PR2010_PosterA Festival of Contemporary Political Films


Organised by
Magic Lantern Foundation & India International Centre

Venue: India International Centre
40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003


Retrospective of Deepa Dhanraj

deepa1Deepa Dhanraj is an award winning filmmaker who has been actively involved in the women’s movement since 1980. Over the years, she has participated in workshops, seminars and discussion groups on various issues related to women’s status – political participation, health and education.

Deepa has an extensive filmography spanning nearly three decades that include many series of films on education and health as well as award wining documentaries. ‘Enough of this Silence’ (2008) , The Advocate’ (2007), ‘Nari Adalat’ (2000), ‘Itta Hejje Mundakka Thegiya Bediri Hindakka’, a series of 12 films for elected women in Gram Panchayats (1995), ‘The Legacy of Malthus’ (1994), ‘Something like a War’ (1991), ‘Kya Hua Iss Shehar Ko’ (1986) and ‘Sudesha’(1983), are a few of her films. Her films have traveled to numerous film festivals world wide.

9:30    Kya Hua Is Shahar Ko?
52 min, 1986, India
This film attempts to analyse one communal riot between Hindus and Muslims, in Hyderabad city in September 1984.

10:22    Something Like a War
52 min, 1991, India
A historical overview of India’s coercive Family Planning program and its effect on women.

11:14    The Legacy of Malthus
50 min, 1994, India
The film takes on the International Population “Establishment “, challenging the entrenched Malthusian Theory that over population is responsible for poverty and environmental destruction.

12:04    Time to Listen
50 min, 1996, India
The video documents the process by which 29 working child delegates representing 33 countries came to a consensus on strategies concerning them.

12:54    Naari Adalat
40 min, 2000, India
The film documents the functioning of the ‘Nari Adalat’ or Women’s Courts. It portrays an alternative legal system, which always puts women’s interests first.

13:34    Young Historians
47 min, 2005, India
Excerpts from a set of videos that captures the process by which a group of 9 year olds (Government school students) develop a set of critical analytical tools to look at history.

14:21    Jeevan Jyothi
The stories of 4 women who are part of Jeevan Jyothi, a collective of people living with HIV in North Karnataka, capturing their remarkable journey from being fearful on discovering their HIV status, to being active in working for the community as organizers, counselors and powerful role models.

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 15:20 everyday.

Retrospective of Manjira Datta

Manjira_2Manjira Datta has been an independent documentary filmmaker since 1986. Her award winning films have focused on environment, rural and industrial labour, labour in the entertainment sector, Iyengar yoga, politics, agrarian technology, discrimination against women among others.

She has also conceptualised and been a line producer for a 26 part drama serial on Adult Education for UNICEF and Directorate of Adult Education. She has been a director and producer for BBC2, Channel 4 (UK), ARD Germany, One World Broadcasting Group, UNDP & TVE, Mayavision (London), MacArthur Foundation (Chicago), Commonwealth of Learning(Canada), UNIFEM, O&M and Tata Steel and other State Government Departments in India.

Manjira Datta continues to make films as an independent filmmaker and lives in New Delhi.

9:30    Sacrifice of Babulal Bhuiya
64 min, 1988, India
The citizens of Mailagora (place of dirt) recycle coal dust in an inferno-like valley ravaged by the horrors of third world industrialization process.

10:33    Democracy in Crisis
50 min, 1991, India
This film covers the 20 months following Rajiv Gandhi’s ouster in 1989, through his assassination, and the violent and chaotic election, which followed it.

11:23    Seeds of Plenty, Seeds of Sorrow
52 min, 1992, India
A documentary about the effects of the highly touted Green Revolution in India, how it has helped to create a new serf class and the dramatic yields of the early years have fallen away in the wake of pesticide poisoning and the short-lived miracle wheat strains.

12:15    Relationship (Rishte)
25 min, 1994, India & USA
Who was responsible for the deaths of Lali Devi and her two teenage girls? Was it family pressures or the psycho-social coercion of a perverted, suicidal society?

12:40    Present Times (Samakaal)
50 min, 1998, India
The crisis in West Bengal’s much celebrated land reform and distribution programme and the women’s struggle for equal rights in the present climate of social change, crisis and sweeping globalisation.

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 13:35 and 17:40 everyday.

Retrospective of Saba Dewan

saba_dewanSaba Dewan is a documentary filmmaker based in New Delhi. Her work has focused on communalism, gender, sexuality and culture. Her notable films include ‘Dharmayuddha’ (Holy War, 1989), ‘Nasoor’ (Festering Wound, 1991), ‘Khel’ (The Play, 1994), ‘Barf’ (Snow, 1997) and ‘Sita’s Family’ (2001) and have been screened extensively in India and at international film festivals.

For the past few years she has been working on a trilogy of films focusing on stigmatized women performers. ‘Delhi–Mumbai– Delhi’ (2006) on the lives of bar dancers was the first film of the trilogy; the second being ‘Naach’ (The Dance, 2008) that explores the lives of women who dance in rural fairs. Both the films have been screened widely and have generated critical acclaim. The third and final film of the trilogy is ‘The Other Song’ (2009) about the art and lifestyle of the tawaifs or courtesans.

9:30    Barf (Snow)
54 min, 1997, India
A group of adolescent girls from the working class area of a metropolis in India go for a trek to the mountains. Through the 10-day trek the young protagonists reflect on the violence, fear, and deprivation in their lives in the city. Then, its time to continue with the journey and reach the snowline.

10:33    Sita’s Family
60 min, 2002, India
A personal journey of the filmmaker about three generations of women from her family, spanning between their lives the turbulent decades of India in the making.

