PSBT Festival 2009





10:00 am


National Coordinator, INPUT
SUBRAMANIAM V. RAMAN, Programme Officer, Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata


MUKTI (SALVATION) | Ehteshamuddin | Pakistan | 45’ | INPUT

On his death bed, a Sikh father confesses to his son that maddened by love he not only forcibly converted his mother from Islam to Sikhism but also lied to her that her Muslim husband and daughter had been killed in the riots. But this, the dying father said, had always weighed upon his conscience. Therefore, he asks the son to take his mother to Pakistan to meet her husband and her daughter. This comes as a blow to the son but in order to give Mukti (salvation) to his father’s soul, he takes his mother to Pakistan and goes through strange emotional and cultural experiences.

DIVORCE ALBANIAN STYLE | Adela Peeva | Bulgaria| 66’ | INPUT

This story of love and separation takes place in the surreal world of 1960s communist Albania. As told by survivors of this extraordinary period, Divorce Albanian style reveals the experience of the many thousands of families that were forcibly separated by the totalitarian regime of Enver Hodja, the longest-serving European Dictator of the 20th century.


 01:00 pm



02:00 pm

SHAHIDA: BRIDES OF ALLAH | Natalie Assouline | Israel | 75’ | INPUT

The Film chronicles the lives of women, in prison for involvement in failed suicide attacks. Filmed over two years, this portrait strives to unearth the motivations behind their crimes.

Awards and Screenings

FIPRESCI Award, Berlin International Film Festival, Forum, Germany
Special Prize, "Communication for Life", Prix Italia, Cagliari, Italy


03:45 pm

| Lisa F. Jackson | USA, Democratic Republic of the Congo | 77’

Shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo, this documentary is the first film to break the silence that surrounds the tens of thousands of women and girls who have been systematically kidnapped, raped and tortured in that country’s intractable civil war. The filmmaker talks with activists, ministers, peacekeepers, physicians and with the perpetrators themselves. She goes to homes, hospitals and churches, travelling to remote villages in the mountains of Eastern Congo to meet rape survivors who have often been shamed and abandoned. These brave women come forward to tell their stories and provide a piercing and intimate look into the horror, struggle and ultimate grace of their lives.


Awards and Screenings

Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival

Best of Fest, London Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Outstanding Documentary, Rome Independent Film Festival
Gracie Award, Outstanding Documentary - Long Format
Best of Fest, One World Slovakia Doc Film Festival
Best Human Rights Watch Documentary, International Black DocuFest
Best Documentary, Roma Independent Film Festival
Best Documentary, Reel Awareness Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival
Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Informational Programming: Long Form and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Craft-Writing


05:15 pm

FIGHTING THE SILENCE | Ilse & Femke van Velzen | Netherlands | 53’

During the Democratic Republic of Congo’s seven year war, more than 80,000 women and girls were raped.  The Film tells the story of ordinary women and men struggling to change their society: one that prefers to blame victims rather than prosecute rapists.  Survivors tell of the brutality they experienced. Husbands talk of the pressures that led them to abandon their wives. Soldiers and policemen share their (shocking) views about why rape continues to flourish in Congo despite the war having officially ended four years ago.


Awards and Screenings

First Prize, Watch Docs Human Rights Film Festival
Jury   Award, Human Rights Film Festival, Bolivia
Human Rights Award, Docupolis International Documentary Film Festival of Barcelona
Aljazeera Jury Award, Aljazeera International Film Festival, Qatar
Official Selection, London International Documentary Festival
International Human Rights Film Festival, Germany


06:15 pm


(Panellists to be confirmed)


Farah Naqvi, Nivedita Menon, Siddharth Varadarajan

Uma Chakravarti, Ritu Menon (Moderator)


07:30 pm

| Kim Longinotto | UK | 103’

Fearless, feisty and resolute, the "Rough Aunties" are a remarkable group of women unwavering in their stand to protect and care for the abused, neglected and forgotten children of Durban, South Africa. This Documentary follows the outspoken, multiracial cadre of Thuli, Mildred, Sdudla, Eureka and Jackie, as they wage a daily battle against systemic apathy, corruption and greed to help the most vulnerable and disenfranchised of their communities. 


Awards and Screenings 
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
Best Feature Doc, Big Sky Film Festival, USA
Best Documentary, Bahrain Film Festival
Honourable Mention, Krakow Film Festival, Poland
Amnesty International Human Rights Award, Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
Top Ten Audience Favourite, Hot Docs
Dokfest, Germany
Full Frame Film Festival

Yamagata Film Festival, Japan




10:00 am

| Gita Sahgal | UK | 30’

The Film tells the stories of several young peoples’ fight for freedom. Shipa and Sufian were nearly prevented from marrying. Anisha was abducted away from her boyfriend John and compelled to marry. Narina describes her remarkable escape from the threat of a forced marriage, along with her two sisters.


