Explore the 2019 programme below, either by browsing the separate sections, or looking at the timetable view.

Student showcases films made by the new generation of ethnographic filmmakers, often as part of doctoral projects
RAI/Basil Wright features the films competing for the top prizes at this year’s festival
Material Culture focuses on films with something to say about the way we engage with our material world
Intangible Culture explores worlds of music, dance, performance, and ritual
Special Interest explores a range of fascinating topics, including programmes with a special director or thematic focus
Shorts is new for 2019, and celebrates the best in short-form ethnographic filmmaking as a cauldron of innovation


Directed by
Saranya Nayak

Countries of production
United Kingdom

Year of production

22 minutes

28 March
Cinema 2, Watershed 11:15 AM

What happens to a town after sunset? What happens to life and light?

Niishii is an evocative tour through the night time hours in the town of Dubrajpur (West Bengal, India). Here, amidst inky darkness, faces are illuminated by cool fluorescent light. Their owners tell stories of night - as it used to be, prior to electrification, as it is now, and the ghosts one may encounter in it. We see families gather to eat, we visit amusement parks, markets and “drinking dens” (where, one drinker tells us, “darkness is best”), and witness the labour that continues through the night.

A sensuous ethnography, Niishii richly evokes the lightscapes and soundscapes that characterise this affective, and highly active, zone of life.

Director Saranya Nayak will attend this screening and take part in a Q&A.

Location(s) depicted
Dubrajpur, West Bengal (India)

Language(s) of film subjects
Bangla (Bengali)

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