“Dialogues in Diversity”

Curtain raiser on the 5th Asian Women’s Film Festival 


Jai Chandiram

Video on the NGO Sewa,                           Sharmeen_Obaid-Chinoy,   

Given the success of “Expressions in Freedom” 2005 and “Women, Media and Society: Transformations” 2006, “Reflections: Women Imaging Realities” 2007, Insights and Aspirations, 2008 the IAWRT in partnership with IIC is organizing its fifth film festival titled: “Dialogues in Diversity” at India International Centre, Lodhi Road on  7th & 8th March 2009 from  09:30 AM – 08:30 PM each day

The festival is being organized to mark the International Women’s Day. It will be immensely useful for students, media professionals academics and film lovers. The festival offers a space for dialogue and debate, enriched with inputs from various filmmakers and media practitioners. Entry is free .

The festival will present films that explore and reflect on how women filmmakers negotiate, resist or document political, social, cultural, environmental, educational or economic issues.  Are they creating a new language of filmmaking, which reflects, explores a new aesthetic and politics of filmmaking? How are women widening the frame for issues concerning women? These are some of the central questions the festival will address in” Dialogues in Diversity”

The  International Association of Women in Radio and Television(IAWRT )and the  India International Center(IIC ) collaborate  to  celebrate the creative vision of women film makers in the   5th Asian Women’s Film Festival  on 7-8 March at the IIC Auditorium  . The two day festival from 10:00am -8:30 pm provides a rich fare of documentaries, animation and short films.  Many of the film makers will be present at the festival.

I suddenly realized … I command the space to raise a dissenting voice and if I don’t do it it’s as political an act as doing it …. To stay quiet is as political an act as speaking out”. Arundhati Roy summarizes the choice of films in the festival.   Dialogues in Diversity.

Parweena  “All l we want is security,  peace, and love”,  in “There was a Queen”

 Herstory will change the way  history is written

Rehana , social activists raises the fundamental questions of “rights, equality and self esteem” in Rehana : Quest for Freedom

DAM/Age with Arundhati Roy  is a compelling film by Aradhana  Seth tracing the events that led to the authors’ imprisonment and  she mediates on her personal negotiation for justice , her fame, and the responsibility it places on her as a writer , thinker and as a citizen.  The film weaves in the background the fight against the Narbada Dam project and the devastation of people lives and culture.    

The festival will  premier Ananya Chakraborti’s film, “Understanding Trafficking” of women in Nepal India and Bangladesh. What choices do women have when they want to rebuild their lives after having been forced to cross the laxman rekha? 

 Reena Mohan‘s film “Skin Deep” explores the attitudes women have towards their body and the ideal in the media images. How do women come to terms towards their feelings of being, dark, short and too fat? The six person narratives are interspersed with documentary situation combining fiction and non-fiction to explore the inner reality.

The Clap Trap by Jill Misquitta is tender look at the junior artistes ,the extras who throng the Mumbai film industry.

  The world of conflict and war has dominated the lives of women. Several films examine how women and men reflect on their situation

. Sharni Jayawardena explores the work of a Sri Lankan artist who express  empathy and outrage through strong works on the street in “Defiant Art”.

“There was a Queen”, (Yi as Akh Padshah Bai) by Kavita Pai and Hansa Thapliyal. Kashmiri women fuelled by their own zest for life examine the violence and devise their ways for peace and reconciliation. The film also explores the identity of women, community and the nation and pushes for the need for women to be aware of how they can understand these constructs and move for women’s autonomy.

View from a Grain of Sand” searches the stories of women who are building their lives after the Talibanisation of their country. Meena Nanji explores the questions, has the new government in Afghanistan been able to improve the lives of the women? Have they regained their rights and can live without fear and repression? These issues are examined through the lives of a doctor, teacher and an activist .

Iraq: The Lost Generation: Sharmeen Obaid –Chinoy investigates the refugee crises in the Middle East.  Four million Iraqis exiled live desperate lives across the border in Syria and Jordan.

‘Exclusive for men professions’ are being broken into by women. One of the areas is media where camerawomen are inching their way in. Has the professional world changed and are the women camerapersons accepted? The experiences of   the new generation and pioneers are reflected in Alexis Krasilovsky’s global documentary   on camerawomen  Women behind the Camera”. The film  reveals the historic survival  stories of camerawomen in India , Afghanistan ,  Iran , China , Japan and USA and their outstanding contribution in a  male dominated profession .The film also features  Priya Seth Rao  who  filmed  in underwater, in warzones and in  Bollywood  and Hollywood . Another top woman director of photography, Vijayalakshmi is also featured along with a new generation of camerawomen. The film empowers todays’ generation to take up these professions and understand the obstacles and satisfaction that  camerawomen  share.

Experimental film shorts explore the visual form while narrating a short story of O’ Henry in the “Furnished Room” by Priyanka Chhabra.  This is me… Is this Me by Sri Devi Khandavilli  who uses video art as a painter to examine her relationship with her body.

Still from 'Say No to Plastic' 

The IAWRT is a non–profit professional organization of women working in electronic and allied media. The IAWRT is a non-government organization (NGO), in consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). IAWRT collaborates with media organizations and organizes conferences, projects and activities.


For more information contact:

Email: iawrtindiafestival@gmail.com




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