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 Insensible Cities

The Insensible Cities

A collaborative Virtual Reality project by Ella Raidel (Austria/Singapore) and Hyun-Suk Seo (South Korea) Saturday 26 March, Work-in-progress presentation, 2:00 – 6:00pm, Residencies Studios, NTU CCA Singapore, Blk 38 Malan Road, #01 – 07

The Insensible Cities is a collaborative cinematic Virtual Reality project by Ella Raidel and Hyun-Suk Seo based on the two artists’ ongoing research on the ways human senses interact with modernist architectural ideas in different Asian cultures. Incorporating elements of performance in the most advanced capacities of VR technology, The Insensible Cities results from the artists’ shared interest in addressing and challenging the ideological and historical frameworks that govern one’s origins and identities. Through the sensory documentation of the multiple layers of time, memory, perception, and ideas, The Insensible Cities is a unique VR experience that reintroduces, reinterprets, and restructures the changing dimensions of everyday life in Asia beyond the conventions of cinema and performing arts.

The Insensible Cities is supported by Arts Council Korea (ARKO) and International Arts Joint Fund Korea-Singapore International Exchange Program. NTU Cohass Arts and Humanities Research Grant, ADM School of Art, Design, and Media.

Ghost Hits Wall

Ghost Hits Wall

Ghost Hits Wall at Pavillion0. at Architecture Biennial Venice

Video Installation, 10’38’’, 2021

Image: Ella Raidel / Sound: Sander Saarmets

Ghost Hits Wall from Ella Raidel on Vimeo.

Ghost Hits Wall is part of an art-based research project on Chinese ghost cities under the title Of Haunted Spaces (2016-2019). The footage was shot in a combination of acting and documenting to indicate the phantasmatic aspect of global capitalism. In China, the need to maintain and boost economic growth in its surplus production results in cities being built more than needed. The subject investigated is how global capitalism is affecting and haunting the living conditions of our time. Urban spaces, which were once a grandiose vision for boosting prosperity in the collective fantasy, have now become exhausted and empty sites.

We Will Always Have Paris

We Will Always Have Paris

Ein verdichtetes Bild des Unheimlichen: Wo sind wir, wann sind wir, entsteht hier etwas oder verfällt es bereits? Ella Raidels We’ll Always Have Paris spielt mit der Orientierung, die Architektur bieten kann, und ihrem Gegenteil: ein Eiffelturm im Nirgendwo, aus der Zeit gefallen, im Raum versetzt – ein Zeichen für eine Gegenwart, in der immer alles da und zugleich abwesend ist.

We will always have Paris, 4 Min., 2020 (Image: Ella Raidel; Sound: Sander Saarmets)

Crossing Europe Fimfestival Linz, Experimental Shorts, 04.06. 2021 –11:45

Diagonale Graz, Innovatives Kino, Schubertkino 1: 10.06.2021– 10:30; 12.06.– 19:30

Höhenrausch Linz, 06.05.- 17.10.2021

CINETEKTON 8, Festival Internacional de Cine y Arquitectura, Mexico City, 2021

Architecture Film festival Lund/Sweden, 2021

Antimatter – International Media Art & Experimental Cinema Festival, 2021

Rencontres Internationales Paris, 05.05.2022

Paris is not necessarily the first choice as the setting for a ghost story. The excessive romance of the French metropolis’ cultural symbols renders them simply unsuitable as backdrop for horror stories. But that’s not the case in Ella Raidel’s four-minute short film, which arose in the course of her extensive research project Of Haunted Spaces and refers to an upcoming feature film project. In We’ll always have Paris, the Eifel Tower, Champs-Élysées, magnificent fountains, and trimmed hedges stand as faux French in the hazy rain of Tianducheng. The residential complex located in the suburbs of the Chinese megapolis Hangzhou is one of the countless, largely unpopulated pop-up sites that sprung up overnight through high-speed real-estate speculation. In Raidel’s film, the Eifel Tower is the anti-gravity center of a phantom zone furnished with stark high-rises, parking areas, and gardens—an urban proposition that amounts to nothing. As the camera focuses on the building clone and its surroundings from various perspectives, the film suddenly changes tone. A woman who at first is visible only from behind enters the urban planning remake. Through a construction site corridor, she enters a conference space, improvised by partition walls, from which the view of the tower’s base condenses to an image of the uncanny. Like the pastiche in Tianducheng, We’ll always have Paris also contradicts the logics of representation; the film itself becomes a simulation of an architecture film, of a capitalism critique, of a ghost story: as they say in the film classic Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris.” But what do we have here? (Esther Buss)

Distributed by Sixpackfilm Vienna

Play, Life, Fight

Play, Life, Fight

60 seconds of the short film PLAY, LIFE Series as a trailer for CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILMFESTIVAL –> “Because Everybody Loves Movies”



BERG (25 Min., 2016) is a journey with a floating mountain.

During the 2015 edition of the Festival der Regionen in Upper Austria, a group of artists made an imposing wooden model of a mountain that was then transported across a lake taking a journey for 10 days. This floating vehicle became a platform for cultural exchange, welcoming musicians, writers and visual artists to collaborate. The film BERG (25 Min., 2016) using this experience to create a hypnotic and evocative visual poem.

Montage/Realisation: Ella Raidel; Kamera: Martin Putz; Text: Karin Peschka; Sound Design: Sander Saarmets; Sound: Richard Eigner, Billy Roisz; Choreography: Jianan Qu; Cast: Sonia Borkowicz,Viltė Švarplytė

Recent Screeenings –> Crosssing Europe Filmfestival Linz 2016, Trento Filmfestival Italy 2016



Installation at Tankstelle Dametzstrasse/OK Center for Contemporary Art Linz during Crossing Europe Filmfestival with Clemens Bauder/Felix Ganzer:



Fotos: Gregor Graf


Play Life Series

Play Life Series

Playlifesm Playlife02sm

PLAY LIFE SERIES 玩命系列, 2012, 11 Min., HD

It opens with a traditional Chinese sword fight. Two men in armor carefully exchange choreographed blows while twirling elaborately through the air. Upon closer inspection, the chords with which their bodies are lifted into the air become visible.

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Family Affairs

Family Affairs

Family Affairs (2 Min., 2010) Play and fight of a family at night.

Mozambique, 2010, Camera/Editing: Ella Raidel, Sound by Matchume Zango


Slam Video Maputo

Slam Video Maputo

SLAM VIDEO MAPUTO, 27 Min., 2010

In cooperation with the International Filmfestival Rotterdam ‘Forget Africa’

SLAM VIDEO MAPUTO investigates the making of self-image in media of Mozambique where its popular culture mirrors the intersection of global and local cultures that unparalleled social and economic relations are deployed. The film shows the cultural practice of Afro-pop, where gangsta rap, hip-pop, poetry slam and traditional music are fused and reversed as well, in order to illustrate its economic and political dimensions.
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