For what would prove to be his final film, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami gave himself a challenge: to create a dialogue between his work as a filmmaker and his work as a photographer, bridging the two art forms to which he had dedicated his life. Setting out to reconstruct the moments immediately before and after a photograph is taken, Kiarostami selected twenty four still imagesmost of them stark landscapes inhabited only by foraging birds and other wildlifeand digitally animated them into subtly evolving four-minute vignettes, creating a series of poignant studies in movement, perception, and time. A sustained meditation on the process of image making, 24 Frames is a graceful and elegiac farewell from one of the giants of world cinema.
The film programme for SIFA 2018, curated by the Asian Film Archive, features an international selection of exceptional new works celebrating independent voices across the world. From the adversity of fictive or real-life icons to the positions of the marginalised, the constellation of films hopes to respond to the general sentiment of the festival programming with ideas revolving around the notion of resistance and the experience of the individual.
Continuing the trend from past SIFA film programmes, this individualism can also be experienced and translated on screen through the singular visions embodied by the filmmakers. Valuing the ingenious and the risk-taking in cinema, Singular Screens hopes not only to be diverse in representation but bold in putting together its palette of cinematic adventures. Whether as illustrations of resilience, peculiarity or the extraordinary, the films and their characters will continue to project imagined futures and aspire for alternate possibilities amid larger circumstances.