DEEPTI RAO

I am a jack of many trades but a master of one - film. As a curator of THECULTUREAGENDA I discover and bring together films that use the digital world as a distribution space. You can expect a heady cocktail of shorts, features, web-series, experimental, fiction and documentary that hits the spot.

THE NEW NORMAL GAME

Created by a team of ‘artivists’ from South Africa, the New Normal Game is an outlet to all your frustrations, hopes and dreams of what the future holds. One can debate about whether it is a game or a social experiment or a piece of art, but what’s clear is that it gives form to experiences and if that’s not the function of art then what is?  

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REBIRTH IS NECESSARY BY JENN NKIRU

There’s a lot to unpack in British-Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru’s powerful video Rebirth is Necessary (2017). It’s like a 10-minute trip through the history, memories, fictions and futures of the African diaspora. An amalgamation of archival footage, quotes, highly stylized portraits and well choreographed dance scenes that form Nkiru’s personal exploration of Blackness.  

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AFTERNOON CLOUDS BY PAYAL KAPADIA

When a singular flower blooms on a warm afternoon, a 60-year-old widow, Kaki, and her live-in maid, Malti, glide through a day of memories, dreams, reality and fantasies. This precisely shot 13-minute short fiction film by young Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia masterfully creates a mood so clear and yet so elusive. It reminds me of a summer afternoon I might have spent with my grandparents, memories of which are strongly set in my mind but are so hazy at the same time. 

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER

I’ve always found it strange that people have birds for pets – usually clipped and caged. But in these films, we see two pet birds that have attained a higher status in the eyes of their owners, though their stories meet quite different ends. 

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THE WEIGHT OF SPRING BY ERIKA CALMEYER 

Straight out of Norway comes The Weight of Spring a music video set to a song by The White Birch. The video is like a series of Haiku poems on film. In twelve different tableaus, the video coupled with the song brings out the tenderness, intimacy, destructiveness and comfort of this thing we call love.  

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WHEN WE HAD THE TIME BY DE VANDALEN 

While we grapple with the social side-effects of Covid-19, a lot of creativity that has sprung from the shared experience of social isolation.

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