Avant-garde Icons and Independent Film Labs at Analogue Film Symposium

In addition to a rich international and Croatian competition, the festival is organising for the first time the symposium Analogue Film in the Digital Age, a film-discursive program dedicated to contemporary trends in analogue film, focusing this year is the challenges of distribution and cinema screening. 

The symposium consists of two specially curated programmes of films from independent film laboratories, a round table with distinguished local and foreign guests, and an exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Paris archive and experimental film distributor Light Cone.

In defence of the film tape – a presentation of independent film laboratories from France and Latvia

“In spite of the many coroners who were quick to bury it with the advent of the digital camera, with this programme we want to show that celluloid as an artistic medium is very much alive. Moreover, over the past ten years we have witnessed an unprecedented growth of the so-called independent film laboratories, small inclusive collectives that offer knowledge, tools and space for working with analogue film to all interested parties. There filmmakers and artists explore and expand the possibilities of the media in a very innovative way, not only in the artistic but also in the technical sense, for example by developing alternative formulas for film development or by modifying and hacking analogue projectors for the needs of audiovisual performances,” says the curator of the programme Ejla Kovačević.

A special programme of films from the Parisian L’Abominable, one of the oldest and largest film laboratories, will be presented by the French documentarian Emmanuel Falguières. For the local audience he selected four intriguing, recent works that deal with phenomena invisible to the eye in stylistically different ways. Among them, we highlight the new film by Alexandre Larose (I., 2022), a renowned French-Canadian artist and festival winner who won the Grand Prix and the Critics’ Award in 2014 for the film brouillard – passage #14. The programme L’Abominable is shown on Friday, September 23 at 4 pm.

A valuable and rare insight into the contemporary Baltic experimental scene will be provided by Ieva Balode, a Latvian film artist and one of the founders of Baltic Analog Lab. In her programme, we will see ten very intimate, self-reflexive works that directly or indirectly reflect on experiences during the pandemic, and will be available for viewing on September 22 at 4 pm.

The avant-garde film icons at the exhibition at the French Institute

Emmanuel Lefrant, a film artist and director of Light Cone (Paris) – the largest and most important experimental film archive and distributor in Europe – is the third distinguished guest of the symposium whose new film Per una selva oscura we will see in the main competition. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Light Cone, the festival will host the SCRAPBOOK exhibition at the French Institute (Preradovićeva 5), ​​a unique micro-collection of personal items and artifacts of avant-garde and experimental film icons (Michael Snow, Peter Gidal, Rose Lowder, Maurice Lemaître, Peter Tscherkassky...) whose films Light Cone has been archiving and distributing for years. These works are also collected in the Scrapbook book, which was published early this year and will be available for purchase during the exhibition. Emmanuel Lefrant, who is also the curator of the Zagreb exhibition, will speak live about the context of the exhibition, the history of the archive and the challenges of distributing experimental films at the exhibition opening, on September 22 at 12 noon. The exhibition remains open until October 9, and can be viewed on weekdays from 12:00 to 19:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00.

With the aim of opening a broader discussion about the status of analogue film in the film industry, specific problems and potential solutions in today’s challenging distribution and cinema screening sector, a round table will be held on Friday, September 23 at 12:00 in the Kino Kinoteka, at which Emmanuel Lefrant, Ieva Balode, Emmanuel Falguières and Petra Belc, a prominent Croatian film scholar and researcher of Yugoslav experimental film, will participate.