About Ella Raidel

About Ella Raidel

Ella Raidel is a filmmaker and visual artist. She is Asst. Professor at NTU Singapore (ADM/WKWSCI). In her interdisciplinary works, she focuses on the socio-cultural aspects of globalization, urbanization, and the representation of images. Her hybrid practice is to create a discursive space for filmmaking, art, and research.
In recent years, she has been concerned with China’s unprecedented growth and rapid urban changes in experimenting with new documentary modes, narrations, and methods. Raidel’s works have participated in international biennials, exhibitions, and conferences and presented at numerous International film festivals, among those International Film Festival Rotterdam, CPH: DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, Hot Docs Canada, and Chicago International Film Festival.
Her film-making corresponds with her writings on Sinophone cinema for researching the poetics in image-making. She is the co-editor (with Peng Hsiao-yen) of Altering Archives, The Politics of Memory in Sinophone Cinemas and Image Culture (Routledge Contemporary China Series 2018). She has publicized the film director Tsai Ming-Liang.

Most recently she received the Outstanding Artist Award Film Art 2022 by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture for Documentary and Fiction Film.  Her film A Pile of Ghosts received the Award for Excellence at the Image Forum Festival Tokyo (2022).

Of Haunted Spaces – The Films of Ella Raidel Cinema, Heterotopias, and China’s Hyperurbanization Edited by Ute Meta Bauer NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore 2023, NUS Press

Films distributed by Sixpackfilm Vienna.


Geistergegenwart, RAY Filmmagazin 12/23+01/24, pp. 68-73, Text und Interview – Andreas Ungerböck, LINK, A comprehensive and detailed book review spanning six pages in Ray Filmmagazin, Austria.

Les Nouveaux Riches Magazine, Association for Contemporary Art and Culture, Interview with Ella Raidel, Interview: Daniel Lichterwaldt, June 2023,  Link

Ella Raidel, Video portrait, Outstanding Artist Award, Documentary and Fiction Film, Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria, Arts, Culture and Civil Service and Sports, Link

Regional Express

Regional Express

A living heritage project for the European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl Salzkammergut 2024 by Petra Ardai, Ella Raidel, and Marlene Rutzendorfer.

The train in motion as a narrator, time travelers, and the landscape as cinema.


The regional train and the surrounding landscape from Gmunden to Bad Aussee serve as the stage for this audiovisual docu-fiction. Memories of humans and non-humans retell the story of the Salzkammergut from multiple perspectives. Passengers can hear a conversation between the Train, the Mountain, and the Traunsee Mermaid, interwoven with stories of the local population.

Amsterdam-based documentary theater maker and scenario writer Petra Ardai interviewed locals to create a docu-fiction narrative about how the landscape, the salt, and the industry formed the region. Which powers shaped structures that are still present? What is the place of tradition in the future? 

The train journey is divided into five excursions. You can hop op in Gmunden, Ebensee, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt and Bad Aussee. The audio-visual material is arranged according to the scenery. Renowned actress and narrator Chris Lohner, the official voice of all railway stations in Austria, accompanies us on this imaginary journey in the role of the Train. The experience can be accessed via the QR code below and from March 2024 via the Salzkammergut Culture Guide App. Bring your headphones to listen to the story.

Access the story from here.

In August 2024, the story continues as a cinematic virtual reality experience directed by filmmaker Ella Raidel. The Cine VR  takes the audience into caves, mines, and landscapes around the Salzkammergut region in 360° videos. This immersive journey can be viewed through VR glasses provided at the venues.

Estonian Composer Sander Saarmets collected sounds in participatory workshops with people from the region. Susi Jirkuff’s distinct, delicate line drawings connect the audio-visual experience of Regional Express through various media on the App, website, and graphic design.

Marlene Rutzendorfer is the curator, producer, and researcher of the project. Having grown up in the region, she not only coordinated the international team of multidisciplinary artists working on Regional Express but also established a close connection to the area by involving an extensive network of locals.


