Art Basel, the world-renowned international art fair, is organizing Art Basel Film 2024 at Stadtkino Basel from June 12 to June 15. The film program, now in its 25th edition, is assembling an engaging selection by a group of international film artists who approach such diverse topics as ecology, intimacy, history and politics in their works.

Divided into a series of six screening events, viewers will be able to immerse themselves into a wide range of artistic expressions, narratives, and formats over the course of the program. Along with the screenings, viewers will have the unique opportunity to share space with the artists and curators through survey programs, live acts, conversations and other special events.

The series opens with a program titled The Political Life of Plants, which features short films that deal with the vegetal and natural world. Drawing its title from the name of two short films directed by Zheng Bo, The Political Life of Plants seeks to raise awareness about ecological issues from a non-heteronormative perspective, bringing to the forefront the awareness that humans are not at the center of the world.

The second program, Pinochet Porn, is named after Ellen Cantor's feature-length film which documents the story of five children as they grow to adulthood. Combining archival footage and digital animation, Pinochet Porn lays out a narrative in the form of a tragicomic soap opera, where personal, political and historical circumstances surrounding the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile are discreetly interwoven into a unified whole.

Film still from Pinochet Porn, 2008-16. Courtesy of the Estate of Ellen Cantor and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

On the third day, two separate programs dedicated to the film art of Agnieszka Polska will be held at the Stadtkino. The first program, Perfect Lives, consists of a series of short films in which Polska combines animation and archival footage in exploring cosmological, political and ecological issues. In the second program, HURRAH, WE ARE STILL ALIVE!, Polska follows the life and dynamic relationships of an artist commune involved in shooting a film about Rosa Luxemburg.

The final day is divided into two programs: Bats and Rockets, and Taking Venice. The former presents a series of short films specifically created with younger audiences in mind, which extol the different bonds of friendship and alliances which bring together humans and animals. The latter program presents a screening of Amei Wallach's documentary Taking Venice, which uncovers the rumors of machinations by the US government to have Robert Rauschenberg win the grand prix at the Venice Biennale in 1964.

Film still from Taking Venice, 2023. Courtesy of Amei Wallach.

Art Basel Film 2024 is organized by Filipa Ramos and Marian Masone. Ramos' curatorial vision is informed by her research at the intersection of art history, eco-activism and film studies, and she is passionately dedicated to advocacy in support of nonhuman life and rights. Marian Masone has collaborated with the Film Society of Lincoln Center for over 25 years on a variety of projects, ranging from retrospectives and monthly programs to education initiatives and programs for emerging filmmakers. She has been on selection committees for New York Film Festival and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Stadtkino Basel was established in 1998 by Le Bon Film Association. The Association has been involved in propagating the cinematic arts since its inception in 1931. For more details about the programs, visit the sites for Art Basel and Stadtkino Basel.

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