For the 8th consecutive year, the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest returned at the city center, introducing a selection of the best ethnographic productions of the last few years, organizing interesting tributes, discussions, panels and a masterclass, and underlining the exciting present and the dynamic future of visual anthropology and ethnographic documentary.

From the 22nd till the 26th of November, 3,000 people visited ASTOR cinema, in order to watch the screenings, talk to filmmakers and exchange points of view, creating a warm and lively festival atmosphere. More than 50 films were screened and took the audience to cinematic journeys from Brazil to China, from Ghana to Australia, from Indonesia to Greece – to name but a few of the places depicted in the films of this year’s edition. Anthropologists and other social scientists, students and filmmakers from all over the world explored, observed, touched, tasted, smelled and captured fragments of the lives of people and groups from various parts of the world, turning these captures into stunning visual experiences. We were very happy to host many filmmakers in the festival where they presented their films, discussed with the audience in the screening room and beyond, and shared their views and experiences.

The educational aspect of the 8th Ethnofest included a wonderful masterclass on “Editing in Documentary Filmmaking”, led by award-winning film editor and filmmaker Isabelle Ingold and her collaborator and visual artist Vivianne Perelmuter. Also, for the second consecutive year, a series of school screenings were held, in order to familiarize school children with the genre of ethnographic film and to provide them with stimuli and alternative means of learning and seeing.

This year the festival decided to focus on the Environment, a very important contemporary issue for our society. So, the tribute “Man and the Environment” played an important role in the programme of Ethnofest’s eighth edition a tribute which was realized in the framework of Ethnofest’s collaboration with the Division of Modern Cultural Assets and Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Ministry of Culture and it was implemented by the Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and its co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek National Funds. Within the context of this tribute, seven films were screened, including “Alima”, an Ethnofest production in collaboration with MedINA while the parallel events of this tribute, including a panel discussion, “Small places in the 21st century: old challenges, new perspectives” were curated by Alexis Katsaros, member of MedINA organization, and Calliope Stara, post-doctoral researcher at the University of Ioannina

The special themed section of the 8th Ethnofest titled “Filming Labour and Precarity” was guest-curated by the anthropologists Dimitra Kofti (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology) and Mao Mollona (Goldsmiths College, University of London). Our dear guests chose eight films and they organised a panel discussion on ‘Labour and Precarity’, with the participation of the filmmakers Jasmina Metwaly (“Out on the Street”) and Apostolos Karakasis (“Next Stop: Utopia”).

The eighth edition of Ethnofest included two special screenings: the anniversary screening of John Marshall’s exceptional film “The Hunters”, a visual encyclopedia of the life of the !Kung in Africa, and the screening of the participatory documentary “The Maribor Uprisings”. On the latter, the audience watched a demonstration and had the opportunity to collectively decide on the route. 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, were screened. Finally, a new section, called “Greek Ethnographies”, was inaugurated. The aim of this section is to present films that explore and reflect upon social and cultural practices in Greece through the ethnographic lens.

After this very successful, eighth edition, the Ethnofest team would like to thank you for the support. See you at the 9th Ethnofest!

Curators: Alexis Katsaros (MedINA), Calliope Stara (University of Ioannina)

The past decades have been marked by rapid and fundamental changes in the everyday life of rural and mountain communities and in the management of natural resources, with multiple implications for the environment, social structures and land use. On the one hand, the ongoing process of urbanization has inevitably contributed to the gradual and at times full abandonment of inland locations -especially mountainous areas- and islands.  On the other hand, the predominant model of economic growth has been -and still is- largely based on the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, with no particular concern in preventing or mitigating environmental impacts and landscape degradation nor with sustaining cultural heritage and quality of life in the long term.

