A festival of films around
"seeking a just world
Slippery fellow, Justice. As murky as prejudice, as amorphous as inequality, as two-faced as patriarchy, as evasive as discrimination, as cunning as privilege, as unforthcoming as sweatshop wages, as ephemeral as a politician’s pre-election promises.
To cut to the chase, the world is still filled on every side with the big “I” of Injustice, with the small satisfying joys of justice few and far between. The notion of injustice is linked to the idea of justice denied, which is based on a sense of what our rights are, or of how they are being trampled on – which
in turn brings us to our struggles to obtain or regain those rights, as equal citizens of the state and equal members of our various communities.
The festival includes several films that portray people’s movements for the protection of their land, resources, livelihoods, cultures, health, lives, freedoms – against the ravages of bauxite mining, nuclear reactors, army brutality, social exclusions, and compromised systems of justice.
There are also individual stories, personal musings, satirical takes, heartwarming triumphs, and examples of resistance through art.
We have exciting student films, testimonials and community videos, reports shot with urgency in a day, films made lovingly over years. There is animation, there are music videos, delectable fiction shorts and three fiction features! Together and singly, these films -- sourced from India, South Asia and the planet at large – tell us intense, moving, prescient, disturbing, hopeful human stories.
Many of the filmmakers will be present, along with other discussants who are deeply engaged with some of the concerns these films foreground. Do join us to make the three days truly vibrant with discussion and debate, about cinema as well as about our lives...to live.
Smriti Nevatia, Curator, Our Lives...To Live FF
Just a few glimpses (full programme coming soon!)
Marcela Zamora Chammoro
MARIA IN NOBODY’S LAND
Mexico-El Salvador I 2010 I 86 min
An unprecedented look at the illegal and dangerous journey of three Salvadoran women to the US. DoñaInés is searching for her disappeared daughter. Marta and Sandra want to escape domestic violence and poverty. As the immigration debate continues to rage, this film helps to bring understanding to these urgent issues.
Best Documentary (Jury Prize and Audience), Festival Int
'l de Cine en Derechos Humanos, Argentina
Best Central American Feature Documentary, ICARO
MADE IN TURKEY
Turkey I 2014 I animation I 1 min
A ban on alcohol, bombing of villages by the army, the Gezi protests, media censorship on the media, a protestor beaten to death – a visual representation of what happened over one year in Turkey.
Germany I 2008 I 28 min
Stasi surveillance as a film experience: For years, the Ministry for State Security spied on photographer Harald Hauswald, whose photographs deviated from the self-image that the GDR wanted to portray. The film juxtaposes voice over texts from the Stasi files with Hauswald’s photographs.
KP Sasi (the filmmaker will be present)
Nomination for Best Documentary, German Short Film Awards Best Mid-length film, Achtung Berlin, New Berlin Film Award
1st Prize and Audience Prize, Competition East / West, Emerge And See FF Berlin
Special Prize, Indie Lisboa, Portugal
- Honorable Mention, dokument ART FF
India I 2013 I 88 min
This story of false cases filed against Maudany becomes a revealing narrative of how many Muslims are implicated in false cases under questionable laws. Maudany is a charismatic leader who has spoken up for various marginalised sections, and supported the Koodankulam and POSCO people’s struggles.
Sashi Kumar (the filmmaker will be present)
India I 1989 I 35 min
In January 1989, a politically-backed goon and his henchmen attacked and killed the playwright- writer-activist Safdar Hashmi, as well as worker and activist Ram Bahadur. The film pieces together the shameful attack from eyewitness accounts, and reconstructs Safdar’s short life through archival footage, photographs and conversations.
Abhilash Vijayan (the filmmaker will be present) DWAND (The Duel)
India I FTII (Cut.in Festival) I 2012 I fiction I 13 min
In a remote village in the state of Chhattisgarh, the battle between Maoist rebels and the Army is played out in a barber’s shop. The film is inspired from a story by Spanish writer Hernando Tellez.
Special Jury Mention, Cinemaiubit Int’l Short FF, Romania
Gold (Short Fiction), Silver (Editing), Gold (Sound Design),Cut.in Students’ FF, TISS, Mumbai
Best Film, Ladakh Int’l FF
Kodak Vision Prize for Best Visual Performance, Int’l Student FF Písek, Czech Republic
Best Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography Awards, National Students FF, Aurangabad
BURMA VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country
Denmark-Burma I MLF I 2008 I 85 min
Armed with small handycams, undercover video journalists risk torture and life in jail to keep up the flow of news from the streets of Rangoon. The film documents the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching.
Joris Ivens Award (Best Documentary); Movies That Matter Award, IDFA , Amsterdam
Main Award & Amnesty Award, CPH: DOX, Denmark
Golden Apricot, Best Documentary, Yerevan Int’l FF, Armenia
World Cinema Documentary Film Editing Award, Sundance FF
Nomination, Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
Audience Top Ten, Hot Docs, Toronto
Amudhan RP (the filmmaker will be present)
RADIATION STORIES PART 3: KOODANKULAM
India I 2012 I 80 min
Post the Fukushima disaster, the people’s movement against the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tirunelveli district gained momentum. Farmers, workers, small traders and salaried people joined the poor local fishing community in their struggle. The film reflects its local, independent, non-violent and democratic ethos.
The Phillipines I 1983 I fiction feature I 90 min
A village switches from making small-market handicrafts to international Olympics memorabilia. Tahimik’s warm-hearted yet ultimately devastating parable on the global economy is as relevant now as when it was made, 30 years ago. It is both a witty satire on the effects of globalisation, and a documentary-like portrait of Philippine rural life.
- Top Prize, Mannheim Int’l FF
- Blue Ribbon, American FF
Nishtha Jain (the filmmaker will be present)
AT MY DOORSTEP
India I 2009 I 70 min
A closer look at those who come to the filmmaker’s door becomes a way of entering a parallel world of garbage collectors, domestic workers, delivery boys, watchmen – all those who labour long hours in difficult conditions to make middle and upper class lives in the city of Bombay more comfortable.
TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF
Turkey I 2007 I 48 min
In Turkey, the death penalty was abolished in 2002. This documentary humanely tackles the issue of capital punishment while wandering in two deserted prisons where many executions were carried out. It asks: Why did we kill all these people?
Second Prize, Ankara Int’l FF
Golden Karagoz for Best Documentary, Int’l Silk Road FF
Special Mention, DocumFest, Romania
Special Mention, Int’l FF and Forum on Human Rights, Geneva