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Filmfest 3,14: Opening event

Filmfest 3,14 opening night: short film screenings and talk with Sara Rajaei, Siavash Kheirkhah, Alireza Bayat and Abirami Logendran

Welcome to the opening night of Filmfest 3,14 – a celebration of new Iranian film. We start off the festival with a screening of five short films, followed by a panel discussion with Iranian artists/filmmakers Sara Rajaei, Siavash Kheirkhah, and Alireza Bayat. The talk will focus on their own artistic work and on the critical potential of short films in an Iranian/Middle Eastern context. Blurring the boundaries between film and other visual arts, a common thread in the films showed this evenening is a sense of liminality: exploring physical, emotional and metaphorical in-between spaces that can also be read as allegorical of the filmmaker’s own identities as Iranians working in a Western cultural context. Is there a special communicative potential in the hybrid medium of short film?

The talk is moderated by artist and film critic Abirami Logendran and will be held in English.

Event program

18.00: Welcome and intriduction by festival curator Tuva Mossin, Kunsthall 3,14 

18.05: Film screenings

– Sadegh Arefi, The Labour (2023)

– Sara Rajaei, A composition in blue, red & other colors (2017)

– Siavash Kheirkhah, Diplopia (2021)

– Maryam Tafakory, Irani Bag (2020)

– Sara Rajaei, Yet another leap year (2022)

20.15: Panel discussion with Sara Rajaei, Siavash Kheirkhah, and Alireza Bayat, moderated by Abirami Logendran

About the panelists

Alireza Bayat is an Iranian freelance curator whose work centers around intersectionality and socio-political activism. Bayat is currently working as a senior research assistant at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He is the curator of the exhibition Can the Afghan Speak? currently on show at Kunsthall 3,14.

Siavash Kheirkhah is based in Bergen and works with photography, film and video. He investigates states of being through the triangle of remembrance, vision and memory as his main focuses. He especially interested in the notion of what he calls ‘in-betweenity’, which refers to an intricate space including the viewer’s perception and the narrative.Distance is a recurring theme in Kheirkhah’s work, as he explores different states of being in distance, and the distance itself. He aims to make experiences that evoke a sense of ambiguity, blurring the boundaries between dreamlike illusions and reality. He wants to immerse the audience in an experience where they feel like being lost, not in confusion, but in a state of bewilderment.

Abirami Logendran is an artist, curator, and writer based in Oslo. She has degrees in mathematics, history and screen cultures, as well as graphic design and fine arts. She is a film curator at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, and a film critic for the daily newspaper Klassekampen. She writes for magazines such as Montages, Vinduet and Wuxia and is the current editor of the Norwegian Art Yearbook.

Sara Rajaei is an Iranian/Dutch video artist and filmmaker based in The Netherlands. In her work, she studies the notion of time by reflecting on the absence of image, memory psychology, oral history, narrative techniques, and physical/psychological space. Her artistic oeuvre consists of short films and video installations, which remain between storytelling and imagery. After she graduated from the Royal Academy of Art The Hague in 2002, Rajaei attended a 2-year residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam.
In 2009, she was awarded Prix de Rome basic prize. Her work has been exhibited and screened at various art venues and festivals around the world, including de Appel Arts Center, Stroom Den Haag, Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales Paris Berlin Madrid, Art Brussels, Kunsthall 3,14, Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art Rijeka/Croatia, Galerie Nouvelles Images, Tent Rotterdam, and many more.