Punto de Vista 2013 will feature a special session dedicated to the first feature film created jointly by the film-makers Ben Rivers and Ben Russell: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, which will be presented as a work in progress.
Both directors, two of the heavyweights in the world of international non-fiction, are also regulars at Punto de Vista: they have both sat on the judges panel; Rivers has been the subject of a retrospective exhibition (2009); and Russell won the PdV Grand Prize in 2010. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness is a three-part non-fiction feature film which alludes to the work of Jean Rouch (Chronique d’un été), Lisandro Alonso (La Libertad) and Jean-Luc Godard (Sympathy for the Devil), among others. Shot in colour on super 16 mm film, it shows a single character in three different situations: living alone in the wilds of Northern Finland, as a member of an intentional community in Estonia, and as the guitarist in a black metal band in Norway. Taken together, these three parts provide an exploration of spirituality in an increasingly secular world.
Ben Rivers took his first steps as a director in 1999. He currently lives and works in London. His films have been shown at numerous international festivals and he has won several awards, most recently the FIPRESCI, the Orizzonti, the International Critics Week at the LXVIII Venice Film Festival, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation award in 2010. He has also shown his work at the LV London Film Festival, IndieLisboa and the Flaherty Seminar among others. In July/August 2008, he toured Australia and New Zealand to present We Can Not Exist in This World Alone, together with Ben Russell.
Ben Russell is an American audiovisual artist and programmer. His films, installations and performances have been presented in the most diverse of spaces: A 14th Century Belgian monastery, a building belonging to the East India Company built in the 17th Century, police stations, punk spaces, a Japanese film library, Parisian shop windows, baths in Chicago and boats in Vienna. He has participated in showings and individual exhibitions at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Museum of Modern Art. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 and the international critics' FIPRESCI award at the Rotterdam Festival in 2010. Until 2011, he worked as a teacher at the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois, in Chicago.