Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hum Gunahgaar Auratein [ We Sinful Women ]

The IAWRT Seminar Hum Gunahgaar Auratein / We Sinful Women will be held on 8th March, 2014 at Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi. A part of the 10th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, the day-long seminar celebrates art and resistance by women in South Asia. 

The event is organised around a single question: how do women artists and activists in South Asia strategise and survive in repressive environments living as they do in a world of suicide bombing, drone attacks, and ruthless militarism in different names and guises. What is the power of art and social activism, if it can be swept away by guns, bombs, violence and bigotry?

Conceived of and coordinated by Dr. Uma Chakravarti and Anupama Chandra

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FOCUS ON SRI LANKA: A Panel Discussion

10th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival 2014


Through the Looking Glass
Post-Conflict Sri Lanka and its Dilemmas 

A Panel Discussion with Anomaa Rajakaruna (Filmmaker), Sumathy Sivamohan (Academic and Filmmaker), Leena Manimekalai (Filmmaker), Priya Thangarajah (Activist)

4.30pm on 6 March, 2014
Kamladevi Complex, India International Centre

In May 2009, the 30 year civil war between the Sri Lankan State and the Tamil rebels got over. While the bloodshed, killings and disappearances may have been put to an end, Sri Lanka is going through the painful ramifications of a post-conflict society, where the wounds are both physical and psychological. The challenges that face the Sri Lankan society today exist at various levels—psychological, social, economic and political. Efforts are being made to rebuild the war-torn economy, especially in the northern part of the countrywhich bore the brunt of the war. It has not been an easy process.  While there has been a move towards decentralization of powers of the Sri Lankan State with the holding of the provincial elections in September 2013, what this actually means for the democratic process is something that one will have to wait and watch. Along with this, the effort of ‘integration’ between the Tamils, Muslims and the Sinhalese has its own fallouts. The rise of the right-wing “Buddhu Bala Sena” which has been calling for a ban on halal certification, is driving a wedge in the fragile peace that exists between different communities.

In this context, what this panel seeks to addressare the everyday challenges that the Sri Lankan society is currently facing. How does a war-torn country pick itself up and move on, but do it in a way that does not violate democratic processes? What are the psychological impacts of this war on a generation whose only political reference point was the ethnic strife? How do various ethnic communities learn to co-exist, especially in the context of the rise of right-wing Buddhist nationalism? And as importantly, how has the post-conflict situation affected women? These are some of the questions that this panel will delve into. It will not only attempt to discuss the sites of strife and violence that plague the Sri Lankan society today, but imagine what the way forward could be.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

IAWRT INDIA presents

seeking a JUST world!
(films of courage, protest, hope)

13 February 2014 onwards, across India 

13 Feb 2014
In Delhi at 
  • WDC, Lady Shri Ram College
  • Jagori
14 Feb 2014
In Mumbai at 
  • Comet Media Foundation
In Pune at
  • Film & Television Institute of India
17 Feb 2014
In Mumbai at 
  • IDC, IIT Bombay
For more information and updates visit the Facebook page for OUR LIVES...TO LIVE FILM FESTIVAL 2014

IAWRT INDIA presents

seeking a JUST world!
(films of courage, protest, hope)

14 February 2014 onwards, across India  

Allahabad Bombay Bhopal Chennai Dehradun Delhi Gwalior Kaithal Madurai Pune Rohtak
Thrissur and many more places yet to be confirmed

This multi-location film festival will be the 2nd edition of OUR LIVES...TO LIVE. Last year our tag line was "NO! to gender violence" and we had immensely successful versions of the festival in many parts of the country, continuing all through the year. This time the theme is Justice, and so through this festival we are "seeking a JUST world!"

Discrimination and oppression are violent, and they are also unjust. The phenomena of both gender violence and other forms of injustice are linked to the idea of rights, and our struggles to obtain those rights as equal citizens of the state and equal members of our various communities. 

Thus, the festival comprises films that engage with struggles everywhere against injustice and for rights -- political, social, legal; to do with class, race, caste, disability, gender, sexuality, the environment.

The festival includes documentaries, short and feature-length fiction, animation, student productions, community videos and testimonials.

Here are some films that afford a glimpse of this year's festival and of the kind of concerns OUR LIVES...TO LIVE 2014 will reflect:

    •    CALL ME KUCHU by Malika Zouhali-Worall and Kathrine Fairfax-Wright More     relevant than ever for us after the SC's recent retrogressive verdict on Sec 377, this close-up, searing account from Uganda of the ugly growth of homophobia and its terrible consequences, and of the brave queer activists keeping the struggle alive, must be seen and discussed as widely as possible by people of all sexualities and genders.       

    •    FABRICATED by KP Sasi brings us the all-too familiar story of false cases, false witnesses, false arrests, profiling. An utterly compelling account of the targeting of Abdul Nasar Maudany and his family, and an important chapter in the contemporary history of our terribly compromised supposedly democratic State.      