10:30 am

| Saeeda Khanum | UK | 61’

Love Honour and Disobey tells the story of domestic violence in Britain's black and ethnic minority communities through the eyes of the Southall Black Sisters.


Awards and Screenings

XIV Barcelona International Women Film Festival, Barcelona
London Feminist Network Film Festival
Femmes en Resistance, Arcueil, France
DerHumALC Internacional Film Festival on Human Rights, Buenos Aires


11:40 am

I WONDER… | Anu Srinivasan | 71’ | PSBT
(Followed by discussion with Filmmaker)

What does school mean to children? What kind of learning takes place within the school and outside it? The Film explores how the school system is impacting the lives, thoughts and dreams of children lying at the extremities of the country.

Awards and Screenings

Official Selection, New Asian Currents, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival


01:15 pm



02:00 pm  

BEHIND FORGOTTEN EYES | Anthony Gilmore | USA, Japan, South Korea | 76’

The Film tells the experiences of the estimated 200,000 comfort women from South-Korea, Taiwan, China, Burma and the Philippines who were systematically raped and abused as sex slaves by the Japanese imperial armed forces during the Second World War. Shame prevented them to talk. For decades, the Japanese government has denied any responsibility for this large-scale, institutionalised sex slavery. Half a century later, a few of these women have found the courage to tell their stories.

Awards and Screenings

Best Documentary - Juror Award, Melbourne International Independent Film Festival
Best Film, Kern Projection's Film Festival
Best Film at Conflict and Resolution Competition, Hamptons International Film Festival


03:15 pm 

| Patricia Smith Melton & Lisa Hepner | USA | 86’

Filmed on four continents and narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange, the Film tells the stories of women around the world who are building the foundations of peace.

Awards and Screenings

Golden Eagle Cine Award
Best Documentary Aurora Award
Best Documentary, Wreck-Beach International Film Festival, Toronto

 04:45 pm


WOMEN IN STRUGGLE | Buthina Canaan Khoury | Palestine | 56’

A rare testimony from four female Palestinian ex-prisoners who disclose their experiences during their years of imprisonment in Israeli jails and the effect it has had on their present and future lives. Their painful recollections provide a fascinating personal perspective on their motives for political involvement, reveal their struggles in prison and define the difficulties they have faced and continue to face adjusting to life in Palestinian society.

Awards and Screenings

Best Documentary & Jury Mention, AlIsmailia Film Festival, Egypt
Best Documentary, American Muslim Women Association
Best Documentary, San Diego Women Film Festival


06:00 pm

THE FEMALE NUDE | Hem Jyotika & Devi Prasad Mishra | 26’ | PSBT
(Followed by discussion with Filmmaker/s)

The story of a model who poses nude for painters and artists for contemptibly small amounts. Despite being the subject of their art, ironically, she is never invited to any of the exhibitions...


06:45 pm

A SHORT FILM ABOUT… | Divya Sachar | 30’ | PSBT
(Followed by discussion with Filmmaker)

A look at how some urban Indian women view their breasts. Affected by other’s perceptions, women mostly find themselves looking at their breasts through a male perspective. Whether in the form of media images of impossible perfection or an adolescent need to gain male approval and attention or just the opposite - to repel male advances - the male gaze is ever present in one form or the other.


07:30 pm 

| Created by Ruth Cowan & Directed by Jane Thandi Lipman  | South Africa | 68’
Fourteen years after the defeat of apartheid, South Africa’s fledgling democracy is acclaimed for its constitutional promise of comprehensive human rights and unprecedented judicial reform. Courting Justice takes viewers behind the gowns and gavels to reveal the women who make up 18 per cent of South Africa’s male-dominated judiciary. Hailing from diverse backgrounds and entrusted with enormous responsibilities, these pioneering women share with candour, and unexpected humour, accounts of their country’s transformation since apartheid, and the evolving demands of balancing their courts, country and families.

Awards and Screenings                           
Audience Award, Durban International Film Festival
UNIFEM Women's International Film Festival
Encounters: South African International Documentary Festival
Parliament Film Festival, South Africa
International Images Film Festival for Women





10:00 am  

MY FEMINISM | Dominique Cardona & Laurie Colbert | Canada | 55’

In an era of anti-feminist backlash, this articulate documentary forcefully reminds us that the revolution continues. Powerful interviews with feminist leaders including Bell Hooks, Gloria Steinem and Urvsahi Vaid are intercut with documentary sequences to engagingly explore the past and present status of the women's movements.


Awards and Screenings
Best Female Canadian Directors, Images Festival, Toronto,
Best Feature Documentary, Washington DC International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Montréal World Film Festival

Verzaubert International Queer Film Festival


 11:00 am


‘It is not that we are not knowing English. It is just that we are knowing it in our own way only. Please tell your name.’
Apparently there are ways and ways to speak English, and still be clearly understood. And Indian English is one of them. Vast numbers of people are hungry to join the English bandwagon and thousands of ‘English training schools’ are proliferating the landscape. There is no one standard for the teaching of English. A school in Mumbai is flamboyant in imparting the ‘Indian Variant of English’. Welcome to the brave new India of today.


