, and stays put for over one month in order to meet the local settlers face to face. A simple intervention, which creates a complex chain of reactions from those who eventually agree to talk to her. From a woman who in the middle of an interview admits to being a fascist, to another who has survived a knife attack by a young Palestinian – and has forgiven him. “Unsettling” is made by Iris Zaki alone as a social experiment that highlights the contrasts and contradictions of the settlers’ self-perception, but which does so in something as rare as an active conversation with them. A conceptual ploy that places Zaki’s film in the field between artistic practice and political activism, and which reaches beyond blind criticism.

 

 

Media

9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest | Trailer

Side Events

You can read about the side events of the 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest here:

9thEthnofest_Side_Events

21/11Wednesday
22/11Thursday
10:00-12:00
Educational screening (booked screening)

Educational screening for university students on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Ethnographic Cinema, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

13:00
Ethnographic cinema as cultural heritage

Presentations and panel discussion on the relationship between ethnographic cinema and the concept of cultural heritage. In this context, ethnographic cinema is a medium of documenting and representing cultural heritage, but also ethnographic films are themselves elements of cultural heritage. The speakers will be Villy Fotopoulou, head of the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and
Sports, Paris Potiropoulos, researcher at the Hellenic Folklore Research Centre of the Academy of Athens, and Christos Varvantakis, Ethnofest’s Head of Programming.

The discussion will take place in Ethniki venue, opposite to ASTOR cinema in Stoa Korai.

23/11Friday
09:00 - 13:30
Educational screening (booked screening)

Educational screening for students on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Ethnographic Cinema.

15:00
Masterclass: “Liv-in Stories. Creative Storytelling in Collaborative Ethnographic Practice” by Dr Alexandra D’Onofrio

Ethnography is first of all a practice of storytelling, and anthropologists are more and more accompanying their social analysis with narrative techniques and forms they borrow from literary, audio-visual and performative arts. But beyond providing a more engaging way to represent our findings, a variety of creative storytelling practices have been discussed as more effective ways to carry out fieldwork and to involve participants more collaboratively in our research. By showcasing some practical examples, this masterclass will invite participants to think about the following questions: what are the politics and ethics of storytelling? In what ways can we engage research participants in the representation of their stories? How may we include what doesn’t fit into a story? Is there and end to the story? 

*Dr Alexandra D’ Onofrio (Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology) is a visual anthropologist and filmmaker. Her film “It was Tomorrow” will screen at the 9th Ethnofest.

24/11Saturday
11:00
Open discussion: “The Present and Future of Visual Anthropology”

Open discussion between Rupert Cox (Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology), Caterina Sartori (Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival), Peter Biella (San Fransisco State University), Leonard Kamerling (University of Alaska Museum), Mattijs van de Port (University of Amsterdam), Konstantinos Aivaliotis (Greek Film Centre) and Christos Varvantakis (Ethnofest), with the participation of filmmakers whose films are screened at the festival, as well as with the audience.

*The discussion will take place in Ethniki venue, opposite to ASTOR cinema inside Stoa Korai.

14:00
Masterclass: “The Sound of the Sky being Torn: Three ethnographic experiments in the translation of science into art”, led by Dr Rupert Cox

“This masterclass will reflect on three interdisciplinary, collaborative projects around sound, one in Narita airport, Tokyo and the other two in the island of Okinawa, Japan that bring together practices and perspectives of anthropology, art practice and science to achieve outcomes that can have a public impact.

The association between aircraft noise, human health and everyday life is keenly negotiated in Japan because the findings of acoustic science are based on modelling, rather than a thorough assessment of the daily experiences of living with aircraft noise. I will discuss how these three projects drew on established and emerging ideas about collaboration and interdisciplinarity and about the relationships between sound, image and text. It will deal with the conception, process of making and presenting of these works and look at how their ethnographic value emerged from the use of the work of Japanese documentary artists in order to translate acoustic science data into descriptive and immersive multi-media (sound recordings and film).  Finally, I will consider what a social science perspective can bring to the Art-Science dyad.” – Dr Rupert Cox  

25/11Sunday
11:00
Panel discussion in the framework of the Themed Section “Critical Encounters: the European Refugee Crisis”, curated by Katerina Rozakou and Ifigeneia Anastasiadi

Panel discussion in the framework of the Themed Section “Critical Encounters: the European Refugee Crisis”, curated by Katerina Rozakou and Ifigeneia Anastasiadi

The curators will discuss with the filmmaker Alexandra d’ Onofrio and anthropologist Shahram Khosravi, on
the conditions of illegality and invisibility of migrants/refugees in modern Europe. There will be screenings
of parts from selected films of the Themed Section.

The curators welcome Dove Barbanel, Sakineh Hashemi, Brittany Nugent and Mahboubeh Tavakoli of the
Melissa Network’s Film Club, to a discussion on collaborative cinema.

Before the panel the following films will be screened:

Mahboubeh Feeds Athens (Greece, 2018, 4′)

(Mahboubeh Tavakoli, Dove Barbanel, Daphné Humbert, Fridoon Joinda, Michael Chen, Liza Damaskino, Konstantinos Zirganos-Kazoleos, Erwin Zareie, Brittany Nugent)

Mahboubeh is a young woman from Iran who has fled from her country and ends up homeless in Victoria Square in Athens. This film follows Mahboubeh cooking her mother’s recipes and giving food to homeless people in the streets of Athens.

Gita’s Story (Greece, 2018, 18′)

(Melissa Network Film Club, Brittany Nugent and Dove Barbanel)

Gita’s Story is a collaborative silent film, written and directed in the context of Melissa Network’s Film Club. The film is based on real events and was shot in Omonoia Square and in Kolonos, Athens. We follow Gita, an immigrant student, who is struggling to learn Greek at the public school of her neighbourhood.

*This event will take place in Technopolis City of Athens,on thegroundfloor of Innovathens.

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