RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY






DAUGHTER OF NEPAL
(34 mins/ English/ 2018/ India and Nepal)
by Surbhi Dewan

Available from: 29th November, 7:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM

Password: don#2018

About the Film: This film tells the story of Manushi Yami Bhattarai, the unassuming daughter of two formidable political leaders of Nepal. As her parents prepared to go underground for the Peoples' War in the mid-1990's, nine-year-old Manushi was sent across the border to live under an assumed identity. The film takes a poetic look at a rarely seen side of a revolutionary movement.
About the Filmmaker: Surbhi Dewan is a director, writer and producer. Her independent films explore intersections between political conflict, displacement, memory and personhood. She has also produced award-winning social and commercial audio-visual content with her New Delhi-based production company, Painted Tree Pictures. Surbhi graduated with an MFA in film from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, and received her BA degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.

Trailer:


LISTEN TO HER
(07.04 mins/ Hindi, English with English subtitles/ 2020/ India)
by Nandita Das

Available from: 27th November, 5:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM

Password: showtime1234

About the Film: “ Whisper… Speak… Shout. Your Voice Will be Heard! ”
The film is a spontaneous response to the irony of “STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” for millions of women in India and around the world. The film is adding its voice to a conversation that is much needed in the public space. It reminds us that speaking up is only possible when women know that there is someone listening. This pandemic has taught us that our lives are deeply intertwined, and so we must respond to the realities beyond ours.

About the Film maker: Nandita Das has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages. Her directorial debut in 2008 was Firaaq. She has been twice on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, among others. She has a master’s degree in Social Work and is a strong advocate for social justice and human rights. She was conferred the ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’ by the French Government. Nandita was the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society and wrote a monthly column for 8 years in the magazine, The Week.

Manto, Nandita’s second directorial film premiered in 2018 at the Cannes Film Festival and can be watched on Netflix. Her first book Manto & I chronicles her 6-year long journey of making the film. She has been supporting the campaign, ‘Dark Is Beautiful’ and to further the conversation, she produced a short in 2019, called India’s Got Colour. During the lockdown, Nandita wrote, directed, produced and acted in a 7min. film called, Listen to Her, that sheds light on the increase in domestic violence and overburden of work that women have been facing during the pandemic.

Still:










KARMA
(100 mins/ Nepali and Tibetan with English subtitles/ 2006/ Nepal)
by Tsering Rhitar Sherpa

Available from: 29th November, 7:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM

Password: showtime1234

About the Film: A small film could not have a bigger philosophical question: what is more important, inner development or outward social action? This is a feature film about two Buddhist nuns who are sent out from their nunnery in the remote Mustang region, to track down an elusive businessman and recover the nunnery’s money loaned to him for a grand prayer that the nunnery has to perform.

About the Film maker: Born in Nepal, Tsering Rhitar Sherpa studied Mass Communication at the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi from 1992 to 1993. His 1997 film "The Spirit Doesn't Come Anymore", a documentary film profiling an old Tibetan shaman earned him the Best Film Award in FILM SOUTHASIA, and Best Indigenous Filmmaker of the Year at Parnu Anthropological Film Festival, Estonia. In 2000, he made MUKUNDO (Mask of Desire), a feature film in Nepali, a co-production of Mila Productions (P) Ltd. and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), which was widely shown in International Film Festivals, and was Nepal's Official Entry for Academy Awards (OSCAR) in Best Foreign Language Film Section in 2000. 

Trailer:


THE MERMAID OF CHURNA ISLAND 
(22 mins/ Urdu & English with English subtitles/ 2014/ Pakistan)
by Nameera Ahmed

Available from: 30th November, 2:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM


About the Film: This is the story of Rosheen Khan, Pakistan’s first female SCUBA diving instructor, who overcame many hurdles to realise her dreams. As the film progresses, it peels off layers of meaning, and takes the audience deeper into a poetic inquiry into life, death, desire, and longing.

Selected Festivals and Awards
  • Mumbai International Film Festival, 2018
  • The British Council, special film screening, 2017
  • Pakistan International Film Festival, Islamabad, 2016
  • Scuba Adventures Diving Club, Karachi, 2016 
  • ASPTT Club de Plongée, Saint-Étienne, France, 2016
  • Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Seattle, October, 2015
  • Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Doha, Qatar, 2015
  • Human Rights Film Festival, Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, October, 2014
  • UCLA, Los Angeles, Department of Art History, October, 2014
About the Film maker: Nameera is a documentary filmmaker, a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified scuba instructor and underwater videographer. She has been making documentary films on the themes of the underwater world, music and heritage, women’s issues, literacy, education, health, floods, mangrove depletion, and the environment. She has been doing underwater videography, archiving the beautiful marine life off the coast of the Arabian Sea. Her films have had international screenings in Italy, Germany, Iran, Brazil, India, Nepal, Qatar, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, the U.S.A, Turkey, France and Pakistan.


HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARANA?
(73 mins/ Malayalam with English subtitles/ 2012/India)
by Sunanda Bhat

Available from: 30th November, 2:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM

Password: showtime1234

About the Film: In a world that has grown more dynamic and uncertain, where diversity and differences make way for standardization and uniformity, this film explores the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and livelihoods. As hills flatten, forests disappear and traditional knowledge systems are forgotten, the film reminds us that this diversity could disappear forever, to be replaced by monotonous and unsustainable alternatives.

About the Film maker: Sunanda Bhat’s interest in non-fiction films is to represent people living on the margins of an intricate and stratified Indian society. She looks at ways to bring in textures of landscape through layers of lives of her characters.
Her latest independent work 'Have you seen the arana?' won critical acclaim with screenings at film festivals in India and outside. Among the prominent awards are, the Golden Conch at Mumbai International Film Festival, Mark Haslam Award at Planet in Focus in Toronto, ‘Monde en regards’ at the Jean Rouch Ethnographic Film Festival in Paris, the John Abraham National Award for Best Documentary at Signs Film Festival, among others. She was invited to present her film at Metropolis Kino, an art-house cinema theatre in Hamburg and showcase her film at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York. Her first film “Bol Ayesha Bol” premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam.

Sunanda has made several short films on sanitation, dry land farming and micro enterprise. She has been on the jury and as part of a selection committee for film festivals. She is an active member of Vikalp Bengaluru, a collective of filmmakers that has been showing the best in documentary films in the city for over 10 years. She is currently working on a feature length documentary in coastal Karnataka. 
She lives and works from Bangalore.

Trailer:


AWAKENING OF THE GODDESS
(2.38 mins/ English, Hindi, Bengali/ 2020/ India)
by Debjani

Available from: 27th November, 5:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM

Password: showtime1234

About the Film: This animated documentary is a non-narrative based on documentary testimonials of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in India. The film addresses nine kinds of violence with different intensities, often overlapping. 

About the Filmmaker: Debjani is an award-winning independent animation filmmaker, published children’s book author and illustrator, a researcher and educator. Presently, she is pursuing her PhD from IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay on Indigenous Art Pedagogy. She graduated from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, in 2009. She is also the co-founder of ‘BOL-The language of Children’, a not-for-profit based in India, contributing towards community filmmaking and engaging community youth to share their own stories through the powerful medium of art.

Currently, Debjani is the HOD and Assistant Professor of Animation and Motion Graphics department at Unitedworld Institute of Design, where she teaches courses in Visual Narrative, Storyboarding, Illustration and Experimental Animation. She is also working on an animated documentary using ‘collaborative practices’ as her methodology.

Poster:
















ASK THE SEXPERT
(83 mins/ Hindi and English/ 2017/ India, USA)
by Vaishali Sinha

Available from: 30th November, 2:30 PM
Until: 3 December, 10:30 AM
Password: showtime1234

About the Film: Ask the Sexpert is a feature length documentary about Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a highly popular 93-year-old sex advice columnist for a daily newspaper in Mumbai. Despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humour has emboldened many to write in with their questions. The columnist gains popularity even while a ban on comprehensive sex education in schools is adopted by approximately a third of India’s states.

Awards:
  • Best Documentary - New Orleans Film Festival 
  • Best Documentary - Jagran Film Festival
  • Best Documentary - Power Brands Bollywood Films Journalist Awards
  • Best Documentary - DC South Asian Film Festival
  • Nominee, Best Entertaining Documentary - Grierson Awards
  • Best of Fest – IDFA
  • Best Documentary - South Asian Film Festival of Montreal
  • Best Documentary - DC South Asian Film Festival
  • Special Mention - Films SouthAsia
About the Film maker: Vaishali co directed/ produced the feature documentary, Made in India about transnational surrogacy. The film received multiple awards and a special mention by veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan at the Jeevika Film Festival. Ask the Sexpert is her second feature documentary and a co-production of ITVS. The film is currently available on Netflix India. Vaishali's films have traveled widely and received support from several international foundations, film and media companies. She has also produced numerous independent shorts as well as commissioned works and branded content. In the past, Vaishali has worked with filmmakers Bishakha Datta (Point of View, Mumbai), Kiran and Abaan Deohans (Candid Creations, Mumbai), Mira Nair (Mirabai Films, NY) and Richard Wormser (Videoline Productions, NY). 

Vaishali has a Bachelor’s in Physics from St. Xavier’s Mumbai, and a Diploma in Film Production from the New School University (NY), where she graduated with a special recognition for her thesis film Choose Life? , about a day in a young woman's life who finds out she's pregnant and must make a decision. 

Trailer: