For indie filmmakers in India, roping in takers for their projects has always been an uphill task. And Bollywood seldom warms up to such films that cut a mark at festival circuits or even get international recognition. However, United Nations set an example recently by extending their support to an indie film -- a first in the country!
After travelling across the globe for film fests last year, Unni Vijayan’s directorial debut Lessons in Forgetting recently bagged the National Award for Best Film in the English film category. The film stars Adil Hussain, who acted opposite Sri Devi in English Vinglish. The best part came in later when UN decided to support the film through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“Despite UN’s stringent protocols they have been kind enough to associate with the film through certain marketing initiatives. In Mumbai, they organised a screening at the Chief Minister’s residence annexe. They also allowed the coveted United Nations buildings for promotional activities,” says a source.
Turns out the grave issues that this film based on Anita Desai’s novel tackles, made all the difference. “It is a powerful film based around sex selection and gender-based violence. Addressing these practices and achieving gender equality lie at the heart of UNFPA’s global mandate,” adds Frederika Meijer, UNFPA representative.
The whole development left Unni astonished as well as thankful. “It’s not easy to bring such films to a mass audience,” concludes the debutant director.