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), and has publicized on 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, Image Forum Festival Tokyo (2022).

Films distributed by Sixpackfilm Vienna.

Regional Express

Regional Express

An audio-visual-sensory train journey through the Salzkammergut, on location, on a curated app, and in virtual reality.

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

Regional Express is an audio-visual immersive narrative (immersive storytelling) taking place on a rail route between Gmunden and Bad Aussee, dealing with the cultural and natural heritage of the region. While traveling on the train, an immersive experience is produced as a journey through time and memory as a curated application and in virtual reality (360 Cinematic Film).

The narrative will be developed by the participating population and as a speculative story communicated to the region and an international audience. Like memory, it is composed of fragments, nourished by facts and fiction, and its performative nature allows for new perspectives. The stories expand beyond the personal; the perspective changes its character as the narrator, the glacier affected by climate change, and the transformation of rocks that bear the chronicles of the history of mankind. Along the way, different protagonists get on the train, new encounters occur, and audio-visual landscapes expand memory and imagination. The dramaturgy develops through the parameter of the train as a stage, which is a limited space, the route as the timeline, the travel speed, and the stops as a cadence for a sensory experience.

The project is developed in several medial stages, interlocked at all times and communicated to the public. At the beginning, workshops will serve to generate ideas, and the results will be documented on a website. For the year of the Capital of Culture 2024, the narrative will be presented as an immersive experience and prepared for an international audience as virtual reality into the future.


Instagram: #regionalexpress2024




Ella Raidel // Zong Ning 宗宁

Kuratorin: Dr. Alexandra Grimmer

Ausstellungsdauer: 1.6.2023 bis 20.6.2023

Öffnungszeiten: Dienstag bis Freitag 13-18Uhr, Samstag 10-15 Uhr

Loft8 Galerie, Radetzkystr. 4, 1030 Vienna

INTERVIEW WITH ELLA RAIDEL / Les Nouveaux Riches Magazine

Eine österreichische Filmemacherin, Foto- und Installationskünstlerin und ein chinesischer Fotokünstler treffen sich in der Loft 8 Galerie: Das Thema ist, wie in der Vergangenheit in Projekten der Kuratorin bereits vorgekommen ist, China. Dieses Mal allerdings von der Seite des Scheins, der Täuschung und der Kommerzialisierung von Grund und Boden – sowie der Rekonstruktion und Übersteigerung der Tradition.www.loft8.at

Of Haunted Spaces – The Films of Ella Raidel

Of Haunted Spaces – The Films of Ella Raidel

The films of Ella Raidel

Of Haunted Spaces

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 is this more visible recently than in China and in areas coming 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 and reflects on 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 and open 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.

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

Printer: First Printers Singapore

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Block 6, Lock Road

Gillman Barracks

Singapore 108934


International Journal of Film and Media Arts, Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): GEECT Transversal Entanglement – Artistic Research in Film.

International Journal of Film and Media Arts, Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): GEECT Transversal Entanglement – Artistic Research in Film.

‘A Pile Of Ghosts: A Cinematic Heterotopia of Spectral Urbanization’ is published at the International Journal of Film and Media Arts, Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): GEECT Transversal Entanglement – Artistic Research in Film.

This special issue approaches artistic research from the domains of artistic practice in film and its implications for research in film education institutions. It expands the contributions generated by the Transversal Entanglement – Artistic Research in Film conference organized and hosted by the Institute for Artistic Research IKF1 at Film University Babelsberg, which took place last year.
It comes along with the drawings by Christiane Büchner that were made during the presentations of this inspiring and well-executed online conference.


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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.

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



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.