The stu­dents’ plat­form cel­e­brates its third edi­tion!

Once more, we are show­cas­ing excep­tion­al works by up-and-coming film­mak­ers and visual anthro­pol­o­gists from all around the world. We are rein­stat­ing our sched­ule from our first year and are show­ing all stu­dents’ films in one go. Fol­low­ing the festival’s char­ac­ter of a forum, there is no com­pe­ti­tion in the stu­dents’ plat­form. Instead, we aim to pro­vide a plat­form to tell sto­ries, raise voices, and net­work with fellow stu­dents and estab­lished film­mak­ers alike – and of course with our audi­ence.

We are pre­sent­ing films that explore the com­plex­i­ty of our world by telling indi­vid­ual sto­ries within their local con­text. This year, we shed light on the cur­rent issues of dis­place­ment, depor­ta­tion, asylum, and migra­tion, lend­ing our ears to the people who are lis­tened to the least.

IN THE DEVIL’S GARDEN is a sen­so­ry ethno­graph­ic study that sit­u­ates the viewer within the remote makeshift space of an animal market in Alge­ria and even­tu­al­ly reveals the sit­u­a­tion of the Sahrawi refugees living there. I AM GOLDEN KAREN tells the coming-of-age story of Thaawa, a Karen rapper and refugee in Thai­land, search­ing for his iden­ti­ty and a way back to “his” home­land in Myan­mar. DEMIAN, on the other hand, has come back to his “home­land,” but not by choice. He was denied asylum by German author­i­ties and was deport­ed to Douala, Cameroon, to a “home­land” where he knows no one and has to strug­gle for sur­vival. SYRIAN METAL IS WAR is a film about an unrec­og­niz­able home­land that is being destroyed and offers a rather per­son­al insight into the Syrian War and a sub­cul­ture that is often not under­stood by out­siders.

Where­as some film­mak­ers tell their sto­ries through quiet obser­va­tion, others are loud and provoca­tive and use film as a medium of resis­tance. WITH OUR EYES tack­les the issue of stigma­ti­za­tion, prej­u­dice, and struc­tur­al racism from the per­spec­tive of five Muslim stu­dents. Racism is revealed to be a cru­cial issue that is rel­e­vant every­where – espe­cial­ly inside your own family. In FILM FOR CARLOS, the Guatemalan father of a new­born faces the racism of his Russ­ian par­ents-in-law, who are so proud of their so-called Russ­ian Empire that it can make us laugh and fright­en us at the same time.

Racism is always a ques­tion of power and power struc­tures that did not end with the colo­nial era. Two films try to tackle post­colo­nial issues by trac­ing both sides of his­to­ry. In EMAILS TO MY LITTLE SISTER, Ethiopi­an direc­tor Solomon Meko­nen reflects on his expe­ri­ences of “becom­ing black” in Europe and express­es his wor­ries for his sister’s well­be­ing, who wants to study in Berlin, like him. In FAIRE-PART, two Con­golese and two Bel­gium film­mak­ers team up to tell a story that both con­nects and sep­a­rates them at the same time by fol­low­ing street artists in Kin­shasa.

We are also focus­ing on India with three doc­u­men­taries in this year’s stu­dents’ plat­form. UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS is a por­trait explor­ing the con­nec­tion between work and music that accom­pa­nies the people of Phek, a vil­lage close to the Indian-Myan­mar border whose liveli­hood depends on rice cul­ti­va­tion. The next two films explore emic approach­es to “devel­op­ment” while ques­tion­ing what devel­op­ment actu­al­ly means. Where­as KAHAN KA RAASTA pur­sues this ques­tion in the hills of a small vil­lage in the Himalaya, the obser­va­tion­al doc­u­men­tary WITHERING HOUSE is set in the urban envi­ron­ment of Ahmed­abad, where we follow an elder­ly couple who are prepar­ing to move from their old house in the old part of the city to a new house assigned to them by the gov­ern­ment.

Two other doc­u­men­taries shed light on people whose living spaces, tra­di­tions, and cul­tures are endan­gered in the name of “devel­op­ment” and indus­tri­al­iza­tion. THE RIVER, MY FRIEND accom­pa­nies four Sami women who live along the Lule River in Sweden who share both their mem­o­ries as well as their sto­ries of loss and reset­tle­ment. BEJAM BE fol­lows the Penan people in Borneo, who are among the first in this area to be affect­ed by defor­esta­tion.

Final­ly, we reflect on the medium of film itself. VIOLENCE IS TO CHARGE 600 EUROS is a two-part exper­i­men­tal film project. Inves­ti­gat­ing public com­mu­ni­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion, Part I explores the outcry rep­re­sent­ed by polit­i­cal graf­fi­ti in Euro­pean cities, while Part II looks at the dynam­ics of the power of infor­ma­tion and the public while fol­low­ing a man who is trans­port­ing boxes of oranges to the sea­side.

Join us for the third edi­tion of excit­ing films and inspir­ing dis­cus­sions in a wel­com­ing atmos­phere.

Nora Duchêne, Carsten Stark & the stu­dents’ plat­form team