11:30 am

| Nelofer Pazira | Canada | 57’

When Afghan-Canadian director Nelofer Pazira returns to Bamiyan, Afganistan, she decides to audition locals for a film. The men are eager, enthusiastically laughing and dying on command. The women are intrigued, but reticent, fearing retribution. When they do perform, it is with riveting authenticity. Pazira asks the men and women pointed questions, challenging their preconceptions and renegotiating the balance of power and control.


12:30 pm

CHOTI SI ASHA | Usha Albuquerque | 30’ | PSBT
(Followed by discussion with Filmmaker)

The Film documents the initiative of the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, to include a learning centre among its other activities, in order to expose underprivileged children to information technology and help them explore better options for an improved quality of life.


01:15 pm



02:15 pm

NO MORE TEARS SISTER | Helene Klodawsky | Canada | 79’

A story of love, revolution and betrayal, the Film explores the price of truth in times of war. Set during the violent ethnic conflict that has enveloped Sri Lanka over decades, the documentary recreates the courageous and vibrant life of renowned human rights activist Dr Rajani Thiranagama. Mother, anatomy professor, author and symbol of hope, Rajani was assassinated at the age of thirty-five.


Awards and Screenings

Honorable Mention, Chris Awards, Columbus International Film Festival, USA
Second Prize, Tri Continental Film Festival, India
Spirit of Freedom Award Best Documentary, Jerusalem International Film Festival
Best Cinematography, Gemini Awards, Academy of Canadian Cinema
Nomination, Best Social/Political Documentary, Academy of Canadian Cinema
Cine Eagle Award, USA
One of Ten Audience Pics at Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

Human Rights Watch Film Festival


 03:45 pm

MY HOME-YOUR WAR | Kylie Grey | Australia, Iraq | 52’

An extraordinary look at the effect of the Iraq war through the eyes of an ordinary Iraqi woman. Shot in Baghdad over three years that span the time before, during and after the invasion of Iraq, this profoundly moving Film brings a perspective that – until now – has rarely been available to audiences.

Awards and Screenings

Gold World Medal, Best Documentary, New York
Best International Documentary, European Independent Film Festival
Best Documentary – Social & Political Issues, Australian TV Atom Awards
Best Documentary – Human Story, Australian TV Atom Awards 


04:45 pm 

| Yulie Cohen | Israel | 58’

Fahad Mihyi, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Yulie Cohen, a sixth-generation Israeli, first met in August 1978, when Mihyi pointed a machine gun at the El Al flight attendant in a terrorist attack. Twenty-three years later, in an effort to help break the cycle of violence, Yulie considers writing a letter in support of Mihyi's parole, thus thrusting herself into the turbulent world of Middle East politics.


Awards and Screenings

Special Jury Prize, Jerusalem Film Festival
Silver Wolf Nomination, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Official Selection, San Francisco International Film Festival
Official Selection, One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
Official Selection, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver Jewish Film Festivals
Official Selection, Seoul Human Rights Watch Film Festival


05:45 pm    


Ines Hofmann Kanna | USA, UAE | 36’

(Un)veiled introduces the audience to ten Muslim women from various backgrounds who now live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Their discussion about hijab, the headscarf, revolves around a lecture on the same topic that was banned at the last minute but delivered anyway.  In a time when Islam and especially Muslim women are represented as monolithic and beset by backwardness, the women show the diverse, lively, argumentative debates in Muslim societies about the meanings of modernity, emancipation and feminism.

Awards and Screenings

Second Jury Prize, Black Maria Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Women's International Film Festival, Miami


06:30 pm  

THEY CALL ME MUSLIM | Diana Ferrero | Italy, France, Iran | 27’

In popular imagination, a Muslim woman in a veil – or hijab – is a symbol of Islamic oppression. But what does it mean for women’s freedom when a democratic country forbids the wearing of the veil? This provocative documentary portrays the struggle of two women – one in France and one in Iran – to express themselves freely.


Awards and Screenings

Bellaria Film Festival, Premio Avanti
Sguardi Altrove International Film Festival, Concorso Italia
Tri Continental Film Festival, South Africa
San Diego Women's Film Festival
Michigan Women's Film Festival
Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival
Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Boston and New York
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival


07:00 pm     


(Panellists to be confirmed)


Shabnam Hashmi, Syeda Hameed

Urvashi Butalia, Zahid Ansari

Patricia Uberoi (Moderator)


08:00 pm

ANWAR: DREAM OF A DARK NIGHT | Anwar Jamal |60’ | PSBT                    
(Filmmaker present)

The Film explores the tenacity of the human spirit, through the story of Anwar, a migrant to Delhi, who achieves his dream of making a theatre in his village by working a range of jobs.


Editor: Manohar Khushalani

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