Some thoughtful films on problems women face

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Mandira Nayar

Films later travel to cities in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

NEW DELHI: These are movies with no larger-than-life actresses or handsome actors or impossibly romantic settings. Focusing on the life and times of ordinary women, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) in partnership with the India International Centre Asia Project is giving audiences a chance to get a crash course on what women really want. In this second year of the festival, these documentaries created by women from India, Pakistan, Taiwan and Malaysia do not aim to give gender a token representation on International Women's Day but hope to be able to create some space for thoughtful films about problems and issues that face women across the world.

Taking off on Tuesday, the festival will open with "My Life as a Poster", an Indo-US collaboration directed by Shashwati Talukdar. The film revolves round a fictional story about the filmmaker and her family and talks about the stereotypes about Indian culture and what the land of milk and honey "expects" from a "Third World" filmmaker -- a problem that many filmmakers as well as writers face with audiences abroad. The film will be screened at the IIC Auditorium here.

From fictional stories to the harsh reality of war zones, the festival that zooms in on the real world of women will also screen "A Certain Liberation'' directed by Yasmin Kabir. The movie deals with Gurudasi Mondal, a woman who lost her mind when she watched her family being killed during Bangladesh's War of Liberation.

The other films being screened at the festival revolve round the themes of popular media, identity and violence against women. A glimpse of different side of women power, the festival brings to screen the diverse work of filmmakers like Vasudha Joshi, Reena Mohan, Yasmine Kabir, Ein Lall, Paromita Vohra and Lor Yew Mien.

While Obaid Chinoy's "Women of the Holy Kingdom" talks about the problems of women in Saudi Arabia, Paromita Vohra's film "Where's Sandra'' searches for the real Bollywood stereotype of "Sandra from Bandra'' in Mumbai. Samina Mishra's "House on Gulmohar Avenue'' that talks about identity will also be screened.

After IIC, the films will travel to eight cities across India and also to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Graphic: Tony Smith




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