Delhi: Open Frame Festival

I am sitting in Dada's house in Hardawr now, the fabulous Open Frame Festival in Delhi is over for me, and the Monsoon rain gives me the time to reflect the last days that were so filled with deep impressions and meetings.


It all started on Saturday after the arrival at The India Habitat Center ...

Download presentation!

... a beautiful estate and club dedicated to the cultures and the environment of India. I was met for lunch by Pauline Püschel and Malavika Venugopal of Max Mueller Bhavan's programme department who had invited me in the first place. Two amazing young ladies who although from different backgrounds are both dedicated to their jobs to make cultures meet.

They introduced me to Tulika and Ridhima who have ep'ed many a documentary for PSBT (Public Services Broadcasting Trust), an organization that, dedicated to enabling the art of documentary film-making, has been staging Open Frame for the last 10 years.

Some more screenings and I was only ready for bed after last nights long flight to Delhi via Dubai. Of course I could go on and on here about the many documentaries really worth mentioning during the next couple of days. But to keep the subject kind of straight here, I will only name the outstanding production on Burma that I saw on my last night in Delhi: Shot entirely with tiny digital video cams the film gives a heartbreaking and almost unreally authentic insight of the happenings in Burma in 1987 when Buddhist Monks and students alike took to the streets of Rangoon to demonstrate their urge for freedom and democracy in that beautiful country, strangled by a military junta. The scenes from the days in late September when the junta's military and police force cleared Rangoon's streets to a deadly silence were of such a heartbreaking intensity that I will probably not forget them in the foreseeable future.

On Sunday morning it was my time to present a lecture on the Web's influences on filmmaking at the Stein Auditorium. The presentation that I dedicated to my Indian teacher, the late Harish Johari, was received with intense interest and warm sympathy at the same time. And the following discussion of more than one hour encompassing the threads and challenges as well as the vast opportunities that the Web imposes on media production had me all but amazed. Seasoned journalists and young film-makers, students and media-pros talked about their own experiences and asked profound questions regarding their interests. I felt honored and blessed to be able to lay out my views to this one of a kind audience.

Monday was filled with an all-day workshop on the same subjects. Extending my presentation to the more practical aspects, platforms and resources for media artists and producers lead into lively discussions not only with me but between the participants as well. And we not only discussed media but also the more than diverse backgrounds of the activities the participants have been involved with. It would take too much time and space here to report them all. But there were Internet veterans working for the APNIC (Asia Pacific NIC) and print journalists, social-media activists and IT-Pros, people from Assam and from South India talking with students and media-execs from Delhi. Their intense exchange of ideas, experience and valuable information maybe for the first time in a setting like this was all but mind-blowing - and I loved it.

Unfortunately I cannot report these discussions here, but at least I can provide my presentation that is now ready for download here.

And finally I would like to thank everybody involved in making the exceptional event possible and to everybody who contributed to it, one way or the other.

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