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Video Art/ Short Films

Four Haikus 10 min 2016 screened by the Japan Foundation at Tensun Okakura Gallery



Saba Hasan an artist film maker has made several short films highly successful on the international film festival circuit. Shooting in locations as diverse Japan, Kashmir, Paris and  Seychelles  Saba’s artistic sensibility is best seen in the visual sequencing and painterly textures of her films. Nature is often the protagonist as she chooses elements like the rain, lakes, flowing rivers and sea waves to represent the human condition deepening the atmosphere with lyrics and musical scores. Saba’s films are poetic and ephemeral yet she has the ability to imbue them with a meaning that lasts for a long time.  

Her first film, the paris diary (2006-2011) was her art residency project sponsored by the Ministry of Culture France documenting Paris through the lens of an artist’s life particularly her long walks exploring the city. It comprises video recordings over several years bringing to attention not just the beauty of the city but also its social fault lines. A special feature in this diary is the periodic sound recording of the famous bells of Notre dame over several subsequent visits making the tolling of the bells into a signifier.

la verite/haqeeqat/the truth(2012) is a conceptual, conversation based film project for the Devi Museum of Contemporary Art: Sarai Reader 09 Exhibition curated by the Raqs Media Collective. For this project Saba is in conversation with experts from various fields to gain insights into the concept of truth with its political and philosophical ramifications. In the video Hasan is exploring the notion of truth or haqeeqat as she chooses to call it as comprising substantive properties, social consciousness, perception and historical memory.

twilight on the lake (2018) is a part of Saba's video series named after Bandagi Shah, the artist's Sufi ancestor who came to india in the 15 th century, it was filmed in the troubled region of Indian Kashmir where she was on a visit for the Kashmir biennale which got interrupted by conflict. This film along with the video Burnt Book 5 (2014) has been officially screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Trivandrum, curated section by Amrit Gangar, at the Museum of Goa, Kiran Nadar Museum, Balinale International Film Festival, Indonesia and the Chelsea International Film Festival, New York.

death will come like a shadow( 2021)is based on Saba's poem of the same title and is part of her most recent self portrait series comprising videos, photographs and poetry. Hasan’s camera handling in this video is characteristically long single pans which she utilises to hold an undisturbed focus and draw us into the spell of a solitary timelessness created with painterly textures. The film was awarded best micro short at the Indo-French Film Festival 2022, the Best Artist Film at the Mannheim Art and Film Festival, Germany 2023;  it was the official selection at the Fisura Festival International de Cine Experimental, Mexico City and at Bideodromo International Experimental Film Festival, screened at the Bilbao Arte Fundazio, the Festival of Art Films, Cinemistica ,Granada, the Amarcort, Rimini, Italy, the Vienna International Film Awards where it was finalist in the experimental category and at the FICIMAD in Madrid where it won the Best Screenplay Award.

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