Main Program 2021

11-16 of May, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow


Inanc Tekguc, Eda Elif Tibet

Morocco – Switzerland, 2020, 79’

The Ben Youssef family migrates every year from the desert-like landscape of Nkob to the green pastures of Igourdane. With their goats (number around 800), donkeys, mules, camels and dogs, each summer they embark on a formidable journey of resilience by foot. Overcoming difficult weather conditions with hot and dry days and cold nights, with limited access to food and water, the family makes their way through uneven terrain with steep climbs and descents, to reach the agdal before the official opening where all the right holders are allowed to take their livestock into the pastures. As part of this traditional system of communal natural resource management, the Ait Atta tribe preserves their ancestral right of access to the agdal dating back hundreds of years, even if it is often times denied and challenged by the villagers settled around. A sensorial ethnographic film on the incredible movement and (im)mobilities of the family and their herd, the film juxtaposes the hopes and constraints, obligations and sacrifices of a family torn apart between their traditions and their need to adapt to modern life. Stretching over the past, present and the future, the film provides an untimely intergenerational perspective on the essence and the very challenges of nomadism within an ever transforming Moroccan society.

Eda Elif Tibet is a Social and Visual Anthropologist. She filmed and directed award winning documentary films under her own label, a non- hierarchical collective run by academics, artists and activists. Her recent films are Ait Atta Nomads of the High Atlas (2020), Awakening a Fairy Tale (2020), Ballad for Syria (2017), Refugee Here I Am (2015), Hey Goat! (2014) AMCHI (2013), 28 Days on the Moon (2012). She is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the critical sustainability Unit at the Geography institute, University of Bern. She has obtained her PhD (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) from the University of Bern (Switzerland, 2019) and holds an MPhil degree on Social Anthropology from the University of Kent (UK, 2013). Her research and teaching encompass the relations between postcolonial thought and mobilities, the application of critical pedagogies as well as strategies of non-formal education, to social movements and the promotion of participatory action research. She is an advisory member of the Enacting Global Transformation Initiative at the University of Oxford. She is a core faculty member of Global Environments Summer Academy at the University of Oxford, and a founding member of ETHNOKINO a curatorial ethnographic film screening program taking place at the Kino in der Reitschule cinema in Bern, Switzerland.

Inanc Tekguc, photographer & videographer with background and interest in anthropology, biocultural diversity conservation and ethnographic documentation.

Inanc aims to synergize his photography and videography with his MA training in visual anthropology from the University of Kent (UK). His interests in community-based conservation and biocultural diversity have taken him to a handful of places around the world to carry out independent research, to do volunteer work or to contribute to local NGO projects. His experiences include making short films, visual geo-tagging and community mapping, community training in the use of visual tools, and documenting multidisciplinary research training and workshops. 

He collaborates creatively within the documentary filmmaking collective, Karma Motion, together with his long-time friend and colleague, Eda Elif Tibet.


Hady Mahmoud

Egypt, 2019, 45’

Inspired by the everyday struggle of Micro-bus drivers in Cairo, Flox, the title of the film and the name of the Volkswagen micro-bus as pronounced by Its drivers, is an observational documentary that looks at the intricate interplay between class and gender. Specifically, it explores how micro-bus drivers perceive and negotiate their masculinity in a mega-city like Cairo. For them, driving a difficult vehicle, handling inter-group conflict, struggling with poverty, surviving with substance abuse only made them wish not to foresee their children inheriting the same job. The film is about the beauty as well as the dark side of the chaotic life of the urban poor, who are forced to create a state within a state in order to live.

Hady Mahmoud was born in Ras Gharib, Red Sea, Egypt in 1988. Hady graduated from the Faculty of Literature History Department in 2010. After that, he started studying film directing in the high cinema institute of Cairo in 2011. Since 2014, Hady worked in the field as Assistant Director in many shorts, one Feature film “Poisonous Roses (2018)”, and tons of TV Commercials in Egypt. ‘Flox’ is his debut film. Hady was inspired to shoot this movie passing by the same bus station every day on his way to his film school. He was inspired by cinema verite and loved how the place was drawing in chaos, beautiful chaos, but also somehow organized too, Which took him on a journey to discover more about the place.


