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From The Ring (2021), dir. Bill Morrison (image courtesy Prismatic Ground)

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I’ve “attended” my fair share of virtual film festivals over the course of this past year, but none has put together an experience as unique and exciting as Prismatic Ground. Founded by Inney Prakash, and hosted through a partnership between Screen Slate and the Maysles Documentary Center, this is the inaugural year for the experimental documentary festival. Though it’s a small, new operation, Prakash and his collaborators have assembled an impressive lineup of films, featuring both new directors and veterans like Bill Morrison, Anand Patwardhan, and Ericka Beckman.

The main program is divided into four “waves,” with the shorts and features grouped around shared themes like colonialism and desire. Films previously featured in Hyperallergic include Maat Means Land, Still Processing, and various works by Lynne Sachs (who is the recipient of the festival’s inaugural Ground Glass Award, honoring her contributions to experimental film). All films in the waves and the Sachs program are available to stream for free, worldwide, for the duration of the festival. The centerpiece and closing night programs will be streaming live via Screen Slate’s Twitch channel at 8 pm EDT on April 15 and 18, respectively. Various panel discussions with the filmmakers will also be streamed live periodically throughout the rest of the fest.

When: Through April 18
Where: Online

More information at the Prismatic Ground website.

Dan Schindel

Dan Schindel is Associate Editor for Documentary at Hyperallergic. He lives and works in New York.