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Ben Rivers and Ben Russell at Curtas Vila do Conde 2015



The exibibition of the 23nd edition of Curtas Vila do Conde explored the creative relationship between two filmmakers and artists who have been programmed at the festival in recent years: Ben Russell and Ben Rivers. The exhibition "Ruins / Rites / Runes" at Solar - Cinematic Art Gallery, was complemented by two sessions at the Municipal Theatre, where both artists presented their work and discussed their mutual influence.


Russell and Rivers have directed several films, individually and together. The focus of research in experimental cinema crosses the line between documentary and fiction.


In the work of Ben Rivers, there is a concern about the idea of community and utopia, researching alternative ways of living. The focus of his work is the relationship between man and society and his favorite format is 16mm. Russell, on the other hand, is a multimedia artist who develops systems articulating performance history and semiotic of moving images. His research covers the early history of cinema, visual anthropology and the structuralist cinema.


The filmography of both has been several times presented in Curtas Vila do Conde in the international and experimental competition and culminated with the experimental award for "Ah, Liberty!" By Ben Rivers in 2008. Over the past few years, in parallel to individual projects, the filmmakers began developing a feature in common: “A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness”, released in 2013 in world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival.