State of Cinema
In 2018, by analogy with similar initiatives in other art forms, Sabzian created a new yearly tradition: Sabzian invites a guest to write a State of Cinema and to choose a film that connects to it. This way, once a year, the art of film is held against the light: a speech that challenges cinema, calls it to account, points the way or refuses to define it, puts it to the test and on the line, summons or embraces it, praises or curses it. A plea, a declaration, a manifest, a programme, a testimony, a letter, an apologia or maybe even an indictment. In any case, a call to think about what cinema means, could mean or should mean today.
Belgian filmmaker Sarah Vanagt kicked off Sabzian’s new annual tradition in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, Sabzian had the honour of welcoming, respectively, Belgian filmmaker Claudio Pazienza and French filmmaker and author Olivier Assayas. For the 2021 edition, Sabzian welcomed the French film historian, scholar, author and curator Nicole Brenez and last year we invited the Chinese director Wang Bing. Sabzian and Bozar are delighted to welcome the French filmmaker Alice Diop for the State of Cinema 2023. She chose the film Sambizanga (1972) by Sarah Maldoror, one of the most important works in African film history.