11:33    Delhi Mumbai Delhi
63 min, 2006, India
The documentary follows Riya, a bar dancer, from her home in Delhi to Mumbai where hundreds of working class girls like her come in search of work and a future.

12:36    Naach (The Dance)
84 min, 2008, India
At the Sonpur cattle fair in rural Bihar every evening more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience with a barbed wire fence separating the performers from the spectators.

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 14:05 and 18:35 everyday.

Retrospective of Krishnendu Bose

KrishBose2Krishnendu Bose is the founding member of Earthcare Films, making wildlife and conservation films since 1986. His films have won several awards, primary amongst them are: Special Jury Award at Okomedia Environment Film Festival, 2000; Earthvision Environmental Film Festival, 2003; Wildlife Conservation Award at the 4th Vatavaran International Wildlife and Environment Film Festival, 2007; Conservation award at International Wildlife Film Festival, 2008. Along with producing films, he conducts environment education workshops in schools and colleges and disseminates his films in rural areas.

9:30    Revolution and After
30 min, 1992, India
This film looks at the environmental and economic costs of the Green Revolution through the experiences of Punjab’s farmers.

10:00    Harvesting Hunger
53 min, 2000, India
How is globalisation making the current food crisis?

10:53    Jardhar Diary
29 min, 2002, India
The people of the Garhwal Himalayas fight to keep their way of life.

11:22    Dance With Hands Held Tight
61 min, 2005, India
The film explores the issues and questions relating to the intense relationship of women and natural resources across the country.

12:23    Delhi – Work in Progress
38 min, 2008, India
As Delhi’s face is changing beyond recognition, what is the price we are paying in destroying the green lung of our city?

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 13:05 and 16:40 everyday.

Retrospective of Sanjay Barnela

SanjayBarnelaSanjay Barnela has made films on diverse range of issues including, the sheep-herding Gaddi pastoralists of the Himalayas, women in panchayati raj, politics of water, wildlife conservation, environmental degradation, and high altitude mountain climbs in the Himalayas.

His films have been awarded and screened at various national and international film festivals including, The Golden Gate film festival, San Francisco, Philadelphia Documentary and Short film festival, Festival du Cinema de Paris, Jeevika 2003, Vatavaran 2003, Film South Asia, Kathmandu (1997, 2000, 2001 &  2003), Telluride Mountain Film Festival (2000), Mumbai International Film Festival (2000, 2002),Himalayan Film Festival (Amsterdam 2003) and Festival du Cinema de Strasbourg 2004.

Condensed versions of two of his films have been telecast on BBC World, as part of a series called ‘Hands On’.

9:30    Turf Wars
(co-director: Vasant Saberwal)
34 min, 2001, India
Contradictions of the government’s policies towards conservation – wherein local livelihoods are expendable in the interests of biodiversity, but biodiversity must make way for national development.

10:04    Hunting Down Water
(co-director: Vasant Saberwal)
32 min, 2003, India
The conflicting uses of water in our everyday lives – both rural and urban.

10:36    Turf Wars Revisited
17 min, 2004, India
The film attempts to collate perceptions towards the National Park and the Parvati Project, five years after their establishment in the Kullu Valley.

10:53    River Taming Mantras
(co-director: Vasant Saberwal)
31 min, 2004, India
The film explores the technological, economic and political rationale that underlies the adoption of flood control measures.

11:24    Water Business is Good Business
(co-director: Vasant Saberwal)
27 min, 2004, India
This film travels from Delhi to Indore and from Bombay to Chennai, exploring the politics and economics of urban water supplies.

11:51    Following the Rhythms
34 min, 2005, India
The debate – between the Forest Department and the Van Gujjars.

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 12:30, 15:30 and 18:30 everyday.

Retrospective of Supriyo Sen

Supriyo-Sen-3A journalist turned independent filmmaker, Supriyo Sen is based in Kolkata. He has produced and directed feature and short documentaries like ‘Wait Until Death’, ‘The Dream of Hanif’, ‘The Nest’, ‘Way Back Home’, ‘Hope Dies Last in War’, ‘Rupban – The Beautiful’ and ‘Wagah’.

Supriyo has won three National Awards, including Swarna Kamal for the best Documentary of the Year, and more than twenty-five International awards for his films. His documentaries have been screened at numerous festivals such as Berlin, Sundance, Karlovy Vary, Pusan, Sydney, Amsterdam (IDFA), Yamagata, MIFF, etc. His two-hour long feature ‘Way Back Home’ is the first Indian documentary that was commercially released.

Supriyo has also received grants from Sundance Documentary Fund, Jan Vrijman Fund (IDFA) and Asian Cinema Fund (Pusan International Film Festival). He is an alumnus of Berlinale Talent Campus and served as juror in Taiwan International Documentary Festival and Indian National Award selection.

9:30    The Dream of Hanif
(co-director: Jayanta Chakrabarty )
26 min, 1997, India
Even as scroll painters face extinction, one man refuses to abandon his age-old legacy.

10:04    The Nest
38 min, 2000, India
The story of a unique bond – between a family and its feathered friends.

10:36    Way Back Home
120 min, 2003, India
A family’s journey back to their homeland in Bangladesh after more than fifty years.

10:53    Hope Dies Last in War
77 min, 2007, India
54 prisoners of the Indo-Pak war never came home. As their families still wait, they walk the tragic tightrope between hope and despair.

11:24    Wagah
14 min, 2009, India, Pakistan, Germany
A border, an extraordinary ritual and a dream. The film looks through the eyes of three children who sell DVDs of the daily parade to the onlookers. With a dream of crossing the border they remain unmoved by all the ‘patriotic’ madness around them.

Screening of the above films will be repeated in the same order at 14:10 and 18:45 everyday.

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