Instagram: #regionalexpress2024


“Austria’s Salzkammergut bets on arts, culture to reboot region in 2024,” by Ong Sor Fern, The Straits Times Singapore, 14.02.2024.  Link

Moshammer, Mariella. ”Geschichten von Riesenkraken, während der See vorbeifließt.“ Volksblatt, 22.01.2024, Link

A preview of the European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl 2024 and the project Regional Express, in „Schaufenster,“ Die Presse, Philipp, Norbert. 15.12.2023, Regional Express is an audio-visual experience on the train and in cine virtual reality for the European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl 2024 by Petra Ardai, Ella Raidel, and Marlene Rutzendorfer. Link

Lebensg’schichten: Ella Raidel, Video portrait, Salzi TV, produced by Melanie Jungwirth. Link

Of Haunted Spaces – The Films of Ella Raidel

Of Haunted Spaces – The Films of Ella Raidel

Of Haunted Spaces, The films of Ella Raidel,

Cinema, Heterotopias, and China’s Hyperurbanization

Edited by Ute Meta Bauer

with contributions from Itty Abraham, Ute Meta Bauer, Marlene Rutzendorfer, and Yu Weiying

As amalgams of the different spatial logics of other places, reassembled by globalization and the fantasies of real estate development, cities today are becoming what Michel Foucault has termed heterotopias. Assemblies of ruins, theme parks, entirely copied towns, simulacra, business districts on a globalized template, reconstructed historic districts, settlements, and ghost towns are finding a new expression in the contemporary world. Nowhere has this become more visible recently than in China and in areas under China’s developmental influence. Copied cities, ghost cities, and large-scale Chinese investments in Africa are heterotopias because they contain the idea of accumulating different times, cultures, and countries within one place, just as a theme park contains all these different place experiences in a bounded zone outside of its own time and culture.

Ella Raidel has explored these phenomena through film and cinematic virtual reality, and this artist’s book reviews reflect the last two decades of her award-winning work. In Ella Raidel’s films, urbanism and architecture, theory, politics, social change, and image production are intertextually presented, opening a discursive space for investigation and commentary. This book will be interesting for art and film practitioners and students of architecture, film, urbanization, and infrastructure, especially those who see cinema as a way of exploring these subjects.

Order here: NUS PRESS

Published by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

ISBN: 978-981-18-5893-2

Distributed by NUS Press Singapore

Editor: Ute Meta Bauer

Designer: Swell Design Singapore

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore


Book Review:

Geistergegenwart, RAY Filmmagazin 12/23+01/24, pp.68-73

Text und Interview – Andreas Ungerböck, LINK

A comprehensive and detailed book review spanning six pages in Ray Filmmagazin.

Eine umfassende und detaillierte Buchrezension über sechs Seiten im Ray Filmmagazin.

Outstanding Artist Award Filmkunst 2022

Outstanding Artist Award Filmkunst 2022

Ella Raidel – Outstanding Artist Award für Spiel- und Dokumentarfilm

Geboren 1970 in Gmunden, Studium an der Kunstuniversität Linz, lebt und arbeitet in Singapur, Asst. Professorin für Dokumentarfilm an der NTU Nanyang Technologial University Singapur.
Raidel ist eine Künstlerin, die konsequent und kontinuierlich an der Schnittstelle zwischen performativer Kunst, Dokumentarfilm und Fiction arbeitet. Ihre Protagonist:innen sind in streng komponierte Bilder eingewoben. Sie wandeln zwischen Tradition, Moderne und Zukunft, durch gewachsene und kopierte Städte, durch Abrisshäuser und postmoderne Erlebniskultur.
Teils als real Betroffene und teils als Schauspieler:innen erkunden sie ihre eigene Identität. Die filmischen Räume bekommen durch diese Settings eine heterotopische Ausformung. Sie werden zu Bühnen und Vexierbildern, die nicht mehr eindeutig zuordenbar sind. Persönliche Erzählungen von Menschen, Kommentare und historische Referenzen verschmelzen ontologisch mit der Architektur zu einem mentalen Bild. Dabei entsteht ein neues, offenes Kino. Ein Kino, das genre- und disziplinübergreifend die Konventionen des Filmemachens reflektiert.


Ella Raidel is this year’s recipient of the Austrian Ministry for Culture’s (BMKÖS) Outstanding Artist Award in the category of feature and documentary film.

“Raidel is an artist who consistently and continuously works at the interface between performative art, documentary film, and fiction. Her protagonists are rigorously woven into composed images. They wander between tradition, modernity, and the future, through grown cities and replicas, through condemned buildings and postmodern experience culture. (…) Individual narratives, commentaries, and historical references merge ontologically with the architecture to form a mental image. In the process, a new, open cinema emerges. A cinema that reflects on the conventions of filmmaking across genres and disciplines.”

