The Gujral Foundation kicked off 2021 with an exciting new cultural collaboration with Harkat Studios, The Harkat Film Lab - supported by the Gujral Foundation.
Harkat is an international boutique arts studio with a passion for film, new media, community art spaces and contemporary art that was set up by filmmaker Karan Talwar and Michaela Talwar. Based in Mumbai and Berlin, Harkat takes many forms and identities across disciplines. As an alternative performance and arts space, they curate, programme and host shows in the mediums of theatre, film, music, community art projects and contemporary art.
The Harkat Film Lab is the first and only film lab in the South Asian subcontinent. With a vision to give artists, filmmakers and tinkerers - tools, space, mentorship and a knowledge bank. The Lab is an incubator for new thoughts and ideas. We alongside Harkat Studios intend to kickstart a movement with South Asian artists consolidating their own language of cinema; replacing western grammar of avant garde and experimental with ‘Cinema of Prayoga’. It explores Indian thought in film and infuses a new wave of ideas into the cinema world.
The Harkat Film Lab includes a Celluloid Darkroom which is especially fitted for the development and post-processing of celluloid film that is accessible to everyone. We also offer a mix of beginner to advanced workshops, on a bi-monthly basis. Most workshops, especially the advanced ones are outcome based and will have films being produced at the end. This also includes Harkat’s 'ek-minute' competition, where we put out a call for scripts and supply the best five with a film camera and film. People will be able to take regular long-term courses and masterclasses by some of the most-acclaimed filmmakers and technicians, through the lab.
We will also organize a residency at the lab, with participants coming in through open calls and through the workshops, to create specific works - expanding the scope of the medium to installs, artworks and of course, specific thematic films. This will function like an incubator of sorts. The films and works produced during workshops and the residency will be displayed in the Screening/Exhibition room which is also a part of The Harkat Film Lab.
Continuing on with Harkat Studio’s goal of facilitating new work on the celluloid medium we organized Celluloid Karigar - an advanced two-week film workshop from 1st-15th March 2021, which took participants through the entire process of shooting, hand-developing and projecting 16mm black and white film. We had participants from all over the country who attended our workshop and resulted in the creation of three new celluloid films.
In April 2021, The Harkat Lab was invited by the Oberhausen Film Festival (the oldest short film festival) to present a virtual talk with Karan Talwar introducing the lab and Harkat Studio’s practise. We will also be presenting three films at the festival. This is part of a special lab section which they've put together and we are one of four labs from Manila, Melbourne and Toronto presenting at the festival. Karan’s talk can be viewed on Oberhausen’s official channel - https://www.kurzfilmtage.de/
Starting July, we are happy to welcome collaborators Gavati and Moakshaa, and Sajid Wajid Shaikh as the first two residents of the Harkat film lab. The essence of this residency is to give makers the tools, space and knowledge to make work on the celluloid medium. Spread over 45 days, the residency will start off with an overview of the celluloid medium, after which the residents will work independently on their projects, with unlimited access to the lab, mentorship and guidance to see their films through to exhibition.