Urban Research is a special film program during the Berlin International Directors Lounge concerned with urban themes curated by Klaus W. Eisenlohr. For years the urban landscape has been under rapid change. Due to the increased economic pressure and shift towards mono-functional uses of the city, public space more and more vanishes. The newly awakened interest in old city centers, which is a rather positive development, has also created new demands in conjunction with the deregulations of national and municipal city tasks: the city has mainly become an object for real estate investment. On the other hand, new waves for urban movements towards a democratic renewal have appeared.
It may be surprising that in this field of creative expression, experimental film has found a renaissance, often in conjunction with analog methods. Also a diversity of documentary forms have arisen anew. Creative film nowadays uses a multitude of traditions mixing and recombining the white-cube gallery art, classical avant-garde, classic cinema and the tube, performance and new media, happening and radical activism. Concerning creative production and critical discussions, there seems to have been an increased interest in public space and urban themes. In addition the classical “theatre screening” seems to meet a new interest. Artists working in a diversity of fields have discovered again the “single channel” format as an easy way for presentation and discussing work on international platforms without the complications and the distribution costs of extended installations.
Urban Research 2014 will be first presented at the Berlin International Directors Lounge 6–16 February 2014. The program has also been presented internationally in screenings in London, Mannheim, Hannover, Poznan, Freiburg, Essen, Dordrecht, Senigallia, St. Petersburg and Berlin.