The curtain will go up on a three-day international women's film festival on May 10.
ON WOMEN, BY WOMEN: A scene from the film 'An Encounter With A Life Living'.
An international festival of films made by women, organised jointly by Gargi Women Media Collective and Sthreevedi, will be inaugurated at Regional Theatre on May 10. An all-women film festival comes in the wake of a reality that rarely do women as filmmakers, cameramen, editors and technicians get their due in film festivals, say the organisers. In the film sector the world over, other than acting, hardly one-fifth is represented by women.
Space for women
"This is contrary to the important space occupied by some bold and talented filmmakers in the regional, national and international film industry during the last few decades. The present initiative is to bring women film professionals, their perspectives and technical excellence, to the fore, they add. Chennai-based writer and critic, Vasanthi Sankaranarayanan, is the director of the festival.
Films of internationally and nationally acclaimed filmmakers are included in the festival, which is expected to address hotly-debated themes and issues related to women. It will also take a close look at the role of women as movie makers.
The 90 films that will be screened at the festival include feature films, short films and documentary films, both in the fiction and non-fiction categories, and TV films and animation films. Another attraction of the festival is the retrospective of Australian director Jane Campion and Indian documentary filmmaker Madhusree Dutta.
Some of the films that are must-sees in the world film category are `I am the Worst of All' (Spanish) by Argentinean director Maria Luisa Bemberg, `The Hidden Half `(Iranian) by Tahmineh Milani, `Without a Trace' (Spanish) by Mexican director Maria Novaro, `Frida' (English) by American film maker Julie Taymor, `36 Chowringhee Lane' (English) by Aparna Sen, `Dwitheeya Paksha' (Bengali) by Ananya Chaterjee, `Fleeting Beauty' (English) by New Zealand's Virginia Pitts and `Summer of the Serpent' (English) by Kimi Takesue of the United States (U.S.).
Many of the films discuss vibrant themes pertaining to the issues of women at large. For instance, `Daughters of Everest' (Nepali and English), produced and directed jointly by Ramyata Limbu and Sapana Sakya, tells the world about the plight of many Sherpa women. In 2000, the first-ever expedition of Sherpa women to climb Everest was organised. Told from a woman's perspective, this film draws an absorbing portrait of the Sherpa community.
`Girl Song' (English) by Vasudha Joshi shows how a cultural identity, proudly woven from many strands, is increasingly under threat from narrow and exclusionist definitions of identity. `Ladies Special' (English) by Nidhi Tuli explores how the overworked, stressed women of Mumbai, took time and space to make a private world in a train. It is a space where they are not mothers, or sisters, or daughters or employees, but simply women.
`Unlimited Girls' (English) by Paromita Vohra explores feminism in contemporary urban India through the encounters of a fictional narrator with a diverse range of people. The film uses a playfully eclectic and personally reflective style to ask intricate questions about feminism.
`Until When... ' (Arabic) by Dahna Abourahme follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.
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