Re-founding life, fabulating with cinema at the frontier

Publicado em 01/08/2023

"cinema exists only as an unstable frontier"
Jacques Ranciére

How the world and ways of life are fabricated through cinema? "A film is a film" (Grunewald), but what worlds does it inhabit and create?  Cinema is neither a mere representation of reality nor a mere artifact of entertainment, even less a combination of elements of a language rigidly constituted for the functionality of a Western type of narrative. From film, singular experiences are summoned among everything that lives and can become an image or phonogram.

In a complementary and opposite way, emerging by nature and constantly reinvented by collectivities, the films of the programs Cineastas na Fronteira, Cadmo e o Dragão, as well as the closing film of the 5th edition of Fronteira - International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, which takes place at Cine Brasília, from August 29 to September 3, 2023, are fabulatory actions on the frontier. In works that are acts of speech that are not separated from the performances of the bodies they embody (Leda Maria Martins) and that are not separated from the writings of the history of their territories. The aim is to contact the films as in a trance, in a ritual, so that we can re-elaborate the fable in the fabulation alongside the "crossroads that reinvent paths, access traces and reterritorialize extraordinary moments" (Leda Maria Martins).

The errancy is a place (Rancière) and it situates us between the documentary and the experimental, these minority traditions of cinema. If fabulation escapes the notion of mimesis, it does not comply with the dominant fiction (Rancière). This is a way of saying why this is a festival dedicated to documentary and experimental film. When we remove hegemonic fiction from the horizon, what can we see, feel, perceive, think? The subordinacy of the real to the possible, the institution of a falsifying ethnography in documentary practice, fiction as ethics, the politics of difference, the forces of belonging (and non-belonging), the wanderings, the activisms, the archives, the passions, radical subjectivations and reconstitutions. The gestures of filming the world in its harshness and fascination make the material realm of the creative gesture almost indiscernible.

The documentary and experimental fields are confluent (Nego Bispo). And in confluence with the land and the people living on it, they are counter-hegemonic and taken by the powers of the faux (Deleuze). They fabulate freely, they fold into themselves, effectively, as border places, borders of language that summon the human and the non-human. Thus, we do not commit ourselves to a discourse about the real and say, "there is life beyond perception" (Brakhage).

We are at the frontier, and we invite everyone to get to know our selection of films. If Fronteira is the platform for research and dissemination of minoritarian cinemas that we created in 2014, it has also started to bring together more people and hypotheses. Fronteira is a place that has many temporalities.

The selection includes films by directors already known by Fronteira that will have their premiere in Brazil, such as Bani Koshnoudi, Jodie Mack, Parastoo Anoushahpour, Rebecca Baron and Douglas Goodwin, Sylvia Schdelbauer, Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado, Jacques Perconte, Ana Vaz, Ben Rivers and Céline Conderelli, Alexandra Cuesta, Mike Hoolboom and Saif Alsaegh. We will also have the honor of screening the new films by Claudio Caldini, Takashi Makino, Moyra Davey, Gaelle Rouard, Pablo Mazzollo, Giuseppe Spina and Giulia Mazzone, Nilles Atallah, Fergus Daly and Katherine Waugh, the collective film by Sophia Bohdanowicz, Burak Çevik and Blake Williams, as well as the great new film by master Júlio Bressane co-directed with Rodrigo Lima. In addition, prominent films by young directors such as Nour Ouyada, Halik Azeez, Genesis Valenzuela, Medhi Jahan, Niina Suominen, Sanaz Sorabi, Marina Herrera, Theo Montoya, as well as Noé Rodriguez whose new film Frog Moon will have its world premiere.

Among the Brazilian films, we will present the world premiere of the new films by Júlia de Simone and Ricardo Pretti (Rapacidade), Leonardo Amaral, Ralph Antunes and Pedro Maia de Britto (Tudo o que vi era o sol) and the most recent works by João Pedro Bim, Tetsuya Maruyama, Cláudia Cárdenas and Juce Filho, Morzaniel Iramari, Florença Neves and Lucas Tavares, Breno Baptista, Daniel Neves and Renato Queirós, Bernardo Oliveira and Saskia, Rodrigo Ribeiro-Andrade and Vinícius Gonçalves and Leonardo Hecht - representatives of Brasília in the main section. Among the works coming from the Federal District, we will have the world premiere of Silvino Mendonça's new work (Paisagem em Chamas), as well as films directed by Camilla Shinoda and Tiago de Aragão, Amanda Devulsky and Maurício Chades.

