This Isn’t a Film Festival!

“Is there a place where you can see, back to back, Arabian melodramas, video game erotica and remixes of cult cartoons?” we sometimes ask ourselves when looking into the mirror. Yes, a place like this exists! In fact, it’s nearby. Katowice’s Ars Independent Festival!

This year’s Ars Independent will take place from September 24 to 29. Over 6 festival days and more than 40 multimedia events we will dive into the world of contemporary film, animation, music video and video games. This year, the festival tagline is Unsubscribe!

We have learned of the first festival announcements. Additionally, pre-orders for festival passes, priced at 60 PLN have started – they will be available at Tickerportal until June 30.

This year, the festival will open in the Rialto Cinema with the audio-visual performance Love & Revenge. The French-Arabian quartet combines bouncy electronica, tender instrumentation and found footage visuals. They will take us on a electro-pop journey through the Golden Age of Arabian cinema.

“We had the idea to retell the classics of Arabian cinema, from the ‘40s to the ‘90s, mostly made in Egypt. L&R is a multi-faceted experience: from an homage paid to the kitsch of this era’s glamour cinema, through a post-colonial look at the Westernization of Middle Eastern and Maghrebian culture, to sexism in film and its transformations over the years,” adds Wael Koudaih, founder of the project.

The performance will be complemented by an after party with Missy Ness – a Parisian/Tunisian DJ, member of the L&R collective, who mixes Arabic vocals with hip-hop, trip-hop, drum’n’bass and electro.

From g-string armors to “press E to make love” – video games have their own spin on erotica. Sometimes childishly, with an embarrassed blush; sometimes with vulgarity, objectifying their characters (and thus, often their players). The interactive exhibition ForePlay will take a wide and critical look at sexuality in video games and such.

The exhibition will be complemented by a curatorial tour and conference devoted to the erotic side of interactive media.

This is not the end of erotic ideas to be explored in Katowice this year: “Love Is All: 100 Years of Love & Courtship” by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto consists of nostalgic 74 minutes of kisses throughout cinema’s history, while Lust, Careful is an authorial overview of short films about sex.

Choked & Blind vol. 3, the third edition of the popular festival set of shocking music videos, will spin a tale about hidden desires, subdermal anxieties and that which hides in the deepest corners of our subconsciousness. To balance it out, Videos In Vogue, Always will recall cult videos with revolutionary impact on the medium. Evening Cartoons, Altered is an attempt at capturing the phenomenon of reworked, edited and often distorted cartoons on Polish Youtube.

For the third time, the festival Friday will host the Video Game Night Market – market for the latest Polish indie games. This time, besides the exhibition part of the event, the organizers are planning Game On – a series of multimedia presentations by students who wish to one day work in video games and animation: from concept art, through 3D models, to prototyping innovative game mechanics.

These are just a few of many events coming with Ars Independent 2019. More about the festival program can be found on subpage Programme.

“This isn’t a film festival,” adds Bartek Sołtysik, the festival’s spokesperson, so as to finally separate the event from its strictly cinematic roots and underline its current, multimedia character.

The event is organized by the Culture Institution Katowice City of Gardens and the City of Katowice.