    •    GULCIN and ONE CUP OF TURKISH COFFEE by Nazli Eda Noyan For Animation lovers, Nazli Eda Noyan has shared two gorgeous shorts. Come see the magic she weaves with a Turkish carpet and the story she tells over a cup of Turkish coffee.  

    •    RADIATION STORIES 3 (KOODANKULAM) by Amudhan RP  is an enormously alive and energetic film about an incredibly alive and energetic people's movement in Tamil Nadu for the right to life and livelihood and against the nuclear reactor which threatens both. Catch the film at OUR LIVES...TO LIVE, and hold on to the catch.    

    •    THE ACT OF KILLING by Joshua Oppenheimer, which has just been nominated for an Academy Award after winning accolades worldwide and shaking its viewers to the core, is a cinematically mesmerising, almost incredible re-enactment of and reflection on the mass killings in 1965 by the Indonesian state's own death squads. The killers still walk free, and proud of their handiwork.                                       

    •    Films from The National Film School of Denmark:- SOMEWHERE ON THE OTHER SIDE by Mona Rafatzadeh and MY BROTHER KARIM by Asger Krøjer Kallesøe bring us documentary and fiction narratives of migrants from Iran and Afghanistan searching for a sense of belonging in Denmark, and the joyful SILENCE IN A NOISY WORLD by Katrine Philp takes us to a school for deaf children in Cairo. 

    •    TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF by Necati Sonmez  is a beautiful and sombre film that brings us, through stunning images from now abandoned prisons and death row cells, the voices and stories of women and men who were executed by the state -- until 1984, when Turkey abolished capital punishment. Are we listening, fellow Indians?    

    •    TURUMBA by Kidlat Tahimik is a warm-hearted yet ultimately devastating parable on the global economy,as essential as during its 1983 debut. In the film, a Philippine village switches from making small-market handicrafts to international Olympics memorabilia. Both a witty, almost Swiftian satire of the effects of globalization, and a documentary-like portrait of Philippine rural life.           

    •    YODOK STORIES by Andrzej Fidyk follows people who fled persecution in North Korea for freedom and safety in South Korea. They tell harrowing tales of the atrocities they experienced -- through an extraordinary musical about the Yodok concentration camp!       

All this, and much more, 100 films!

There will be DVD screenings only, free to audiences. In each location the festival is being organised by local NGOs, voluntary collectives, or colleges, with ample time built into the programme for the passionate discussions that the films will inspire and necessitate.

You can plan to host this event too, in your town or college or community. All you need is a suitable venue, DVD projection facilities and an interested audience. We will send you a list of the selected films, with suggestions for programming and ideas for discussions.

For enquiries about hosting the festival in your area, please write to:

The festival is curated by Smriti Nevatia on behalf of the India chapter of IAWRT (International Association of Women in Radio and Television), and is an independent initiative that will coincide broadly with One Billion Rising, the international campaign for gender justice.

Look forward to your participation!                                                                                         

Thursday, February 13, 2014


The selection of films on Sri Lanka






Curator’s Note
The set of 3 films that have been chosen for the 10th IAWRT film festival are made by women directors, who through their films have tried to ask a fundamental question: what constitutes an ethical and democratic society? Do the majority and minority populations have equal rights to participate in acts of citizenship?; and if ethnic minorities cannot make that claim, what does that say about contemporary Sri Lankan society? While all the films do not necessarily deal with the aftermath of the conflict between the Sri Lankan State and the Tamils, they do in some ways reflect the tensions of a multi-ethnic society where equal rights of citizenship is not always an entitlement. While Ennakum Oru Per (I too have a Voice)  (Fiction) and White Van Stories (non-fiction), are set in the context of the ethnic conflict between the Tamils and Sinhalas, Ingirunthu (Fiction) deals with the struggles that the upcountry Tamil plantation workers have been through, in order to be recognized as equal citizens of Sri Lanka.

Ennakum Oru Per is a short film which deals with the story of two women who are trying to get over the memory of their violet past, and look towards a different future. White Van Stories is a documentary feature, which takes an unsparing look at the enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka orchestrated by the Sri Lankan State against those questioning perpetrators of violence. Ingirunthu, which is part fiction, part documentary, part historical construction is a moving portrayal of the upcountry Tamil plantation community in Sri Lanka, and an account of their lives, history and political struggles.

While the three films in this curation are set in the background of ethnic and political conflict, the aesthetic choices that each of the filmmakers have made to express themselves, set the films apart. By using their distinct style and voice, each filmmaker in this curationembarks upon asearch for questions around citizenship and an interrogation of what constitutes a just society, through their films.

