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Institute of Contemporary Arts
25 November – 4 December 2021

FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR), the ICA’s annual international film festival dedicated to the works of pioneering filmmakers and researchers in the cinema of the real, returns for its sixth edition from Thursday 25 November to Saturday 4 December 2021. 

Since its first edition in 2016, FoR has established a reputation as a unique showcase for global cinema with strong political convictions and a commitment to aesthetics. ‘(Re)Imagining’, the thematic focus of FoR21, places filmmakers from across the globe in dialogue via a collection of works that address the moving image and modes of storytelling as multilayered devices. The 20 premieres composing the FoR21 programme explore film practices at the intersection of image production, co-creation and – to some extent – artistic manipulation. In line with the previous five editions of the festival, all screenings will aim to initiate intimate conversations around the ethical boundaries and processes underpinning these aspects of filmmaking and some of their interconnected trajectories. An accompanying programme of workshops, discussions, and performances will further interrogate the relationships between creation, reality and artifice. 

Opening on Thursday 25 November with the UK premiere of Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing, FRAMES of REPRESENTATION 2021 will welcome filmmakers from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Mali, the Netherlands, Portugal and the USA for 10 days of screenings, discussions and special events. Across a variety of cinematic languages, their films focus on their struggles in pursuit of necessary stories, and on their genuine and profound commitment to the lives and relationships featured on screen.  

FoR21 also features the second edition of PROGRESSIO. This pioneering platform was launched in 2019 by the ICA, in association with Cineteca Madrid and the Sundance Institute in the US, to support independent filmmakers in the development of feature-length projects by engaging with the aesthetic and political aspects of their works and facilitating exchanges with key industry guests. This year, Marine de Contes and Tamer El Said have been invited to share their upcoming feature films at FoR21, both of whom have previously been screened at the ICA. Marine de Contes is a French director and editor, whose film The Game was presented at FRAMES OF REPRESENTATION in 2018. Egyptian filmmaker Tamer El Said’s debut feature In the Last Days of the City was distributed by ICA CINEMA in 2017

An annual highlight of the festival is the day-long symposium, which this year takes the form of a radio broadcast, titled ‘how to think: Radio Silence’. 'Radio Silence' brings together contributions from artists, thinkers, activists and healers with an intimate durational audio piece, to be played just once. FoR21 will also feature an online broadcast station created in collaboration with the Sonic Liberation Front, a group of sound platforms and sonic artists who have come together with the Bethlehem-based station Radio alHara راديو الحارة to unify their sound for Palestine.

Multibuy offer: 5 events of your choice for £40 Full, £35 Concessions


Illustration by Sanya Kantarovsky

Thursday 25 November, 8pm
Winner of the best documentary award at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s immersive work addresses the political complexities of contemporary India.

Thursday 25 & Friday 26 November, Saturday 4 December
An online radio station and workshop featuring live performances throughout the ten days of the festival.

Friday 26 November, 6:20pm
Toia Bonino subverts archetypes of crime movies and revenge tragedies in this multi-layered portrayal of the scars caused by toxic masculinity.

Friday 26 November, 8:15pm
Kiro Russo’s feature blends the real with the fantastical as it explores the plight of the working classes in La Paz, Bolivia.

Saturday 27 November, 11am
This year’s FoR symposium brings together contributions from artists, thinkers, activists and healers with an intimate durational audio piece, to be played just once.

Saturday 27 November, 3:30pm
Filmmaker Roberto Minervini joins Sandra Hebron, Head of Screen Arts at the National Film & Television School, for an in-depth conversation about his cinema, which often takes us to the backyards of the American Dream.

Saturday 27 November, 5:30pm
Both humorous and melancholic, Federica Di Giacomo’s film reconstructs the life of a man and an artist through stories of those who knew him.

Saturday 27 November, 7:45pm
Gianfranco Rosi, the Golden Lion and Golden Bear-winning Italian filmmaker discusses his vision of the cinematic language with ICA Head of Cinema and FoR founder Nico Marzano, dwelling on the expansive range of methodologies that have accompanied his impressive 30-year career.

Saturday 27 November, 10:59pm
Experimental musician, composer, and artist Daniel Blumberg performs a special, late-night solo show conceived for the festival.

Sunday 28 November, 1pm
Todd Chandler examines American gun violence through the lens of the safety rituals now required in thousands of US schools.

Sunday 28 November, 3pm
Theo Anthony’s feature questions and reimagines the idea of the ‘objective lens’ in reference to 21st-century American policing.

Sunday 28 November, 5pm
Inspired by the death of his uncle, Carlos Alfonso Corral’s debut feature seeks to understand the homeless experience in El Paso, Texas.

Monday 29 November, 6:20pm
Guido Hendrikx asks us to reconsider who we are when we find ourselves on camera – and how we fill the silences in our interactions with strangers.

Monday 29 November, 8:45pm
Zia Anger’s experimental, live multimedia performance seeks to reinterpret conventional frameworks of the cinematic experience.

Tuesday 30 November, 6pm
Two FoR21 filmmakers discuss how reimagination can expand the language of the moving image in the cinema of the real.

Tuesday 30 November, 8:15pm
The UK premieres of new works by Marine de Contes, Felipe López Gómez, and Salomé Lamas.

Wednesday 1 December, 6:15pm
The nightmares of the nuclear age cast a long shadow in Zhao Liang’s poetic apology to future generations.

Wednesday 1 December, 8:15pm
Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou meets some of the countless migrants looking for a route out of Africa – and those returning home.

Thursday 2 December, 8:15pm
Tadhg O’Sullivan’s film is a poetic ode to the ways in which this celestial body impacts our lives and cultural heritage.

Friday 3 December, 6pm
Iva Radivojević’s feature leads us through a labyrinth of countries, forms and perspectives to reach what Jorge Luis Borges described as ‘the unimaginable universe’.

Friday 3 December, 8:15pm
The UK premieres of new works by Virgil Vernier, Tali Liberman, and Audrey & Maxime Jean-Baptiste.

Saturday 4 December, 6pm
Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s poetic, playful and political travelogue explores and reimagines his native Québec.

Saturday 4 December, 8:15pm
This artful picaresque is centred on a drunk outsider forced to flee his Italian village for the wilds of Latin America.