Asian Women’s film festival kicks off

March 7th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The fourth Asian Women’s Film Festival 2008, organised by Delhi-based non-profit organisation International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), got off to a colourful start here Friday. IAWRT is a NGO comprising women working in electronic and allied media and is in consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc).

Kapila Vatsyayan, MP and chairperson of India International Centre’s (IIC) Asia Project, was the chief guest at the inaugural function.

Vatsyayan said: “The documentary format of film has a ripeness to highlight issues of concern because a good film leaves a great impact on the viewer, it can cheer or disturb them.”

The two-day festival is being held in collaboration with the IIC Asia Project and UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). The films are being screened at the IIC auditorium.

The opening ceremony was followed by a message of Unesco appealing to media to encourage larger participation of women in the field. Then two short films - “Everyday” and “Manpasand” by Anupama Srinivasan and Dhwani Desai, respectively - were screened.

“In ‘Everyday’ I have tried to look out of the window and showcase a human relationship in today’s time via a pigeon couple,” said Srinivasan.

In the film, two pigeons are shown sitting on an electricity wire with all sorts of noises - traffic, TV, people talking - as the background score. Towards the end, one pigeon flies away, leaving the other one alone.

“I have used a dying folk art form Sanjhi to make an animation film ‘Manpasand’,” said Desai.

“The story is borrowed from the tales of Panchatantra. The film attempts to preserve the art form and showcase that every creature made by god has its own significance and is not inferior to anyone. Also, one is mostly attracted to his own type of creature,” she added.

In the animation film a grandmother is featured urging her granddaughter to make Sanjhi to get a bridegroom of her choice.

Through the little girl’s canvas the director narrates the story of a mouse, which is turned into a beautiful girl by a saint.

The saint brings her up like his own daughter and asks her to choose among the king, sun, rain, wind or the mountain god, as her life partner. But she zeroes in on a mouse and marries him.

Jai Chandiram, managing trustee of IAWRT, said the event is aimed at sparking debates on creative processes and concerns.

“The aim of the festival is to open up a space for debates on creative processes and concerns. The initiative is meant to celebrate the vision women filmmakers negotiate, resist or document on political, social, cultural, environmental, educational or economic issues,” he said.

Chandiram also said that women have proved over the years that their hold on the medium of cinema is as good as that of other filmmakers. Movies made by women filmmakers have a sensitivity that immediately strikes an emotional chord.

Themed “Insights and Aspirations”, the festival features 25 short and full-length films from Australia, Japan, Pakistan and the US, besides India.

Apart from documentary films, the event that started on the eve of International Women’s Day also offers fiction and animation short-films. Also, there will be panel discussions on how women filmmakers are widening the frame for issues concerning women.

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