Subasri Krishnan

Thursday, February 6, 2014

10th IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival 2014

This year the festival travels to campuses and institutions across Delhi in addition to the screenings at the India International Centre

Films to be screened:

1.     Madly in Love (Animation, Japan, 3min)
        Dir: Dhvani Desai

2.     Chakravyuh (Animation, India, 3min)
        Dir: Dhvani Desai

3.     Deadline (Animation, India, 4min)
        Dir: Sandhya Prabhat

4.     TrueLoveStory (Animation, India, 19min)

        Dir: Gitanjali Rao

5.     Accsex (Documentary, India, 52min)

        Dir: Shweta Ghosh

6.     … And the Unclaimed (Documentary, India, 62min)
        Dir: Debalina

7.     Beyond the Burqa (Documentary, Afghanistan, 21min)

        Dir: Sahra Mosawi

8.     Beyond the Veil (Documentary, India, 53min)

        Dir: Anusha Nandakumar

9.     Carpet Weavers (Documentary, Afghanistan, 19min)
        Dir: Batul Moradi

10.   Children of the Srikandi  (Documentary, Indonesia/Germany, 73min)
        Dir: Children of Srikandi Collective

11.   Crossings Love (Documentary, Taiwan, 83min)

        Dir: Kuo Shiao-yun

12.   Gurbet Pastasi - Journey of the Cake (Documentary, Turkey, 56min)
        Dir: Ayşe Funda Aras

13.   Have You Seen the Arana? (Documentary, India, 74min)
        Dir: Sunanda Bhatt

14.   Khwab Ghuune ki Khwahish (Documentary, India, 19min)
        Dir: Sajana Jayaraj

15.   Love. Love. Love.  (Documentary, Russia, 11min)
        Dir: Sandhya Daisy Sundaram

16.   Most Eligible Bachelors  (Documentary, India, 31min)
        Dir: Deepti Ahuja

17.   Motherland Afghanistan  (Documentary, Afghanistan, 55min)
        Dir: Seddika Mojaddi

18.   My Fancy High Heels  (Documentary, Taiwan, 55min)
        Dir: Ho Chao-Ti

19.   My Grandfather’s House (Documentary, Myanmar, 14min)
        Dir: ShunnLei Swe Yee

20.   My No-mercy Home (Documentary, South Korea, 77min)
        Dir: Aori

21.   No Problem! 6 months with the Barefoot Grandmamas  
        (Documentary, India, 56min)
        Dir: Yasmin Kidwai

22.   Sleepless Nights (Documentary, Lebanon, 128min)
        Dir: Eliane Raheb

23.   Voices of Orchid Island  (Documentary, Taiwan, 73min)
        Dir: Hu Tai-Li

24.   Womb on Rent (Documentary, India, 49min)
        Dir: Ishani Dutta

25.   Women Singing in the Desert  (Documentary, Afghanistan, 30min)
        Dir: Alka Sadat

26.   White Van Stories  (Documentary, India, 90min)
        Dir: Leena Manimekalai

27.   Bandish (Experimental, India, 7min)
        Dir: Adwaita Das

28.   For You and Me (Experimental, India, 11min)
        Dir: Tanushree Das

29.   Grandmother (Experimental, India, 7min)
        Dir: Oorvazi Irani

30.   I am Micro  (Experimental, India, 15min)
        Dir: Shai Heredia & Shumona Goel

31.   Haze (Experimental, India, 6min)
        Dir: Kanika Gupta

32.   Survivor (Experimental, Iran, 5min)
        Dir: Shirin Barghnavard

33.   Good Morning Karachi  (Feature Fiction, Pakistan, 85min)
        Dir: Sabiha Sumar

34.   Ingirinthu  (Feature Fiction, Sri Lanka, 82min)
        Dir: Sumathy Sivamohan

35.   Nyonya's Taste of Life  (Feature Fiction, Taiwan, 78min)
        Dir: Wen Chih-Yi

36.   Aabida (Short Fiction, United Kingdom, 26min)
        Dir: Maaria Sayed

37.   Aisa Nahin Hua tha Tahira (Short fiction, India, 22min)
        Dir: Rajula Shah

38.   An Almost Perfect Day (Short Fiction, Bangladesh, 12min)
        Dir: Humaira Bilkis

39.   The Bamboo Grove (Short Fiction, Myanmar,19min)
        Dir: KhinKhin Hsu

40.   The Breadfruit Tree (Short Fiction, India, 22min)
        Dir: Priyamvada Narayanan

41.   Hint (Short Fiction, Israel, 17min)
        Dir: Adi Bar Yossef

42.   I too have a Name (Short Fiction, India, 12min)
        Dir: Suba Sivakumaran

43.   Jaadui Machchi (Short Fiction, India, 37min)
        Dir: Ektara Collective

44.   Lori (Short Fiction, Israel, 17min)
        Dir: Hila Shrem

45.   Such a Girl Like Me (Short Fiction, Hong Kong, 15min)
        Dir: Man Uen Ching

46.   The Summer Flu (Short Fiction, India, 17min)
        Dir: Priyanka Chhabra

47.   Watermelon, Fish and Half Ghost (Short Fiction, India, 11min)
        Dir: Payal Kapadia