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Women on top

The India chapter of Women in Film and Television Association, a global organisation that commits to the advancement of women professionals in screen-based media with 14,000 members completes a year. To celebrate their turning one, they zeroed in on the idea of the Red Dot Film Festival that will be screening award-winning films of 2012-13. With the Films Division on board as an associate organiser, the festival, starting this Friday has many reasons to look forward to.

“After the National Award winners were announced, we had a felicitation ceremony inviting all women filmmakers in May which was primarily a networking event,” shares Petrina D’Rozario, founder president of WIFT India. D’Rozario admits that she had to literally “beg, borrow, steal” to bring the festival together until Films Division stepped in.

VS Kundu, Director General of Films Division remarks, “Although Films Division does not get into feature films but most of these National Award winning films tend to slip into oblivion with no screenings or cinema releases. By the time the TV broadcast happens, which can be six months later, people have forgotten about the film.”


Film poster of Timbaktu, Ko:Yad, Ek Gachha and A Pinch of Skin that will be screened at the festival

With a strong focus on the films, the screenings would be followed up with a Q&A session with select directors. The films hail from across different regions including Assam, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. From direction, animation, editing to costume design, the showcasing of these films celebrates the women behind these riveting dramas. Well-known films such as Dhag, Celluloid Man and Delhi Safari would also be screened.

The GUIDE’S top picks:
Eka Gachha Eka Manisa Eka Samudra by Lipika Singh Darai: This Oriya film will be inaugurating the festival. It follows the journey of the director who had been trained in Hindustani Classical Music under Guru Prafulla Kumar Das, which eventually led her to pursue the audiography course at Film and Television Institute of India. After bagging the National Award for her work in Gaarud, Darai goes back to her homeland to look for her guru who has passed away by then. The debut film of Darai captures her search and quest to find the guru who changed her life.

Anjali Menon’s Ustad Hotel is heavily recommended by Kundu. A 2012 award winner, this Malayalam film focusses on Faizal, a young aspiring chef who manages to materialise his training in Switzerland although against his father’s wishes. Eventually, the father’s dismay translates into cutting his son off from his wealth compelling Faizal to work as a cook in a restaurant in Calicut. Kundu avers, “It is remarkable how the protagonist forgoes a cushy job to pursue his passion.”

Priya Goswami’s A Pinch of Skin treads in the valorous zone of female genital mutilation in rural India. The fact that Goswami was able to get a taboo topic like this translated on to the big screen evokes nothing short of kudos from our end.

Kabul Close-Up
Vikalp@Prithvi will be showcasing select short films on Afghanistan with a special focus on the politico-social flux the country has been undergoing in the recent times. The films have been curated keeping the place’s future in mind as many a films are premised on children and their simple desires that are in conflict with a complex world they are situated in.

A Letter to Light, and Angels of the Earth, both look for positivity through children as the main figures. While the adult world is seen through a horse-drawn carriage driver and Amir Ali who hopes to change his world by contesting for the upcoming elections.

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