Zeughauskino Berlin

International Symposium

The International Symposium explores contexts of production and the future of international essay films. Artists, essayists, film critics and scholars discuss philosophy, aesthetics, contextual position and future prospects of today's essay films. The working approaches, new forms of presentation, and distribution channels being employed by essayists are to be examined. To what extent do literary forms influence the creative process of essayists? Which roles do autobiographical elements play in the essay form? Here the focus is on contemporary essay films, which deal with migration, (auto)biographies, literature and memory and perceptual processes.

Date Friday, 7 October,  10 am–6 pm (followed by film programme with guests)
Location Zeughauskino, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin
Conference language English

Participation in the symposium is free. Registration is required in advance at

Participants and Lectures: 

Stories We Don’t Tell: Trauma, History, and the Essay Film
Melis Behlil (Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Head of Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kadir Has University Istanbul)

Imaging Blindness
Sarah Cooper (Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London) 

The Essay Film between Festival Favourite and Global Film Practice
Thomas Elsaesser (Professor Emeritus at the Department of Media and Culture, University of Amsterdam, Visiting Professor at Columbia University)

From Home Movies to Moving Homes – First-Person Documentaries and the Migrant Experience
Igor Krstić (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading)

Essay and Esse
Ross Lipman (filmmaker and restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Disjunctive Narration: The Essay Film’s Thinking and Epistolarity as Argumentation
Laura Rascaroli (Professor Film & Screen Media at University College Cork, Ireland)

Orality as a Construction of Discourse and Montage – The Use of Modes of Storytelling in Experimental Cinema
Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias (filmmaker, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

Diaspora experiences, essayistic narratives and Asian subjectivity
Bo Wang (filmmaker, Beijing, China) 

Moderation: Jörg Taszman (Film critic, amongst others for Deutschlandradio Kultur, Die Welt, epd Film)