Lo Thivolle

France, 2017, 72’

We met at the university, each of us in its own loneliness. We met again years after on a town square bench. You were presiding like a King! Of strangers living in town like people of bygone days lived in the streets of a kingdom. You introduced me to your father, King of a Niger town and main character of a movie by Eliane De Latour. Together we watched Jean Rouch’s Mad Masters. This movie follows the stream of passing days, the intoxication of blurred nights, the wisdom born out of years spent together with cinema as a shared space.

Lo Thivolle In my thesis on urban anthropology, my encounter with J Rouch’s films led me to take a camera and stray into the paths of life in cinema by doing “As if…. ». Soon my meeting with Caroline Beuret and my various experiences with Gilles Dinnematin and Danilo Catti opened up a whole universe of possibilities for me. Then, it was my first job as assistant director of JF Neplaz in the star polygon. This confirmed my desire to de-realize images and sounds. I invite the verb to live, in connection with the two twin sisters, Marseille and Algiers. I try to live in the cinema, and maybe the world. There will be Vautier, Kateb, Zinet, Muel, Renaud, Kramer whom I look like fireflies in the distance, trying not to look too much behind. Recently, Ouhaib Mortada joined us, inviting us to visit these beautiful black mines, discover the history of Ahemd Bouanani… Recently, I have been going back to the heart of my cinema gesture by living in Fernand Deligny’s “the image is autistic”, and by discovering the images of his daughter Caroline.


Karine de Villers, Mario Brenta

Italy, 2018, 62’

The Cat’s Smile is a look at reality as it appears today in the streets and in the cities as an image of the crisis and the decline of Western Society in the era of globalization between extreme richness and extreme poverty, between homologation and loss of identity. A great fable, a collective lie of which the representation of everyday life is nothing but the disturbing metaphor. As disturbing as the cat’s smile in Alice in Wonderland.

Karine de Villers was born in Quito Ecuador and obtained a degree in Archeology and Art History in Brussels, where she met documentary film director Henri Storck who brought out her passion for cinema. She has started her collaboration with Mario Brenta in 2010, with whom she directed five films: Calle de la Pietà, Agnus Dei, Black Light, Body to Body, Delta Park and the last one The Cat’s Smile. Her previous works, all documentaries, are: I’m your neighbor, The Little Castle, How I see her and Luc de Heusch, Wild Thinking.

Mario Brenta, Film director, scriptwriter, director of photography, Mario Brenta has been working in the cinema for many decades. Among his film works, presented in the most important international film festivals Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montréal, London, S. Petersburgh, Istanbul, Cairo, Rotterdam, Valladolid, Montpellier… and awarded many prizes and recognitions, the most outstanding are: Barnabo delle Montagne, Maicol, Vermisat, Robinson in laguna, Effetto Olmi, Calle de la Pietà, La Pièce, Agnus Dei, Body to Body, Black Light, Delta Park and the last one The Cat’s Smile. As to television, Mario Brenta collaborated and is still collaborating with the broadcasting networks RAI 1, RAI 3, France 2, ARTE. He has also been teaching as a professor, since year 2000, Film Theory and Techniques and Film Iconology in the University of Padua and in various European universities as well as Film Directing in the national film schools of Italy, France, Belgium and Morocco. He has founded in 1982, together with Ermanno Olmi, the film school Ipotesi Cinema of the Cineteca di Bologna.


Farhad Varahram

Iran, 2019, 55’

Mohsen, Zinat’s eldest son, is studying for his MSc degree in electronics and computer in a university in Italy. Because of loneliness and years of separation from their children, Zinat and her husband convince their eldest son to return to Iran forever and marry the girl they have chosen for him. This film is the story of the wedding of Zinat’s son, which is held over six days in Salkh Village on Qeshm Island. Geographical Location of Salkh Village Qeshm is the largest island in Persian Gulf and Salkh is a small village in the south of the island. Most of the villagers are fishermen. Salkh Village is famous for two things: catching large sharks with the simplest fishing tools, which has been banned for some years, and the holding of indigenous rituals especially Zaar that is still held a few time a year.

