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FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR) was conceived in 2015 as a laboratory to engage with new visions of the cinema of the real, supporting the exhibition, production and distribution of innovative and politically aware cinematic languages. Led by Nico Marzano, the festival amplifies ICA Cinema’s commitment to nurturing and connecting avant-garde filmmakers and artists with cinema-goers as an essential experience, acting as part of a community while striving to protect fragile and inspiring forms of artistic production. FoR returns to the Institute of Contemporary Arts from Thursday 25 November to Saturday 4 December 2021, with tickets currently on sale. The 2021 iteration presents 20 premieres from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe within this year’s thematic focus of (Re)Imagining. The programme explores film practices at the intersection of image production, collaboration and fabulation, while also touching on notions and ideas relating to co-creation, direct observation, manipulation and the ethical implications of artistic practice.

Still from Archipel (Archipelago) by Félix Dufour-Laperrière. Courtesy ICA London

Marzano, the ICA’s Head of Cinema and the founder of FRAMES of REPRESENTATION, tells: “Foregrounding the crossover between fiction and nonfiction, FoR addresses storytelling and the moving image from multiple perspectives. This year’s thematic focus of (Re)Imagining considers film as a craft, as a means of artistic production and as a way of eliciting experimentation. Showcasing different and distinct approaches to storytelling, FoR21will explore the converging responsibilities of the filmmaker, the framed subject and the viewer: all living and concurring parts in the processes of creation, co-creation and reimagination of cinematic languages.”

Still from A Night of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia. Courtesy ICA London

Among the programme’s highlights is a screening of A Night of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia; winner of the best documentary award at Cannes, Kapadia’s immersive work addresses the political complexities of contemporary India. On Friday 26 November, join a workshop with the Radio Alhara collective, birthed in spring 2020 with the intention of connecting people across the Middle East and North Africa in reaction to the pandemic’s impact on global creative communities, followed by a performance from sound platform Recordat. On Saturday 27, experience a rare and intimate live concert from the experimental musician, composer and artist Daniel Blumberg, blurring the boundaries between songform and free improvisation. Later, screenings of features by Todd Chandler and Theo Anthony respectively examine American gun violence through the lens of the safety rituals now required in thousands of US schools, and question the idea of the objective lens in reference to 21st-century American policing.

Still from The Tale of King Crab (Re Granchio) by Alessio Rigo de Righi & Matteo Zoppis. Courtesy ICA London

In addition to the premieres, FoR 2021 also features the second edition of PROGRESSIO. This pioneering platform was launched in 2019 by the ICA, in association with Cineteca Madrid and the Sundance Institute in the US, to support independent filmmakers in the development of feature-length projects by engaging with the aesthetic and political aspects of their works and facilitating exchanges with key industry guests. This year, Marine de Contes and Tamer El Said have been invited to share their upcoming feature films.

Still from All Light, Everywhere by Theo Anthony. Courtesy ICA London

An annual highlight of the festival is the day-long symposium titled ‘how to think: Radio Silence’, which this year takes the form of a community radio broadcast, bringing together intimate and informal contributions from many illustrious academics. Other events on the programme include Zia Anger’s My First Film, an experimental and partly improvised multimedia performance that seeks to reinterpret conventional frameworks of the cinematic experience. FRAMES of REPRESENTATION 2021 will provide a space to question the idea of cinematic authorship, co-creation and control in the formation of the moving image, encouraging audiences to actively participate in discussions and form a collaborative community with filmmakers. An accompanying line-up of masterclasses, workshops, performances and director Q&As will further interrogate the relationships between creation, reality and artifice in relation to the programme.

Feature image: Still from El Gran Movimiento by Kiro Russo. Courtesy ICA London

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