Against these complex issues, alternative approaches have emerged that promote the values ​​of sustainability and quality of life in an ‘idyllic’ cultural and natural environment that presents itself as a response to the shortfalls of urbanization and gives particular emphasis to the dynamics of local communities and participative ways of management and governance. To what extent can such attempts of ‘selective emigration to the countryside’ combined with modern needs, technological advances, new ways of thinking, creativity and focused action help us shape a different future?

 

The tribute entitled “Man and the Environment” is implemented by the Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and its co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek National Funds. The film tribute has free admission and it’s accessible to disabled people.

 

In an era of deepening precarity and deregulation of work, this themed section of Ethnofest is dedicated to films on labour, attempting to critically reflect on the relationships between film processes, aesthetics and the politics of representation. Through a review of contemporary visual approaches to labour, the section engages with questions, such as: How can processes of filmmaking cast a critical light on different forms of material and immaterial labour? What insights can films on labour bring on the dynamics of contemporary capitalism? The films of the section include visual approaches to labour, precarity, unemployment, unpaid work, job-seeking and migration. They also include issues of employment inequalities, inclusions and exclusions through labour and their intertwinement with relations of gender, ethnicity and age.

Based on an open call for films engaging with an ethnographic gaze, including documentary, docufiction, participatory and other artistic forms of filmmaking, the programme includes different contemporary filmic approaches to work, in a wide context both in terms of production and geographically: conditions of exhaustion in shopping malls in Italy (“Life in the Mall”), in a wasteland of electronics in Ghana, where millions of devices converge from all over the world (“E-wasteland”), migratory narratives and desires for family reconnections by Ukrainian migrants (“Road of a migrant”), mass production in China (“Long yearning”), a workers’ cooperative at a bankrupted factory (VIOME) in Thessaloniki (Next stop: Utopia), histories of political tensions and resistances in factories in Cairo, as presented by a workers’ acting laboratory (“Out in the Streets”). The themed section is curated by Dimitra Kofti (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology) and Mao Mollona (Goldsmiths College, University of London).

On this section, the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival presents films that explore and reflect upon the social and cultural practices in Greece through the ethnographic lens.

AMA-SAN
2016
Japan / Switzerland / Portugal

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).

School Screenings

School Screenings

Panel discussion for the themed section “Labour and Precarity”

Panel discussion for the themed section “Labour and Precarity” and film screening. The curators Dimitra Kofti and Mao Mollona present questions and issues concerning this year’s themed section, and invite the filmmakers Jasmina Metwaly (“Out on the Street”) and Apostolos Karakasis (“Next Stop: Utopia”) to a discussion on, and beyond, their work.

The dicussion will be followed by the screening of the film:

“Out on the Street (Egypt, 2015, 70′)

Directed by: Jasmina Metwaly, Philip Rizk

On a rooftop overlooking the heart of Cairo -presented as a space between fact and fiction- nine working class men participate in an acting workshop where directors create characters and stories inspired by workers’ real lives.

Masterclass with Isabelle Ingold and Vivianne Perelmuter

Μasterclass on “Editing in documentary filmmaking” by award-winning film editor and filmmaker, Isabelle Ingold and her colleague, Vivianne Perelmuter.

Panel discussion: "Small places in the 21st century: Old challenges, new perspectives"

Panel discussion for the themed section “Man and the Environment”.

The curators of the section, Alexis Katsaros and Calliope Stara, invite the audience to an open discussion concerning the complex issues, among which preserving the environment and the changes in the rural and mountainous communities of Greece.

Participants in the discussion will be Sophia Ifanti and Vassilis Konstantinides (Residents of Thermos municipality and representatives of the Research, creativity and development institute of Thermos, Yiorgos Keranis (Vovousa Festival) and Yiorgos Makris (Artistic director of Zagoriwood).

The discussion will be coordinated by Villy Fotopoulou, Head of the Directorate of Modern Cultural Assets and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The tribute entitled “Man and the Environment” is implemented by the Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and its co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek National Funds. The film tribute has free admission and it’s accessible to disabled people.