Farhad Varahram was born in 1948 Boroujerd, Iran. Under graduated of camera work from excellent school of cinema and television • Cinema Directing, Faculty of Dramatic Arts • Job Responsibilities: Supervisor of photography and film unit in the department of anthropology – association of social studies of Tehran university Supervisor of photography and film and research assistant-Association of Iranian Peasant and Rural Research.

Фархад Варахрам родился в 1948 г. в Боруджерде (Иран). Окончил операторский факультет в высшей школе кино и телевидения. В настоящее время является научным руководителем отдела фотографии и кино на кафедре антропологии Ассоциации общественных исследований Тегеранского университета.


Liivo Niglas

Estonia, 2016, 72’

The Land of Love is a documentary film about reindeer, oil, politics and poetry. It tells a story about Yuri Vella, a Forest Nenets reindeer herder and poet who lives in the taiga of Western Siberia, and who tries to prove that one person can stand against the great power that is destroying the environment of the native people.

Liivo Niglas is currently a research fellow at the Department of Ethnology in University of Tartu, Estonia. He runs an independent production company Mp Doc for anthropological documentary films. He has made films in Siberia, Africa, Central Asia and North America. Some of his works are: The Brigade (2000), Yuri Vella’s World (2003), Adventure High (2004), Making Rain (2007), Fish On! (2008), Itelmen Stories (2010), Journey to the Maggot Feeder (2015).


 Ambra Reijnen, Rubi Tobias

The Netherlands, Mexico, 2019, 88’

Victoria is a young woman from a Mayan community of the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state. As an indigenous woman, she has to face different challenges in order to survive in a disadvantaged community where gender biased beliefs are commonplace. Nonetheless, Victoria is able to take pride of her rich cultural background, and to challenge all stereotypes by leading an all-female collective around the ancient tradition of back-strap weaving, enabling women to earn a living and offering new perspectives for the generations to come. Meanwhile, Arabelle, Victoria’s orphan niece, is growing up. How will Arabelle’s story be embroidered upon the tale Victoria is weaving for her? A story of women’s rights, indigenous emancipation, and a continuous battle to escape poverty.

Ambra Reijnen (1993) is a Dutch-Italian filmmaker based in Barcelona. She makes impact-driven documentaries. Her work has won multiple awards and screened at prestigious festivals and screening venues (Union Docs, Center for Documentary Art New York, a.o). Junax, thread by thread is her first self-produced feature length documentary.

Rubi Tobias is a Mexican anthropologist based in Bordeaux, France. With the documentary Junax, thread by thread, she debuts as a film director. She is currently involved in the writing of a book entitled Learning to Unlearn the Gender from the collection Diversity without violence of the Eón publishing house. Her main concern is to look for alternative representations other than the patriarchal view by presenting examples of women with voice and purpose.


Ilaria Vecchi

 UK – Japan, 63’

Tohoku Monogatari is an ethnographic film that talks about the Northeast of Japan, and in particular of the Itako mediums. The story, narrated through the experience of these female mediums and people involved with this tradition, conveys the sentiment of this very Tohoku-based practice. Through the words of three different female mediums and the people who gravitate around the places they frequent, the film shows a reality that has been changing and adapting during the last two decades. Therefore, the film not only traces the experiences and work of these “businesswomen” of the communication with spirits but recounts the places where this occurs: the house, the temple, the mountain, the north-east of Japan, linking practice to geography and vice versa. The film also questions concepts and forms of representation of shaman/medium figures that have influenced our understanding and fed exotic ideas on the subject.

Ilaria Vecchi is a researcher and a filmmaker focusing on media, religion and Asian affairs. In the past, she has filmed and written about the refugees’ situation in the Mediterranean Sea and Lampedusa. In 2015, Ilaria left the board of directors of the Lampedusa Film Festival to further her academic projects. In 2016 she turned her documentary project on the Itako mediums of Japan into her doctorate research. Since returning to academia, Ilaria has published articles on Itako, religion, visual ethnography, and critical approach to the study of religion in Japan. She is also working on the use of interactive documentary as a methodology of research in ethnographic studies. She is also a member of AAA, IVSA, and BASR.


