Open City Documentary Festival

The Lake and The Lake / Land Underwater + Q&A

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, 2019 / Maddi Barber, 2019
India, USA / Spain
Previous Festivals & Awards
Ann Arbor Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, DokuFest, UnionDocs / San Sebastian Film Festival, Curtocircuito Festival internacional de Cine, Visions du Réel
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The Lake and The Lake is Nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy is an artist working across moving images, sound, and text. Sindhu received an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. She has been a participant of the Flaherty Film Seminar, the SOMA Summer program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Maddi Barber Gutiérrez was born in Pamplona, Spain, 1988. She holds a degree in Audiovisual Communication and a master’s degree in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. She also did a postgraduate program in Art direction in the International School of Cinema of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba.


Bellandur, the largest urban lake in Bangalore, is now so polluted that a thick layer of foam covers its surface. Sindhu Thirumalaisamy’s highly distinctive, multi-faceted essay film The Lake and The Lake explores the fraught ecology along Bellandur’s shoreline where fishermen, migrant waste workers, and stray dogs congregate, despite the region’s toxic waters. 

Nearly two decades ago, the controversial Itoiz dam flooded seven villages and three nature reserves in the Navarre Pyrenees and the area remains underwater to this day. In Land Underwater, Maddi Barber creatively reinterprets footage filmed by environmental group “Solidari@s con Itoiz” during the dam’s construction to create a haunting elegy for a lost land.

UK Premiere

Screening includes a Q&A with directors Sindhu Thirumalaisamy and Maddi Barber, hosted by Shai Heredia.

Read an essay on both works by Marcus Jack.

Available: Block 1 (Wed 9th Sept midday – Sat 12th Sept midnight BST)

Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.