Die (Lebens)künstlerin die Asien und Europa vereint, OÖ. Nachrichten, 21/10/22

A Pile of Ghosts – Image Forum Tokyo – Award for Excellence

A Pile of Ghosts – Image Forum Tokyo – Award for Excellence

A Pile of Ghosts received the Award for Excellence at the East Asian Experimental Competition at the 36th Image Forum Festival Tokyo!

“Starting with the fiction of the Eiffel Tower in China, the film poignantly shows the fragile actuality that this multilayered and uncertain mass is reality, which is an accumulation of various symmetrical objects, such as new architecture and ruins, real estate brokers, and actors, the sound of a hammer echoing in the void and music from a Hollywood movie melodrama, the pseudo-romance between a nonexistent hotel guest and the host, etc. We admire the insightful editing and music design, which deeply elaborate the space between documentary and fiction, and we also would like to express our respect for this ambitious film that strikes a unique rhythm.” Jury statement


Image Forum Festival 2022, organized by the Executive Committee of Image Forum Festival in association with Image Forum and Aichi prefectural Museum of Art (co-organizers), will take place from September 17th.


– Venues: Theater Image Forum / SHIBUYA SKY / Spiral Hall

– Dates: September 17th to September 25th, 2022


– Venue: Kyoto Minami Kaikan

– Dates: October 7th to October 13th, 2022


– Venue: Aichi Arts Center

– Dates: November 25th to November 27th, 2022 Conventional forms of imagery and its rigid confinement will be taken away. Here, from film to video, all that moving images are subject for festival screenings. Festival was founded in 1987, this year is 36 times. Festival’s principle objective is to discover and promote perpetually developing visuals in its latest phase. And Festival’s key word is experimental, in this word, we have implemented our will to seek positively and recognize all the possibilities awaiting for visual media art.

The Seven Step Verse (2022)

The Seven Step Verse (2022)

A performative, cinematic VR 360 film by Ella Raidel

The documentary VR work explores the relationship between space and body in Singapore’s iconic modernist shopping malls in seven scenarios. The Seven-Step Verse is inspired by the Chinese poet Cao Zhi, who believed that a poem in seven verses shows wit, speed, and creativity. The performers occupy the malls, appropriating clothing and gestures and reciting texts as they pass by – thus pointing to the underlying ideological and social hierarchies.

FIVARS 2023: Spotlight on The Seven Step Verse, Interview with Ella Raidel

Distributed by Lemonade Films

Nicole Phua, Veronyka Lau, Valerie Koon, Smiha Kapoor, Gladis Ng*

Director: Ella Raidel
Screenplay: Ella Raidel
Producer: Ella Raidel
VR Cinematographer and VR Technical Director: Benjamin Seide
Sound recording: Vanessa Yip, Chua Xin Yun, Yang Haolin
Sound design: Ross Adrian Williams
Editor: Benjamin Seide
Composer: Ross Adrian Williams
Production design: Ella Raidel
Color correction: Benjamin Seide
Title design: Benjamin Seide



FIVARS Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories, Toronto, Official Selection (2023)

BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Bilbao, Spain. (2023)

FICMA, The International Alternative Media Film Festival (2023)

33rd SGIFF Singapore International Filmfestival

Seashorts Filmfestival 21.-25. September 2022

Multimedia University Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur

12 VR works from across Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Taiwan will be available at SeaShorts Film Festival 2022 as part of our Beyond Mirage exhibition!




The exposition Of Haunted Spaces-The Artistic Research in Filmmaking is published and online: https://jar-online.net/en

Of Haunted Spaces is an artistic research project conducted into Chinese ghost cities. It interprets the paradoxical urban phenomena where cities are built for millions, but not lived in. The research process is presented through the publication of Ghost Paper, a reference to the traditional Chinese joss paper that is burned as an offering to the dead, which I developed with Ralph K.C.Wu.

The first issue used a newspaper format that can be unfolded into a poster. This online version uses the reference to the traditional papers to connect the online with the offline world, the imaginary and the real world, to reveal the effects of capitalism that are haunting our living conditions.

Enter the Ghost here:


Keep on scrolling, reading, and watching clips here:



The Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) is an international, online, Open Access and peer-reviewed journal that disseminates artistic research from all disciplines. JAR provides a digital platform where multiple methods, media and articulations may function together to generate insights in artistic research endeavours. It seeks to promote exposition of practise as artistic research.