Kino Kabaret’, which is open to anyone who dreams of making a short film, begins at 4 p.m. today

The Kino Kabaret, a filmmaking challenge, where participants write, shoot, edit and present a film within a deadline of a few hours beginning on Friday will set the stage for a week-long celebration of cinema coinciding with the golden jubilee celebrations of Auroville.

The fifth edition of the Auroville Film Festival (AVFF), Auroville’s biennial film event, is scheduled to begin on Saturday and go on till December 23.

The Kino Kabaret will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and end at 6 p.m. on December 17 after featuring “over 50 hours of filming together”. The Auroville Kino Kabaret has generously stretched the time limit from 48 to 50 hours as an ode to the 50th anniversary celebrations of Auroville.

The Kino movement began in Canada in 1999, where participants would gather once every month to screen short films made using the barest of technical or financial resources.

There are over 60 Kino cells operating worldwide, and Kino Auroville is a proud collaborator. Kino Kabarets are events where invited artists collaborate to create films.

The Kino Kabaret in Auroville is open to just about anyone who dreams of making a film. Filmmakers from other Kino cells are warmly invited to participate. Participation in the Kino Kabaret is free of charge and open to anyone. Those interested can register by emailing kino@auroville. with the subject line ‘Registration for Kino Kabaret’.

Like previous editions, AVFF ’17 will focus on themes of human unity, and will feature films across four categories – films by residents of Auroville and the bio-region; films about Auroville and the bio-region; films by students of Auroville and the bio-region; and international films that develop the theme of human unity.

The jubilee edition will feature more than 60 films by Aurovilians, 25 films about Auroville, 20 films by students around Auroville and the bio-region, and around 50 hours of films that tackle themes related to human unity.

Eminent jurists

The jury will include such eminent figures as Nora Bateson, award-winning filmmaker, educationist and president of the International Bateson Institute, Sweden, and Aravindan GP, cinematographer from the bio-region.

According to organisers, the AVFF aims to showcase films that attempt to foster a deeper understanding of the aspirations of Auroville through a creative engagement with the medium of cinema, as well as turning film-viewing from a passive activity into an intimate dialogue between artist and audience.

The festival will screen films that reflect the creative, experimental and spiritual research Auroville is dedicated to.

The event is a project of the MMC/CP (Multimedia Centre/Cinema Paradiso), which holds daily screenings of films from around the world at the MMC auditorium, a 124-seater, state-of-the-art facility in the Town Hall area of Auroville — in fact, the results of the Kino Kabaret will be screened at MMC/CP on December 17 as part of the festival.

Running alongside the largely crowd-funded AVFF are a host of other events adding to the cultural variety: art installations and live music by artists residing in Auroville, panel discussions, poster exhibitions on the role of cinema in developing human unity, where posters of the participating films will be displayed, and an exhibition of paintings by Dominique Jacques, featuring postage stamp designs commemorating 50 years of Auroville.

Adding to the atmosphere of fun will be the Auroville Food Festival which represents Auroville’s seamless blend of multiple cultures through their respective cuisines.

The event, which brings to the platter traditional cuisines from across the world, is hosted by Anveshan, a centre for experiential learning, along with the Auroville community at large. The festival intends to reflect how Auroville has assimilated people from multiple cultures, and each day of the event will celebrate the cuisine of a particular region. Apart from the rich variety of cuisine in India, the Festival will feature the culinary traditions of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, and one day will be devoted exclusively to vegan food.

The food service will reflect the spirit of Auroville and the intent is not to make profit, but to bring together the diverse Auroville community and showcase the food habits of their cultures. The event will be held at the Town Hall area.

(originally published in The Hindu – DECEMBER 15, 2017)