The selection of these films creates a constellation of multiple experiences that, gathered from the various programs, unfold in a dissident kaleidoscope offering other ways of reading and experiencing the world and cinema.

It is necessary to understand and sometimes question technologies and modes of production, exhibition, and access to cinema. And it is worth thinking critically about the undeniable presence of streaming. How can we build exhibition spaces that privilege non-hegemonic territories and means of creation and fruition?  In this way, why does a film come to ally itself with a festival? And if we remove the market from the horizon, what is left for a film festival that can still produce symbolic value and knowledge from films? We are thinking of it at the frontier where networks are relationships, and each relationship an adventure. The communities that formulate the films weave life with them. And the insurgencies are what maintain the seams of this network, a form of resistance and a fabulation of how to be in the world, something that is always about to collapse. The images and sounds that participate in this insurgency open the detours and inhabit the frontier. The frontier is unstable, as is cinema.

As Jacques Rancière (2019) suggested, there is a work of images to be done: "(...) the vision of this work is clearly opposed to the dominant perspective of the image as a passive reality, destined for the consumption of passive beings. Images are not passive. They work to transform the visibility of beings and things: the way they are visible, but also the very forms of visibility". The gesture intervenes on "how to do" and contrasts it with the "why to do" images. In this sense, Rancière still points out, better explained by his commentator Andrea Soto Calderón (2019): "the central question is no longer 'how to produce images', but 'what do images do', 'what operations do they build'.

It is a fact that access to film and audiovisual productions (the very possibility of making films and releasing them to the world) is quite asymmetrical in terms of class, gender, race and territory. It is therefore understood that it is essential that there are new programmers, researchers, teachers, producers, distributors, directors, film students developing a perception in favor of insurgent, buried and/or historically excluded cinemas. We think of curatorship and its ethical developments as in the concept of Castiel Vitorino (2021) and Aline Vila Real (2018), such as "healing", which is related to an idea of reparation.

Yet, the exhibition spaces, windows and media have historically been hegemonically occupied by the North American/European film industry, which has a male, white and cisgender majority. The production, somewhat more vast and undeniably more numerous than its spaces of fruition, also suffers from the same hegemonies. How to intervene in the organization of an excluding visibility system such as film?

We are re-founding Fronteira - International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival in the central plateau of Brazil. We welcome you all.

Curators of the V Fronteira – International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival
Ana Flávia Marú, Camilla Margarida, Henrique Borela, Juliane Peixoto, Marcela Borela e Rafael Castanheira Parrode.



