To say Bryan Konefsky is a cinephile is an understatement.
He is the mastermind behind the Experiments in Cinema film festival which is on its 17th version this year.
“We went a little bit nuts this year and put together 18 programs,” Konefsky says.
This year’s festival runs through May 23 and is virtual. Konefsky is hoping to bring the festival back next year to an in-person event.
“We usually get about 500 people in person,” he says. “When we’ve gone online, we’ve topped 3,500 people. We’ll do some sort of hybrid event moving forward because online access does reach more people.”
Experiments in Cinema is an annual, transnational festival celebrating the current trends and history of international cinematic experimentation.
Konefsky says it is also a noncompetitive festival produced by Basement Films.
“This year we are celebrating our 17th anniversary with a host of unique screenings (100 films from 30 countries),” Konefsky says. “EIC also features special lectures, curated programs and workshops. The goal of Experiments in Cinema is to bring the international community of moving image artists to New Mexico to then inspire a new generation of movie makers to recognize the value of their media-voices and create films in ways we never imagined possible.”
Konefsky says this year, the festival invited Margarita Milagros from Colombia to present her multi-media performance work; Mike Morris to curate a program of films from the William Jones Film and Video Collection; Chip Lord and friends curated a Exquisite Moving Corpse project; Charles Woodman and Co. to present an improvisational multi-media performance; and EIC’s virtual artist-in-residence, Vanessa Renwick will present a program of her films.
Additionally, EIC will present Zoe Beloff’s new 60 minute film “The Tramp’s New World.”
“This is the first time Zoe’s had a film accepted by a domestic festival in 30 years,” Konefsky says. “There’s sort of a parallel for the festival. It has a bigger international reputation more than domestic, just like Zoe’s films do.”
Experiments in Cinema’s popularity continues to grow outside of the United States.
Konefsky remembers starting the festival nearly 20 years ago before YouTube and Vimeo were popular.
“We would show films on all different media,” he says. “We’d have VHS tapes and 8 mm films. Keif (Henley) at the Guild Cinema has always been gracious in helping have a home for the festival. It’s wonderful to see how far we’ve come. There’s always a place for experimental film.”