Bindu Shajan Perappadan

32 short feature films will be screened during “We Care Film Festivals on Disability Issues-2010”

NEW DELHI: A total of 32 short feature films and documentaries from India and abroad have been selected for screening at this year’s “We Care Film Festivals on Disability Issues-2010”. The festival will travel to different parts of the country over the next few months from February to mid-April.

The films were selected from over 50 entries received on various issues of disability from different countries including India. Each of the film selected by a preview committee has a story to tell -- tales of dogged human spirit that has triumphed against all odds. The members of the committee headed by Marwah Studio president Sandeep Marwah include film critic B. B. Nagpal and UNESCO senior programme officer Shankar Choudhary.

Founder director Satish Kapoor said: “A world that truly embraces diversity is one where the rights, dignity, and well-being of individuals are realised regardless of differences in race, faith, gender or ability. People living with disabilities often surprise us with their abilities, with what they can do rather than what they cannot do, but not many tell their stories.”

The 7th “We Care Filmfest’ will take viewers into the lives of these people through the festival that will be held across the country under the theme “Dignity and Justice for All”.

The festival is being organised by Brotherhood in association with the National Trust, Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT), United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The festival opens at the Apeejay Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi this coming Tuesday. It will taken travel to others parts of the city and the country.

These events are being organised by students of mass communications, journalism and filmmaking institutes, and government and non-government organisations working in the disability sector would be invited to the festivals.

For the past three years, a unique participatory rating process has been introduced where the audience rates each film and an independent jury judges the films on the basis of these ratings. This approach goes a long way in familiarising audiences, especially students, with people living with disabilities, and at the same time encourages filmmakers to tell their stories.

Satish Kapoor said: “The festival is an opportunity for all students to develop their understanding and perspective relating to disability issues besides contributing to the process of participatory rating. This will help the students whenever they plan to make short films/documentaries on disability. And the general audience will be sensitised on various issues of disability.”

“UNESCO is happy joining hands with the festival as co-organiser and will be promoting the festival throughout the SAARC region and as well as through its partner organisations,” said Shankar Chowdhary.

“The festival reflects the power of visuals on human perception. Through its selection of documentaries, the event aims to use the visual medium as a tool to advocate attitudinal and behavioural changes, promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and rid people of the various misconceptions, myths and prejudices surrounding disability issues,” said Sandeep Marwah.