Eu vejo a escuridão / I see a darkness/ Katherine Waugh e Fergus Daly / Irlanda / 2023 / 134’(international premiere)–opening film.
Anti-cosmos / idem / Takashi Makino / Japão / 2022 / 16’ (brazilian premiere)
Antfilm / idem/Tetsuya Maruyama / Brasil / 2022 / 2’
Aqui onde tudo acaba / Here where everything ends / Cláudia Cárdenas e Juce Filho / Brasil / 2023 / 19’ 
Bezuna / idem / Saif Alsaegh / EUA / 2023 / 7’ (brazilian premiere)
Bloom / idem / Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado / Espanha / 2023 / 18’ (brazilian premiere)
Cabeça de Ouro /Golden Headacher / Niina Suominen / Finlândia / 2022 / 17’ (brazilian premiere)
Caixa Preta / Black Box / Saskia e Bernardo Oliveira / Brasil / 2022 / 50’ 
Canto Errante / Wandering Song/ Genesis Valenzuela / Espanha, República Dominicana / 2022 / 6’ (brazilian premiere)
Cenas de Extração / Scenes of Extraction / Sanaz Sorabi / Canadá, Irã / 2023 / 43’ (brazilian premiere)
Chile 1973 / idem / Mike Hoolboom / Canadá / 2022 / 8’ (brazilian premiere)
Depois do Trabalho /After Work/ Ben Rivers e Céline Condorelli / Reino Unido / 2022 / 13’ (brazilian premiere)
Desert Dreaming / idem / Abdul Halik Azeez / Sri Lanka / 2022 / 11’ (brazilian premiere)
El Chinero, un cerro fantasma / El Chinero, a phantom hill / Bani Khoshnoudii / França, México / 2023 / 11’ (brazilian premiere)
Escuridão Flamejante /Darkness, Darkness Burning Bright/ Gaelle Rouard / França / 2022 / 73’ (brazilian premiere)
Heroínas / idem / Marina Herrera / Peru / 2022 / 21’ 
Imagem-tempo / Image-Time / Daniel Neves, Renato Queiroz / Brasil / 2022 / 5’
O jardim secreto /The secret garden/ Nour Ouayda / Líbano / 2023 / 27’ (brazilian premiere)
A longa viagem do ônibus amarelo /The long voyage of the yellow bus/ Julio Bressane e Rodrigo Lima / Brasil / 2023 / 432’ 
Lua Sapo / Frog Moon / Noé Rodrigues / Espanha, Canadá / 2023 / 14' (world premiere)
Lubrina /Fog/ Leonardo Hecht, Vinícius Fernandes / Brasil /2023 / 17’(brazilian premiere)
Lungta /idem/ Alexandra Cuesta / México, Equador / 2022 / 10’ (brazilian premiere)
Luz Subterránea /Subterranean Light / Niles Atallah / Chile / 2022 / 14’ (brazilian premiere)
Mãri Hi - A árvore do sonho /Mãri Hi - The tree of dream / Morzaniel Iramari / Brasil / 2023 / 17’
Monumento à Desmemorialização / Monument to Dememorialization / Florença Francisco Fabiano Neves, Lucas Tavares / Brasil / 2022 / 5’ 
M*U*S*H* / idem / Jodie Mack / EUA / 2022 / 8’ (brazilian premiere)
The Newest Olds / idem / Pablo Mazzolo / Argentina, Canadá / 2022 / 15’ (brazilian premiere)
No Começo, a Mulher Era o Sol / In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun / Sylvia Schedelbauer / Alemanha / 2022 / 17’ (brazilian premiere)
Ópera Cavalo /Horse Opera/ Moyra Davey / EUA / 2023 / 60’ (brazilian premiere)
Panteras /Angels / Breno Baptista / Brasil / 2022 / 38’
Para onde vão os velhos deuses que o mundo ignora? /Where do the old ignored gods go?/ Giuseppe Spina, Giulia Mazzone / Itália / 2022 / 67’ (brazilian premiere)
A portas fechadas /Behind Closed Doors/ João Pedro Bim / Brasil / 2023 / 66’  
Promesa / idem / Cláudio Caldini / Argentina / 2022 / 3’ (brazilian premiere)
O que teria havido se não houvesse nada? /What would have been there had there been nothing? / Mehdi Jahan / Índia / 2023 / 7’ (brazilian premiere)
Rapacidade / Rapacity / Julia de Simone, Ricardo Pretti / Brasil / 2023 / 44’ (world premiere)
Silesilence /idem/ Jacques Perconte / França / 2022 / 15’ (international premiere)
Solmatalua / idem / Rodrigo Ribeiro-Andrade / Brasil / 2022 / 15’ 
O tempo que nos separa /The Time That Separates Us/ Parastoo Anoushahpour / Jordânia, Palestina, Canadá / 2023 / 35’ (brazilian premiere)
Tudo que vi era o sol / All I could see was the sun / Leonardo Amaral, Pedro Maia de Brito, Ralph Antunes / Brasil / 20’ (world premiere)
Uma mulher escapa /A Woman Escapes/ 79' / Sofia Bohdanowicz, Blake Williams e Burak Çevik / Canadá,Turquia / 2022 / 79’ (brazilian premiere)
O vizinho mais próximo /Nearest neighbor / Rebecca Baron e Douglas Goodwin / EUA / 2023 / 23’ (brazilian premiere)


A Árvore /idem/Ana Vaz / Espanha, Brasil / 2022 / 20’ (brazilian premiere)
Cemitério Verde / Green Cemetery / Maurício Chades / Brasil / 2023 / 25’   
Luta pela Terra / Fight for the land / Camilla Shinoda e Tiago de Aragão / Brasil / 2022 / 29’
Paisagem em Chamas / Burning Landscape / Silvino Mendonça / Brasil / 2023 / 7’ (world premiere)
Vermelho Bruto / Rough Red /Amanda Devulsky / Brasil / 2022 / 325’  


ANHELL 69 /idem/ Theo Montoya / Colômbia / 2022 / 74’