Karin Kainer

Israel, 2019, 62’

In Tel Aviv several religious women are visiting a strict conservative beach area that is abiding the orthodox rules. Although the dialogues and pictures sometimes appear to be comical, there is a severe momentum to it. Kosher Beach invites us to reflect on and explore the inferior role of women within a patriarchic and religious community. At the kosher beach these women find a welcome change from the suburban town Bnei Brak where their lives are limited to the hieratic guidelines set by the rabbi. Away from all of that they can enjoy some kind of emancipation. But after the rabbi’s enactment to close it down, the women are fearing to lose their last bit of freedom.  

Karin Kainer is an award-winning documentary film director and photographer. Her films have been screened internationally in theaters and on television including Rinascita (2011) – winner Haifa Film Festival, Das iz der valt (2010) – Docu-Challenge winner at Docaviv Film Festival, Skate of Mind (2010) – winner at LAMA Film Festival Los Angeles, Jerusalem Film Festival Official Selection , Triaste Film Festival Florence, FIPA film festival Biarritz, Knowledge Network Canada, Al Jazeera, Brazil, Argentina, France 4, Abuja, Lagos (2009), South Wind on Hilton Beach (2007) –  Haifa Film Festival Official Selection, Hotdocs Toronto, and The Mann Auditorium (2006) – International Student Film Festival Official Selection.


Mitiku Gabrehiwot

Ethiopia, 2019, 40’

Dancing Grass is a film in the Guardians of Productive Landscapes series (editor Ivo Strecker). It captures the communal harvesting of teff among Tigreans of Northern Ethiopia. Teff, an ancient indigenous grain, is central to the livelihood of smallholder farmers and may be called the ‘cereal core’ of Ethiopian national food identity. A local elder provides the commentary for the sequence of events that unfold in the homestead, fields and neighbourhood of the author’s eldest brother and family: the cutting of the ‘dancing grass’; the drying and stacking; the threshing and winnowing; then the sale of teff in the local market; off with a donkey to the mill; cooking enjera for family and guests; coffee drinking and blessing; and finally the Mesqel fire, an Orthodox Christian celebration at the end of the rainy season.

Mitiku Gabrehiwot was born in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia and resettled in southwestern Ethiopia bordering South Sudan in Gambella during the 1985 Ethiopian famine. He studied anthropology and is currently an associate professor of Social anthropology at Mekelle University in Ethiopia. In addition to Anthropological courses, he taught Ethnography film research and making and photography for journalists. He uses film and photography for his research among the indigenous communities in Ethiopia. Currently, Mitiku is a fellow at SOAS, University of London and pursuing a PhD at Mekelle University.


Sergey Garkavyi

Russia, 2019, 55’

It has been 100 years since the Trans-Baikal Old Believers left their native lands. First they went to China, and then to Australia. How do their descendants live today? What connects them with Russia? What has happened in these 100 years in their motherland?

Sergey Golovetsky, was born on 23.11.1959 in Molodechno, Belarus Soviet Social Republic (USSR). He graduated from Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK, workshop of V. P. Lisakovich). He is an author and a director of more than forty documentaries and TV shows produced by independent and state studios in Moscow and Minsk. Many his works were awarded at film festivals in Russia, Belarus and other countries (Ukraine, France, Poland, USA). Associate Professor of Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. Board member of the Union of cinematographers (Russian Federation), board member of the Association of documentaries of the Union of cinematographers (Russian Federation).


Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay

Russia, 2020, 26’

Asel Tui: Descendant of Tui is a biographical film about an elder Chief Asel Tui from the Maclay Coast of Papua New Guinea. He was born and raised on the shore of the Astrolabe Bay in the North-East of the New Guinea Island, where in 1871 a young Russian scientist Nikolay Miklouho-Maclay set his foot to conduct research.

