12Gates Video Art Fest

Experimental, Contemporary video art
me.na.sa. ( middle east . north africa . south asia )

The 3rd iteration of the 12G Contemporary Video Art Festival celebrates contemporary video art – that is, contemporary art using recorded moving images, created by artists from or about the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. This 3rd edition of the juried show will be co-presented by Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) during their 10 day festival. Subjects and themes for the exhibit include queer, controversial, poetic, abstract, political, philosophical, uncensored – anything that stretches beyond conventional. We look forward to producing a thought-provoking and inspiring exhibit to follow the well-received exhibits in 2015 and 2016, which drew submissions from contemporary artists across the globe.

Ranging from reflections on the past to imaginations of the future, the 2019 program of PAAFF will address the past, present, and future of our Asian American movement. In keeping with this theme, our theme for the Video Art Fest will also be the Passage of Time in an abstract manner.

About the selectors, producers, curators, and judges:

Dev Benegal is a New York based filmmaker. He is considered the pioneer of the next generation of Indian cinema with his award-winning first feature film English, August (1994) acknowledged as a landmark film in contemporary Indian cinema. His second feature Split Wide Open premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won multiple awards during its festival run. English, August was the first Indian theatrical acquisition of 20th Century Fox. His feature film script Road, Movie was an official selection for the Atelier du Cannes at the Cannes International Festival. Road, Movie was selected as the Opening Night film at the Berlin International Film Festival (Generation Plus). Dev is also a long time advisor to the eQuinoxe Europe screenwriting workshop for film professionals.

Sonali Gulati is an independent filmmaker, a feminist, grass-roots activist, and an educator. She is a Professor of film at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts in the department of Photography & Film. She has an MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College. Gulati grew up in New Delhi and has made several short films and a feature-length documentary that have screened at over four hundred film festivals worldwide.
Her films have screened at venues such as the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and at film festivals such as the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival and at several LGBTQ film festivals. Gulati’s award-winning films have been broadcasted on public television and cable TV worldwide. She has won awards, grants, and fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, the Third Wave Foundation, World Studio Foundation, the Robert Giard Memorial Fellowship, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship.

Shehrezad Maher is an interdisciplinary artist who was born and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan (1988) and currently lives in Philadelphia. Her work has screened at institutions and festivals such as Visions du Réel, RIDM, the LA Film Forum, Anthology Film Archives, UnionDocs and Experiments in Cinema, and has been reviewed by publications such as Sight & Sound, Afterimage, and Point of View magazine (POV), among others. She studied visual arts at Bennington College (2011) and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University (2014).

Sameet Mann is a journalism student at Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications and has aspired to be in the field since she was fifteen. She was inspired to minor in Asian American Studies after she started volunteering with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival in 2018. This year she is serving as a member of PAAFF’s Documentary Committee.

Mehrin Masud-Elias is a founding director of 12G, a poet, photographer and blogger, and explores themes of coming of age, fractured memories, the immigrant experience, love, loss and aging in her works.

Atif Sheikh is co-founder of 12G and resident curator. Sheikh orchestrated the first 12G experimental video art festival in 2015 and has curated other art exhibitions such as "Not so black & white" 2010, "Cinephiliac" 2013, perform(art)ive 2015, Lived Experiences 2016, "alternative narratives of history and exploration of memory through art", and "Take It Like A ... ; Contemporary Trends In The Aesthetics Of Violence” 2019. He was on the jury for Women’s Voices Now Film Festival twice and will also be a juror on Fleisher Art Memorial’s Wind Challenge Exhibition in 2019.

Anjli Patel is an intern at Twelve Gates and will serve as the Program Coordinator for the 12G Video Art Fest. She was born and raised in Oxford, MS and graduated from the Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, RI before coming to Philadelphia for her undergraduate education. She is currently in her third year at Drexel University pursuing dual degrees in Art History and Finance with a minor in Legal Studies. Before working with 12G, she completed two co-ops at Macquarie Group and Chubb Limited in accounting and financial operations roles.

To be considered for the 12gates Video Art Fest, the filmmakers must describe how their submitted work relates to the MENASA region in the cover letter section.

All works must be under 20 minutes.

Please include a brief biography of the artist/filmmaker, and full details of the work including title, length, date of production, synopsis.

Works must have been completed within the past 2 years.

You may submit more than one work

You certify that you have full authorization to the use of the music in the submitted work.

You certify that you have full authorization to enter the submitted artwork into this festival.

You hold Twelve Gates Video Art Festival harmless from any damages to the submitted material, and harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from your entry.

All artworks selected for the festival grant Twelve Gates Video Art Festival the rights to use stills, and press materials from the film/work for promotional purposes.

Selection for the festival will be made by the Festival Committee.

Submitting your work to Twelve Gates Video Art Festival entails that you have read, understand, and agree to the submission guidelines listed above.

Twelve Gates Arts (12G) is a non profit (501(c)(3)) organization created with the aim to showcase international multidisciplinary arts bound by the sensibilities of a diasporic identity, especially the South Asian identity, and to create and promote projects in the community that cross geographic and cultural boundaries.