JURY'S CHOICE 2021: Pioneers of Computer Animation, Ethnographic Classics and Documentary Hybrids

Jury’s Choice, the traditional section of the 25 FPS Festival, includes specially curated programmes of the Grand Jury members with the aim of presenting their aesthetic and thematic preoccupations in the field of art and experimental film to the local audience.

The Grand Jury of the 17th festival edition consists of the award-winning documentary filmmaker Pia Borg, German curator Katrin Mundt and new media artist Ivan Marušić Klif, who will present three equivalent Grand Prix to the best films in the international competition.

Spaces bordering between reality and fiction in the selection of the award-winning artist Pia Borg

The programme, selected by Maltese-Australian filmmaker Pia Borg, entitled Dye Replicants, brings together five intriguing titles bordering between fiction and documentary that critically examine and destroy the space between the real and the mediated, the original and the replica, based on different landscapes – from Australia and California to Qatar and Italy. The starting point of the selection is the author’s award-winning film Silica (Grand Prix, 25 FPS Festival 2017), which captures the transformation of a once bustling mining town into a desolate dystopian film set. In Shadowland (2014), Swedish filmmaker John Skoog outlines the history of Californian locations that served as a substitute for various international locations to the Hollywood industry, while the classic Australian experimental film Waterfall (Arthur and Corinne Cantrill, 1984) features an ethereal homage to the development of early colour films, which through innovative chromatic deviations transforms the Australian landscape into a metaphorical space of uninterrupted transformation.

Deconstructions of colonial narratives in curator Katrin Mundt’s programme 

German author and curator Katrin Mundt is presenting the Disorientation programme consisting of five films that deal with the ways and conditions under which we meet each other. These works are inspired by ethnographic and postcolonial studies in which innovative film procedures serve to reveal and deconstruct stereotypical narratives about the Other. The veteran of the Austrian avant-garde Lisl Ponger does so with the careful documentation of gatherings and celebrations of various migrant communities in Vienna (Phantom Foreign Vienna, 1991-2004), Australian visual artist Tracy Moffatt humorously compares the perspective of Aboriginal women and colonial narratives of white men (Nice Coloured Girls, 1987), and Sascha Reichstein’s tells an extremely tactile narrative of Indian fabric, whose history gradually reveals various forms of violence by British colonial rule (Patterns of the Conquerors, 2017).

A walk through the history of computer animation led by Ivan Marušić Klif

The award-winning new media artist and director of the Vector Hack festival Ivan Marušić Klif curated an exciting and very personal programme called X Is Left-Right, Y Is Up-Down, made up of a series of iconic, historical and contemporary titles within the field of computer art, which had significant formative influence on the author. Among them are the premiere of the pioneers of world computer animation and visual music John Whitney (Matrix III, 1972) and Larry Cuba (Calculated Movements, 1985), a selection of fascinating 1970s original creative and commercial films by Tomislav Mikulić, the former youngest member of New Tendencies and the founder of Croatian computer art, an unconventional self-portrait of the esteemed artist Steina Vasulka (Violin Power, 1970-78) in which the violin becomes a tool for generating images, and video work #67 (2016) by the award-winning Dutch master of analogue and digital machines Joost Rekveld (member of the Grand Jury at the 2010 25 FPS Festival) which immerses us in the abstract worlds of machines and humans through the frequencies of transmission lines and analogue video signals.

Critics’ jury

In addition to the members of the Grand Jury, the best festival films will be decided by a three-member Critics’ Jury, which this year consists of Michelle Koch, an Austrian film curator and writer, Ana Kovačić, a Croatian curator and producer at WHW Collective and Patrick Gamble, an independent film critic and curator of the ALT/KINO curatorial platform.

Photo: Nice Colored Girls, Matrix III, Silica