The members of Asel Tui’s family keep passing on from generation to generation the stories about the man from the moon – this is how the native inhabitants used to call the Russian traveler because of his white skin. It was Tui, his great-grandfather in the fifth generation, who was the first to meet the Russian traveler and became his friend and guide in that, unknown for Europeans, world, which had been described before by none until N.N. Miklouho-Maclay. For the first time, we will hear the stories right from the descendant of Tui, the narrator. The film is based on the unique filming during the research expedition 2019 led by N.N. Miklouho-Maclay

Jr.Nicolay Miklouho-Maclay Jr., scientist, traveler, founder and head of the Fondation for the Preservation of Ethnocultural Heritage named after Miklouho-Maclay, on whose initiative in 2017 and 2019, for the first time in modern history, scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea took place.


Ernst Karel, Veronika Kusumaryati

 USA, 2020, 78’

audio film

In 1961, filmmaker Robert Gardner organized the Harvard Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea (current day West Papua). Funded by the Dutch colonial government and private donations, and consisting of several of the wealthiest members of American society wielding 16mm film cameras, still photographic cameras, reel-to-reel tape recorders, and a microphone, the expedition settled for five months in the Baliem Valley, among the Hubula (also known as Dani) people. It resulted in Gardner’s highly influential film Dead Birds, two books of photographs, Peter Matthiessen’s book Under the Mountain Wall, and two ethnographic monographs. Michael Rockefeller, a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller (Standard Oil) family, was tasked with taking pictures and recording sound in and around the Hubula world. Expedition Content is an augmented sound work composed from the archive’s 37 hours of tape which document the strange encounter between the expedition and the Hubula people. The piece reflects on intertwined and complex historical moments in the development of approaches to multimodal anthropology, in the lives of the Hubula and of Michael, and in the ongoing history of colonialism in West Papua.

Ernst Karel (1970, Palo Alto, USA) works with sound, including electroacoustic music, experimental nonfiction sound works for multichannel installation and performance, and postproduction sound for nonfiction film, with an emphasis on observational cinema. His work often focuses on the practice of location recording and composing with unprocessed location recordings. In the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard, Karel has collaborated with filmmakers and taught courses in reality-based audio. In fall 2019 he was the visiting fellow at the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania.

Veronika Kusumaryati (1980, Bantul, Indonesia) is a political and media anthropologist working in West Papua. Her scholarship engages with the theories and historiography of colonialism, decolonization, and postcoloniality. She has worked as a curator and produced documentaries that were screened at the Jakarta International Film Festival, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, and Tampere Film Festival. She received her bachelor degree from the Jakarta Institute of Arts majoring in Film and Media Studies. She is a member of the Sensory Ethnography Lab and currently a Harvard College Fellow in Anthropology.



Vladimir Bocev

Macedonia, 2020, 25’

The specific way of transferring logs to mountain Kozuf and the lives of the people who do this hard work is the theme of this film. The long existence of this profession has come to an end, no one deals with it anymore. Only memories remain.

Vladimir Bocev is a Doctor of Ethnological Science. Customs are in the focus of his interest, particularly the rituals with masks, carnivals and kurban (blood sacrifice). Bocev has accomplished several international projects connected with the carnivals and kurbans. He is author of many ethnographic documentaries dealing with cultural anthropology. From 2012 he started to organize a Festival of Ethnological Documentary Films in Kratovo, Macedonia. Filmography: Fairy Water (2001), Train to Martolci (2004), We Are Alright Till Now (2008), It Won’t Continue No Way (2010), Rosse from Zagrad (2015).


Edward Owles

United Kingdom, 2020, 15’

The Marma are a minority indigenous people living in the Hill Tracts of the Bangladesh/Myanmar border. Ruled over by an increasingly symbolic monarchy, as well as the Bangladeshi state, they are battling to protect their identity, culture and territory in the face of mass climate migration onto their ancestral lands. To Be a Marma portrays how different figures try to do this through religion, music and land ownership. It was made as part of producer/academic Farhana Hoque’s longterm collaboration with the community.

Director Ed Owles has shot and directed films in over 20 countries for broadcast, festival and online. His latest feature documentary H is for Harry screened across UK cinemas, focusing on a boy who arrives at secondary school in London unable to read or write. His debut feature film – The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers – was described by The Hollywood Reporter as “tremendously vivid and expertly entertaining” and screened at over 20 film festivals (including Dok Leipzig, Open City London, DOCSDF, Cairo, Jean Rouch, RAI FF). Ed is an Associate Lecturer in Ethnographic Film at Goldsmiths and Kent University and on the Film Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute.


Arturo Dueñas Herrero

Spain, 2020, 15’

Life is going on in Dakhla, one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in southern Algeria, forgotten for 45 years. The celebration of a film festival, the Fisahara, breaks the monotony. The event ends, life (and oblivion) continues.

Arturo Dueñas Herrero (Esguevillas de Esgueva, Valladolid, Spain, 1962). Bachelor of Arts, Qualified in Cinematography and Filmmaking Course at the New York Film Academy. Full member of the Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences of Spain. Actor, director, producer, editor and scriptwriter in several short films, he has produced and directed the feature films Amateurs (Aficionados, 2011), selected and awarded in over 30 international festivals, Corsairs (Corsarios, 2015), Mission: Sahara (Misión: Sáhara, 2016), Built lands (Tierras construidas, 2019) and Pessoas: the shortest path (Pessoas: el camino más corto, 2020).


Zeynep Merve Uygun

Turkey United Kingdom, 2019, 9’

Combining the art of animation with real footage and traditional Turkish art form water marbling, ZigZag tells the story of a Muslim woman who got stuck in the middle of the sea at a unisex beach while she is unveiled.

Zeynep Merve Uygun received her BA in English Language and Literature from Bogazici University and her MA in Film and Television Department from İstanbul Bilgi University. She received her PhD in trans-disciplinary documentary film from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Prior to her current occupation as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Design at Özyeğin University, she worked as a lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul Şehir University and Koç University. Zeynep Merve Uygun has taken part in many international film festivals and workshops as a mentor, tutor and also jury member. Her animated and experimental documentaries such as In Out and ZigZag, besides receving many international awards, have been screened at more than 50 international film festivals including Cannes, Boston Turkish Film Festival, Golden Orange and IF Istanbul (Istanbul Independent Film Festival). Her research interests include the visual representation of body and space in documentary film, digital ethnography, and new media.


Hugo Chávez Carvajal

México, 2019, 15’

More than half of Mexico City’s population uses the subway to travel from the suburbs to the center and vice versa. This ever-growing flow requires multiple efforts. After the last train starts its journey, diverse crews of workers are responsible for maintaining and repairing tracks, stations, terminals and tunnels. Their work is essential, but almost invisible. This documentary pays tribute to those workers.

Hugo Chávez Carvajal (Mexico City, Mexico, 1985). He studied ethnology at the National School of Anthropology (ENAH) and got a Master’s Degree in Visual Anthropology at FLACSO-Ecuador. He’s now getting a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences at UAMIztapalapa. Between 2010 and 2012 he worked as Head of Content and Cultural Projects for Young People at the program Alas y Raíces, run by the Ministry of Culture. He is currently a professor at UNAM. He has directed and produced short documentary films, such as Duelos (2007), Ojo Escoba (2008), winner at the Corto Cinema University Film Festival and selected in competition at Kinoki International University Film Festival and Zanate Mexican Documentary Film Festival; Obsolescence (2015), with the support of the Program for the Promotion of Cultural Projects and Co-investments of FONCA and the PROCINE CDMX, which obtained mention of the jury in AcampaDoc, Intimate Visual Lens Film Festival and the prize Best Script at Ethno Film Zlatna. It was selected in more than 20 festivals. He also produced the documentary Out of Focus (2013) Winner to Short México and the 5th Festival do Filme Etnográfico do Recife; and co-produced the short documentary Victor Photo Studio (2014) selected in competition at American Documentary Film Festival, FIDOCS International Documentary Festival in Santiago and EDOC International Documentary Film Festival. His latest short film, Keeping track (2019), was made with the support of PROCINE CDMX. It was selected in Guanajuato International Film Festival, among others.

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